Saturday, August 7, 2010

Blustery day in Big Timber

The rain fell is big squirts this morning but that didn't stop vendors and customers from enjoying the farmers market.

There were lots of treats, beginning with background music by Hannah. She told me she's been playing for "three or four years." I haven't heard a piano at any other market, so this is a good reason to come here to listen for yourself.

Another rare sighting at farmers markets was of maple bars. When I got home, I hurriedly bit into one. I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur of these delectable doughnuts, and these were . . . superb! In fact, best I've eaten simply because they are homemade: chewy, doughy, and not overly sweet. Oh, yes, and there were other baked goods as well.

Ninety-year-old Tom was at the market, too, with a nice selection of his produce grown in the community garden. Tom's section of the garden seems to expand over the course of the season; he can't stop hoeing and watering! Any leftovers of his market produce go to the local food bank, where it is welcomed with open arms.

The First Congregational Church decided to come to the market this year with organic free trade coffee and tea. They sell these items as a fund-raiser all year. Christy Mosness, who manned, or rather, womanned, the booth today explained that anything organic just seemed to belong at the farmers market. Next week she said they will try selling hot cups of coffee as samples and provide chairs so people can sit down and enjoy all the baked goods as well right on the spot.

You can see a lot of smiles in the photos I took today. It was a very happy atmosphere. Vendors told me they attributed that to Austin Alexander, who is managing the market for the first time this year as part of an internship for a college course. She isn't sure she'll be able to return for the 2011 season, but the vendors I talked to hope she does. It's a small market, with an average of 10 vendors, but the role of the manager is huge.

In the photo, Austin is on the left, holding a loaf of Abby's (on right) popular zucchini bread. Abby has been bringing homegrown produce and her family's lamb meat to the market since she was 13. She's off to college this year, so who knows what the future will bring, but eager customers -- while wishing her all success in life -- hope she will return to market with her fine products.

Big Timber Farmers Market
Grand Hotel parking lot, at Anderson and Second
July 10 - September 11
Saturday, 9 am - noon

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