When I arrived in Stanford, population about 500, I was overwhelmed by the power of a market to draw together a community. It was party time!
Toe-tapping country music filled the air from across the street at the barber shop. "We plan to have live entertainment," I was told, but this certainly was filling the gap. The small grassy area marked for the market was filled with about 10 vendors doing brisk business. Or if not actually selling anything, the vendors were at least busy having fun with everyone who was not a vendor. Kids played, women chatted, men laughed.
I got a photo of the charming Hutterite women who make the most amazing cinnamon rolls. I don't think I am stretching it too far to say it might be worth a trip to Stanford just to taste those rolls.
According to the day's market manager, Alverta, the two-year-old market has really pepped up the town. "Our town was totally dead until we started this [farmers market]," she said. "[It] has added some spunk and fire to our little town."
Even a stranger can tell there's something special going on.
It was more subdued at Lewistown, but the pride of entrepreneurship was just as evident. The gals pictured here were showing off their embroidered aprons, made by another vendor from Roundup.
These two women also make jams and jellies from handpicked local berries: the usual raspberries, strawberries, and huckleberries, but also wild chokecherries (Lewistown is officially the chokecherry capital of Montana), juneberries (aka serviceberries), and buffaloberries.
At another booth, Hutterites sell pies and turnovers made with these unusual berries. So if you want a taste, this would be the place to come.
Lewistown Farmers Market
July 11 - September 26
Saturday, 8 am - noon
Stanford Farmers Market
June 20 - September 26
every other week: June 20; July 11 & 25; Aug. 15 & 29; Sept. 12 & 26
Saturday, 9 am - 1 pm