Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wibaux market

Here (above) is the Wibaux farmers market a few minutes before opening at 11 am. Verna takes a stand.

Here (below) is the market a few minutes after 11 am. Larry has arrived with his corn.

There was a whole lot more action right after I took this photo, as if a wave of mental telepathy spread out over the town announcing Larry had corn in the trunk of his car. He didn't even have time to unload it. Within 10 minutes every ear was gone, and more people arrived to ask for some. At $2/dozen, it wasn't only the price. People murmured about how delicious his corn is. After he ran out, and at his suggestion, two women followed Larry home so he could pick some for them.

Before he left, Larry showed me how lovely the kernels look, and insisted on showing me his driver's license when I didn't believe he was 91 years old. Farming must keep you young!

I arrived early, having been told it would be a small market but that folks would be setting up around 10 am. So I was there as Verna pulled up in her sedan, set up her TV tray, and laid out her wares. This was her first market and she thought she'd give it a try.

Apart from corn, homemade sauerkraut, pickles, crabapple/ chokecherry syrup, and an assortment of vegetables were for sale this morning. I bought a lemon cucumber that lives up to its name in looks (though the taste was pure cucumber) and two bouquets of flourishing dill -- for a total of 50 cents. Verna considers the market a hobby of sorts since she'll be giving away any leftovers to her children and grandchildren.

Normally there are about 4 vendors at the market, but we decided that everyone must be at the county fair today. I was sorry to miss the baked goods that are often sold other weeks, but I enjoyed talking to Verna and Larry and the many customers who streamed past.

Wibaux (WEE-bo) has a population of about 300 and is located near the North Dakota border. Many Polish people live here, and they are proud of their annual Fourth of July Ski Festival, which honors everyone whose name ends in "ski."

The unique St. Peter's Catholic Church, built in 1895, is a wood-frame structure covered in lava rocks. Another landmark (in my opinion) is the Pony Espresso, whose owner Darlene was told no one would buy fancy lattes in this ranching community. During the first year she was selling as many as 60 cups a day and is still going strong.

St. Peter's Catholic Church

Pony Espresso

Wibaux main street

Back in Glendive, I stopped at the Frontier Gateway Museum, which contains a collection of memorabilia donated by local citizens.

The outside of the building is covered with a mural designed and painted by local high school students, whose teacher also led other classes to create murals elsewhere in town. I was fascinated by many of the items, an eclectic collection indeed, which included things like spats, a mounted white deer, suits of medieval armor, women's hats from the 40s and 50s, photographs, and shells from which pearl buttons had been made.

You might guess that there was also a dinosaur exhibit! One case was helpfully painted with lines depicting eras, with the shelves of items lined up at the right spot.

My suggestion is that when you visit a farmers market, make sure to check around to see if there are any other points of interest in the area. If you plan it right -- and sometimes you can even do this spontaneously -- you can spend a whole day or weekend enjoying the community that supports the market.

Wibaux Farmers Market
In front of the Beaver Creek Brewery
July 2 - September 24
Thursday, 11 am - 1 pm


  1. I just love saying WEE-bo.

  2. There is a farm tractor collection in town across the street from the Wibaux Musuem

  3. Cool! Next time I'm there, I'll check it out. Thanks for letting us know.