You rarely read a bad word here about a farmers market. I get so excited to be at one, I can hardly see anything wrong with it.
But every once in a while I find one that is really outstanding, even better than the other great Montana markets.
That was the case with the Huntley farmers market today.
For one thing, look at the photo above: this family provided homemade cookies and refreshing lemonade (pink and "regular") and seved it with big smiles. Aren't those smiles alone worth a million bucks?
It was a hot afternoon, so I also sampled the ice tea from another vendor, who was raising money for a school trip to Washington, D.C. Her brother was "just helping out," but he couldn't help smiling as if he were going on the trip, too.
I didn't ask, but I wonder if this is why there were so many vegetables at this small market, with its 20 vendors today. I especially liked the heirloom varieties, which you often see at farmers markets. These are lemon cucumbers (left) and Boothby's Blonde cucumbers. Very tasty.
I chatted with David for a bit, who proudly described the care he puts into creating sturdy and decorative boxes and who also has time to grown onions. He said he likes to garden but has decided that onions are fairly easy to grow and popular with customers, so he specializes in them.
At the next table was Dave, who has a passion for jerky. If you eat his, you will, too. After sampling and learning about all the work that goes into producing the jerky, I had to buy some. It takes 2 to 2 1/2 pounds of meat (the leaner the better; Dave uses London broil) to produce 1 pound of jerky. Plus, you have to keep the meat from drying out too much and being too salty. Dave's is moist yet chewy. Dave says it's a hobby for him, that he loves selling his jerky at the market "to see people smile."
Huntley Farmers Market
Barkemeyer Park, Northern Ave.
July - September