Friday, September 12, 2014

Red Lodge farmers market: a cold wind blows

The pumpkins at today's farmers market in Red Lodge had loads of personality -- all ready for Halloween.

A cold wind blew around tomatoes, peppers, bread, and soap, but that didn't discourage shoppers, who crowded around their favorite vendors, eager to take home the bounty. The remains of an early snow lingered and everyone had to bundle up, but it was still a fine day for a market.

Colorful heirloom tomatoes from Wholesome Foods farm made a pretty picture.

Piles of peppers from Carbon County Growers in Bridger shone in the sun. You can freeze small peppers as is, or seed and chop up the bigger peppers, and put them all in the freezer to spice up winter meals.

A long line formed almost immediately after the opening cowbell for Hope's homemade baked goods. Difficult decisions had to be made about whether to take a brownie brimming with frosting, or a crisp baguette, or a cinnamon roll the size of your head. Or maybe one of each . . .

There was corn.

And honey.

And amazing tamales made fresh by Rosa.

Kenny's Double D Salsa, including the delectable mango and pineapple version, lived up to its tagline, "Dangerous & Delicious." Kenny said he's had people return within a few minutes to buy more because they ate it right out of the container in their car. Kenny makes 1500-1600 pints each month to sell at stores in Billings and Red Lodge and another 225 pints each week to supply fans at the farmers markets in those towns.

Debra, of La Naturals, was selling soap and other natural skin care products. I was attracted by her unusual combination of honey and dandelion, among others. She was eager to share her knowledge of natural products, explaining that she sources locally whenever possible, using honey and beeswax from Sunshine Apiary in Columbus, goat milk from a farm in Fromberg, and violets from a neighbor's garden. I learned a lot from her about taking care of my skin with nature's ingredients.

It's getting toward the end of farmers market season here in eastern Montana, with 2 market days left in Red Lodge. And while there may already be snow on the ground, don't let that discourage you from picking up some fresh produce and other necessities. The vendors offer an abundance of goods, and they are always happy to see you.

This time of year it's an especially pretty drive south to Red Lodge, with snowy mountains to frame the view. Take some time to enjoy it.

Red Lodge Farmers Market
Lions Park, between E. 7th & E 8th on N. Villard
Friday, 3:30 pm - 6:30 pm
June 27 - September 26


  1. It sounds like it was worth being a little chilly - what a great market. I loved the beautiful soaps. And I love Red Lodge!

  2. The drive alone was worth it. A woman who grew up in Fishtail, near Absarokee, once told me that driving south along Highway 78 was "like going to church." Amen.