Saturday, September 12, 2009

last 3 markets

I'm finished! Well, almost . . . There are 2 more markets I'd like to get to if it isn't too late in the season, but today pretty much wraps up my long journey to visit every farmers market in Montana.

Plains Paradise market

Plains and Paradise are two different towns, but each are pretty small: Plains -- originally called Wild Horse -- with a population of about 1200, and Paradise with a population of about 200.  So when they can, they combine events, including the farmers market.

This is a small market, and of course even smaller at the end of the growing season. There were a few vegetables and a couple of crafts.

So it wasn't a very exciting market today, but of course I'm glad I was there. Yesterday I passed through Plains and ate a delicious buffalo hot dog at a roadside stand. I was joined by Ned (from Virginia) and Dudley (from Ohio), two brothers who might have been the proprietors of the Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast. They were studying geology as they traveled through Montana, and were amusing lunch companions.

Thompson Falls market

Katrina Wright started this market two years ago and was the very first market manager to request her market be listed on Yummy Northwest. (Before that, I was gathering information the best I could.) She is highly thought of among the vendors, many of whom told me Katrina goes beyond the call of duty to make sure the market is advertised and running smoothly.

I would have liked to meet her, so it was unfortunate for me that Katrina was in Colorado this weekend, happily planning her wedding. But at least I got to finally visit the market!

I was told there is usually music, which would have made the morning even more pleasant, cool and shady as it was.

I enjoyed chatting with some Friends of the Library, who were selling cookbooks and hosting a storyteller who was busy making balloon animals. Scones, jellies, handmade items, and plenty of produce were available. One vendor had a clever sales gimmick: her corn was 25 cents each. That comes to $3/dozen, which is an average price across the state, but who could resist getting anything for a quarter!

I wasn't able to get any photos, but right before you enter Thompson Falls from the east, you drive through an area where bighorn sheep cross the road. There is a bighorn sheep viewing area right next to the highway that describes their habitat. I saw 3 in the road, but a friend of mine said she'd once counted 50 on her journey. Any way you count them, it is exciting.

Noxon market

The drive from Thompson Falls to Noxon is one of the most beautiful in the state. There is something about the trees here that makes your heart soar with delight. The town is 15 miles east of the Idaho border, and it would be well worth going on to the resort town of Sandpoint just to see more of this road.

Noxon has about 250 people. This year the farmers market is a few miles out of town, on the highway, at a thrift store that normally sees a lot of weekend business. There are usually about 5 vendors, but today -- alas! -- there were only two filled tables: vegetables by a stalwart gardener and a bake sale for the local Catholic church.

Still, I felt elated to have arrived -- my last market! I celebrated by buying some pastries.

Noxon Farm and Craft Market
Highway 200, past Noxon turnoff 
June - October
Saturday, 10 am - 2 pm

Plains Paradise Farmers Market
Wild Horse Elementary School
June 13 - end of September
Saturday, 9 am - noon

Thompson Falls Market
West lot of the Falls Motel
June 27 - September 26
Saturday, 9 am - 1 pm

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