Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hamilton, Missoula (Clark Fork River), Stevensville markets

From our home base in Stevensville, first thing in the morning my friend Kimberlee drove us to the Clark Fork River market in Missoula.

There are in fact two thriving markets in Missoula on Saturday morning. This is a unique situation -- no other town in Montana has such abundance -- and it will be interesting to find out why. More later . . .

There was a lot to see at the Clark Fork River market, including an artist painting on the spot, knitted items made from dog's hair, and amazing jewelry. But of course I zeroed in on the baked goods. But first . . . some obligatory vegetables . . .

the vendors make vegetables look very inviting

but try the cinnamon animal crackers, too

left: lemon yogurt, with lemon curd, buttercream frosting,
and edible pearls; right: white corn, with maple cream cheese
frosting and bacon

even some gluten-free treats

Kimberlee had to get ready for a salsa dancing party in the evening (she teaches dancing and was hoping to sweep some fellow dancers off their feet), so I drove on to the Stevensville and Hamilton markets alone.

But not really alone. At every market it is possible to meet all kinds of people and their wares. At the Stevensville market it was the man selling cherries (shown) and the woman selling nut-studded brownies (not shown because I ate mine too quickly).

Stevensville had less than 10 vendors. Hamilton had booths strung along 2 blocks and spilling onto a side street. Plus, this week Tom and the Tomatoes entertained the crowd at the Hamilton market.

Will it surprise you that my favorite find at Hamilton was an icing made from rhubarb?

It was real tasty on homemade yellow cake decorated with sweetpea blossoms.

Flathead cherries also made an appearance.

These grow around Flathead Lake near Glacier Park and -- at least throughout Montana -- are justly considered the best-tasting cherries anywhere. Enough cherries are grown in Montana to feed the entire population of the state (all 914,000 of us), so we are proud indeed.

And last but, er, not least, were the worms sold by an enterprising farmer who was one of the original market vendors. In 1992 the Ravalli County Museum invited 6 or 7 farmers to set up card tables in front of the museum, and the Hamilton farmers market was born.

Clark Fork River Market
East side of the Higgins Street Bridge
May 2 - October 17
Saturday, 8 am - 1 pm

Hamilton Farmers Market Co-op
Bedford Street, 2 blocks south of Main Street
May 2 - October 3
Saturday, 9 am - 12:30 pm

Harvest Valley Farmers Market
Third and Main Street
May 9 - October 10
Saturday, 9 am - 1 pm

1 comment:

  1. I've been waiting to hear about someone making knitted dog hair items. Love it!