The arrival of May means one thing in Montana. The season of farmers markets is upon us. And this girl is a firm believer in the fact that strolling through a local farmers market is one of the best ways to experience a community’s culture and some of the best of what they have to offer.
Sidetrack time: Last summer I was able to visit a friend in Mexico City. We hit all of the highlights of the city and I loved each and every moment that was spent there. But I’ll never forget the morning we spent at a local market. The smells and the energy, combined with an insightful look at the city’s culture, introduced me to a side of the city that I hope I never forget.
While I may be overly sentimental, I’m holding firm to the belief that local markets are a fantastic way to immerse yourself into a destination’s culture. And the farmers markets that are found throughout Western Montana’s Glacier Country are no exception. Leisurely strolling through a market on a sunny Montana day will give you a pleasant and fresh look at what makes each community so special.
Bigfork Farmers Market
Wednesdays (3 p.m. – 6 p.m.) and Saturdays (9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.) – June to October
Embracing all things local, this market provides products grown or made in Montana, including produce, plants, flowers, baked goodies, jams, jellies and hand-crafted arts and crafts.
Columbia Falls Farmers Market
Thursdays (5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) – mid-June to mid-September at Pinewood Park
This small town market combines live music with a family friendly atmosphere, as well as local arts and crafts, tasty food and produce.
Darby Farmers Market
Tuesdays (12 p.m. – 6 p.m.) – May to October at S. Main Street Park
Soak up small town charm and snag fresh produce, jams, soaps and crafts.
Eureka Farmers Market
Wednesdays (4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.) – May to September at Riverside Park
A hotbed of local talent and goodies, this market features produce, bedding, baked goods and arts and crafts from local Tobacco Valley artists.
Hamilton Farmers Market
Saturdays (9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) – May to October at Bedford, Second and Third streets
With more than 150 vendors all from Ravalli County, this lively market includes fresh organic produce, locally raised beef, alpaca wool, jewelry and locally harvested wood furniture.
Kalispell Farmers Market
Saturdays (9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) – May to October at Flathead Valley Community College
One of the oldest markets in the state, the Kalispell Farmers Market boasts a variety of goodies, including arts and crafts, meat and eggs, native plants, iron works, woven rugs, woodwork, handspun yarns, photograph and fresh produce.
Libby Farmers Market
Thursdays (12 p.m. – 5 p.m.) – May to September at Libby Chamber of Commerce
This market features live music entertainment, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, crafts and baked goods.
Tuesdays (5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.) – July & August; Saturdays (8 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – May to October at North Higgins and under the Higgins Street Bridge
An integral part of summer in Missoula, farmers markets feature fresh local produce, baked goods, organic dairy products, locally brewed coffee, flowers and crafts. An added bonus: The People’s Market is just up the street and is held every Saturday through the summer.
Polson Farmers Market
Fridays (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – mid-May to October
Located at the southern end of Flathead Lake, this market offers fresh farm produce, flowers, wood crafts, jewelry, photography and soap products.
Stevensville Farmers Market
Saturdays (May to October)
Located in the heart of downtown, the Stevensville market features local goods.
Seeley Lake Farmers Market
Sundays (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) – June to September
This outdoor market features locally grown produce, as well as artists and local food vendors.
Thompson Falls Farmers Market
Saturdays (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) – June to September at Rose Garden Park
This community market is known for its locally grown produce, craft items and baked goods, as well as handicrafts created by local area artists that include paintings, leatherwork, pottery and quilts.
West Glacier Farmers Market
Fridays (3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.) – June to Labor Day
This quaint afternoon market showcases local products from farmers and artisans. Bonus: It’s steps away from the west entrance of Glacier National Park.
Whitefish Farmers Market
Tuesdays (5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) – May to September at Central Avenue & Depot Park
One of the liveliest markets in the region, the Whitefish Farmers Market features live music, fresh herbs and spices, food vendors, produce and locally made arts and crafts.
May 3, 2013