Friday, April 10, 2009

Lots of Montana food

Finding food to eat that is produced in Montana really isn't difficult.

For breakfast I can eat Cream of the West hot cereal, sweeten it with honey gathered from hives placed on ranches, which I can buy for about $3 for 8 ounces, and drink either milk from Lifeline Farm in Victor or coffee roasted in a variety of places. My favorite coffee comes from City Brew in Billings. No, the coffee is not grown in Montana, but after all, right now I'm only eating 50 percent locally grown food!

For lunch and dinner, there's locally raised, grass-fed, hormone-free beef, lamb, or pork that comes right off the ranch without going to feedlots to be fattened. And it's really tasty! Indreland Ranch is in Sweet Grass County, along with numerous smaller ranchers -- several run by women.

If I want a sandwich, Wheat Montana supplies bread -- and flour when I want to make my own bread.

Getting fresh locally grown vegetables is easy during the summer, but the growing season is short: in the eastern part of the state it more or less runs from last frost at the end of May to first frost in early September. People who are taking the 50-percent challenge this year are planning to store plenty of root vegetables like potatoes and squash. Those of us who know how to can will be busy in September!

Many people have fruit trees and berry bushes, but these are not generally grown commercially. Cherries are the only fruit that I know about that Montana grows enough of to feed the entire state. The Flathead Lake area in Northwestern Montana is where you'll find these delectable delights. During winter, I'll probably be eating lots of dried cherries from The Orchard at Flathead Lake -- their cherry jam is pretty tasty, too!

For dessert there might be goodies from Martinson's Ranch Chocolates or King's Cupboard.

So potentially there's lots to eat. But will I be tempted to take the easy way out and just buy what's on sale at the local IGA?

Stay tuned . . .

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