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

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Virginia City farmers market

Most folks visit Virginia City to ride the stagecoach, explore Boot Hill, and stroll down a street that was once crowded with gold miners in and out of luck.

But I recommend that you plan to be there on the second or fourth Saturday of the month so you can enjoy the tiny but vibrant farmers market.

Even this early in June you'll find bursting bags of salad greens, kale, spinach, and herbs, and, if you're lucky, a large bouquet of rhubarb fresh from the garden.

There are scones and cookies, perhaps a pie, along with handmade jams like the intriguing and tasty garlic and onion.

But best of all are the round loaves of crusty bread baked in a brick oven: a plain boule, a sweet variety, and an amazing herb loaf.

Don't miss this cornucopia of delights. I'm betting the ghosts of the town wish they could still enjoy these earthly pleasures.

Virginia City Artisans and Growers Guild Farmers Market
Log Schoolhouse at end of town, across from Opera House
May 23 - September 5
2nd & 4th Saturday, 11 am - 5 pm