Saturday, February 13, 2010

Winter market

The farmers market season is short in Montana, and any sign of fresh local produce is a welcome one. The Bozeman Winter Farmers Market fills the gap. It all happens in the Emerson Center.

Inside you will find a variety of winter produce (such as potatoes, onions, garlic), along with other interesting and unusual food items. There is Claudia's Salsa made from cilantro and named for different Latino dances. Leckerli, Swedish cookies made from a family recipe, are available from a man who will proudly tell you their story.

And of course: chocolate! Bozeman is lucky to have La Chatelaine Chocolat. Oh, so very lucky! You can visit their shop any time, but at the winter market be sure to enjoy a cup of Parisienne-style hot chocolate (thick) or a luscious brownie (heavenly). They provide samples of their truffles -- although you'll have to get there early to try one.

I was told that greenhouse tomatoes made a rare January appearance, and that in March and April shoppers can expect to find plant starts and early greens. Local farmers are no doubt figuring out ways to supply more variety of fresh produce for next year's market.

In addition to the main hall, another hallway is filled with jewelry and crafts made by very talented local artists. The purpose of the Emerson Center is to encourage these artists, and all year you will find fine art for sale, classes, theatrical events, and even a small cafe.

I cannot stress enough that one true joy of shopping at any farmers market is to meet the producers. Claudia dances as she describes why she enjoys making her salsa. A spinner describes the wool she is working on. Everyone will beam with pride as you approach their tables.

So even if you don't plan to buy anything (but how you could resist the hot chocolate, I can't imagine), do come to look.

Emerson Ballroom, 111 South Grand Avenue
October 17, 2009 - April 24, 2010 (see Web site for dates)
Saturday, 9 am - noon


  1. Thank you, Mary! I agree, the enthusiasm of the local growers makes you want to rush home and put the fruits of their labor onto your dinner table. It is that sense of pride, no matter what time of year, that makes me proud to support local sustainable Montanans.

    See you at the Markets!