Saturday, June 27, 2009

Boulder, Helena, Townsend markets

Today I drove a 400-mile loop to visit 3 farmers markets. Whew!

Townsend market

I began at the Townsend Artisan and Garden Market, in its second year. Although you really don't expect much produce this time of year, there wasn't any at all in Townsend. More should show up later in the season, but meanwhile two artisans displayed their wares, hoping for good sales from the passing traffic on Highway 287. I was told that local organizations are being urged (so far unsuccessfully) to sell baked goods as fund-raisers. So if Townsend is a small market right now, it certainly has big dreams.

Helena farmers market

It was a big contrast to see Helena's market, which covers a large space between two small parks. Here are some pictorial highlights.

early season produce piled high

products like this local honey were in abundance

even pets could find a treat or two

plenty of foot-tapping entertainment

cute crafts

and lots of pretty girls -- these from the Queen City Ballet school

Then on to Boulder, about 30 miles south of Helena.

nicely packaged produce at the Boulder market

It was a windy day in Boulder, and I had just missed some vendors who left early. But two stalwart women remained, one selling homemade mixes, bread, and strawberry jam made with stevia, and the other with lettuce and jars of exquisite raspberry jam.

It was a long drive but well worth it to meet the people who help put food on Montana's tables.

Boulder Farmers Market
Boulder City Park, on Highway 89
June 6 - September 5
Saturday, 9:30 am - 1 pm

Helena Farmers Market
Fuller Avenue and Neill Avenue
April 25- November 7
Saturday, 9 am - 1 pm

Townsend Artisan and Garden Market
Highway 287, across from the Mustang Motel
June - September
Saturday, 9 am - 1 pm (depending on the weather)

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