The bounty of the Big Sky offers more than just wild huckleberries and foraging along the trail as you hike through wilderness areas. It also extends to local farmers and ranchers who work the land to produce some of the freshest meat and produce you can find. Fortunately, they—along with artists, craftspeople and designers—bring their harvest and handmade goods to share at local farmers markets around the state. Visiting local farmers markets during your travels is a great way to support the local community and get to know the place you’re visiting. Here are a few of the best to peruse when your travels take you to Montana.
The Gallatin Valley Farmers Marketbrings an extra dose of freshness and community spirit to Bozeman. After 50 years in operation, this market knows what it’s doing. As a program of Career Transitions, Inc., a local non-profit, the market connects to the mission of serving the community with workforce development, education and training. Come visit on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon at the Haynes Pavilion in the Gallatin County Fairgrounds between June and September.
Bozeman enjoys two markets, and the Bozeman Farmers Market operates on Tuesdays from mid June to the beginning of September, from 5 to 8 p.m., in Lindley Park. Bozeman's only zero-waste event, they also donate a portion of proceeds towards improvements and upkeep of city parks. Visiting during winter? Check the schedule for the Bozeman Winter Market as we get closer to colder temperatures for a cozy, indoor shopping experience.
Every Wednesday from 4:30 to 7 p.m., June through mid September, the Western Sustainability Exchange puts on the Livingston Farmers Market in Miles Band Shell Park. The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program offers vouchers for area seniors, helping them eat healthy from local farmers and ranchers.
Photo by Andrea Getts
From the end of May to the end of September, visit the Whitefish Farmers Market from 5 to 7:30 p.m., with a bonus harvest market in October. The food truck scene here is one to get excited about, so be sure to come hungry and taste your way through the row of mobile eateries.
The Bigfork Farmers Market cooperative runs as a not-for-profit, featuring goods from local growers and products from artisans. You’ll find stands set up near the Liquor Barn (just north of town) every Wednesday from mid-May to mid-October, 3 to 6 p.m. You can also enjoy weekly live music and food truck goodness.
Kalispell gets the market going on summer Saturday mornings, showing off local greens and other treats from the garden, alongside those made-in-Montana products that make great gifts and keepsakes. Come down from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and look for the big red barn off Highway 2. Keep in mind that this market is not pet friendly, so leave four-legged friends (or your pet chicken) at home. This market runs from May 1 to October 9 to incorporate all the early season and harvest flavors.
The small but mighty Columbia Falls farmers market makes a great stop in the gateway to Glacier. Line up at local favorite food trucks and enjoy the small-town feeling here, Thursday evenings after 5 p.m. in the summer. This one is billed for the locals, but visitors are sure to love it too.
When you’re ready to fill your visit to Montana with fresh produce and local products at one of the region’s top farmers markets, start your stay at a sustainably minded Highline Adventures property. Book now to start the adventure.