Saturday, August 1, 2015

People at Gallatin Valley Farmers Market

There are so many wonderful things about a farmers market. But when you think about it, isn't it the people who really make the market special?

At today's Gallatin Valley market in Bozeman, there was quite a selection of interesting vendors.

Pictured above are the Three Little Sparrows who make delectable items, such as tasty lip balm and sweet sugar scrub, that make you look and feel more beautiful. Actually, that's mama with her two oldest children, with the youngest shyly hidden behind. Selling at the market this year is an educational experience for the kids, who decide what to make, then make it and learn how to sell it. Figuring out change, as shown below, is an important part of the process.

Around the corner was a gal who just loves tutus. She normally has a doll to show off her creations, but today she forgot to bring it. Being flexible, she decided modelling was just as fun as selling.

And nearby were the ever-popular cookies by the Cookie Boys. Their offerings have expanded considerably, all as tasty as the original peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies that were their first product. These originals are still available for purists.

Outside in the sunshine were two enthusiastic sisters selling cheesecake under the name of Dia Desserts. Need I say more? Right now they have a heavenly dip and also bites of cheesecake in portable jars. All kinds of flavors like lemon-lavender, strawberry, and the Tipsy Cow (with merlot). This might be the perfect time to expand your picnic fare. Or sneak bites at the traffic lights on your way home. I'm not admitting anything, it's just an idea I had.

There was some lovely music wafting through the air, played by a young student who also takes ballet. She and her brother are raising money for their fine arts education.

You'll also find all the usual -- and unusual -- things at this market, like greens, succulent Dixon melons (be prepared to stand in a very long line for this popular item!), breads and pies, etc. etc. Come meet everyone!

Gallatin Valley Farmers Market
Gallatin County Fairgrounds, Haynes Pavilion, at Tamarack and Black
June 20 - September 12
Saturday, 9 am - noon

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Creativity abounds at Big Timber indoor market

Artisan loaves of white bread studded with seeds, cranberries, and/or mango bits. Rye bread with dill or sauerkraut. You probably won't find these unusual combinations anywhere else.

When asked if she had a plain loaf of white bread, baker Sidonia looked puzzled for a moment and said, "It never occurred to me to make one." Then she quickly added, "But if you're here next week, I can make one just for you."

This market isn't large -- 7 vendors this evening -- and this is only its second week, but the variety and originality of goods offered will gladden the heart of any earnest farmers market customer.

It's still early in the season for eastern Montana produce, but some garden herbs and a handful of small cucumbers were available. Plus locally grown limes. The grower said she has a flourishing lime tree on her patio in town and takes the tree in during winter months.

Along with the artisan loaves, there was an abundance of baked goods, such as key lime pie, chocolate peanut butter pie, no-bake cookies, banana bread, and flour-free Monster Cookies.

For thirsty shoppers, Italian soda was on tap.

The building belongs to market manager Kimi Tollefson, who ran the popular Prospector Pizza for many years. After it closed, one after the other, an upscale lunch cafe, a generic Chinese restaurant, and an artisan pizza joint enticed customers for a while, but the building has been empty for a couple of years now, and Kimi thought it would be fun to use the space for a market.

Kimi sells ready-made pizza dough and sauce and even provides a restaurant-size recipe, although you'll have to copy it from the blackboard on the back wall.

All in all, this small market is brimming with good things.

Big Timber Indoor Farmers Market
old Prospector Pizza building, 121 McLeod Street
July 23 - September 10
Thursday, 5 pm - 7:30 pm 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Signs of the Livingston market

One of the fun things of visiting a farmers market is looking at the signs. Here are a few I saw today at the Livingston farmers market.

As you can see from the last two signs, this market encourages children to participate, which adds to the variety. Trust me, the Geography Quiz is not easy.

Livingston Farmers Market
Sacajawea Park bandshell
June 3 - September 23
Wednesday, 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm