Saturday, October 27, 2007

Market Days

The crisp fall breezes, abundance of pumpkins and addition of hot spiced cider to the Turner Hall stand must mean that another Farmer's Market season is drawing to a close. I hope all of the vendors had a great year because we have certainly enjoyed all of the local goods and produce for the past five months.

Thanks to the efforts of the efforts of tireless supporters and the Main Street Initiative, the market began expanding this year. I hope the vendors found it to successful because from a patron's point of view, it was a very good thing. The addition of non-food vendors like the woman who sells paintings and paints the faces of the young and young at heart as well as non-produce food vendors like Noel's Jams, Didier Honey, Turner Hall and Cafe Claudeen drew my family and others down to the market on a regular basis. We loved the picnic table placed next to Turner Hall's stand. It was a perfect place to gather around, visiting with friends and acquaintances and inviting us to spend more of our morning. All these combined to make the Farmer's Market a destination and event, not just an errand to run.

Let's not forget the produce. From Ken and Luann Parr with their herbs, kohlrabi and arugula to Janet of Simple Abundance Farms with her organic flower arrangements, there is something for everyone. The rhubarb and greens of spring flowed into summer's strawberries from Margherita, bulbs of garlic, fresh sugar snap peas and every variety of tomato and summer squash you could desire. Fall saw us walking home with a bag bulging with leeks, winter squash, onions and beets.

One of our favorite characters at the Farmer's Market is Noel. He creates Noel's Jams and Jellies and has been a staple at the Farmer's Market for years. His jams, jellies and pickles are all made from produce he and his wife grow on their farm, with the exception of the pineapple of course. We recommend the huckleberry, but every flavor we have sampled, from blackberry to currant, has been delicious. Noel is part of what makes the Farmer's Market special. Quick with a smile or a joke for the kids, he supports all the other vendors. He never hesitates to recommend another vendor's goods or to pitch and watch another booth when another vendor has to leave for a minute. There is a real sense of unity at the Farmer's Market, a loyalty between the vendors themselves as well as between the vendors and regular patrons. It is part of what makes market shopping special.

We will miss the Farmer's Market over the winter, but look forward to seeing everyone again in the spring.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Relocation Station

Luis and I relocated to Monroe back in 2001. We knew very little about the community back then, but we were taking a chance and following our instincts. It was a wise decision.

Monroe is home to many people who have taken a similar chance. Swiss Colony and Monroe Clinic bring in new residents on a regular basis. Others have stumbled upon Monroe, like we did, and recognized it as a fabulous small city to live in. It is an easy drive from Madison, Janesville, Beloit, Freeport, Rockford and Dubuque, making it convenient for commuters. Monroe is far more than just a bedroom community, though. The business sector is active here and in all of Green County, with industrial, retail and service industries all having a strong presence. It is a great place to work, shop and play, a community where you can live your life.

If business is bringing you to town or if you are considering living here as a commuter, take a chance like so many before you. Monroe and Green County have much to offer, and residents are welcoming to newcomers. Let me be among the first to say Welcome to your new hometown.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Hello and Welcome to the new blog for Cheese Country Realtors!

We are Luis and Brenda Carus. Married since 1995, we are partners in every sense of the word. We parent our four children and work together as realtors in the state line area of Wisconsin and Illinois. We relocated to Monroe in 2001 and enjoy life in our adopted hometown. Monroe has a unique combination of urban and small town elements, making it a great place to settle down and live life.

Why call ourselves Cheese Country Realtors? The rolling hills of Green County, Wisconsin, are home to an abundance of master cheese makers and small cheese factories, including the only one in the United States that still makes Limburger. Monroe even has a biennial festival called Cheese Days. Cheese is an integral part of the cultural heritage here in Green County.

Our main website is over at, and you can visit us over there for specific information on buying or selling a home or to search for a home in are area. Drop us a text message or call if you want to talk more about real estate in Cheese Country.

Keep reading Cheese Country Realtors for snippets about what makes life special here in Monroe and Green Country. We'll post about upcoming events and hidden treasures in the area. So, whether you are currently living here, new to the area, thinking about moving here or just someone who enjoys reading about Wisconsin, please check back often!