Bozeman farmers markets kick off summer season

By Katie Thomas Explore Big Sky Contributor

BOZEMAN – In spite of what feels like nine months of ice in the Gallatin Valley, we have a pretty glorious summer. Along with it comes a fruitful growing season, the results of which can largely be found at our local farmers markets.

The area markets with the deepest roots are the Bogert Farmers Market, held Tuesdays at Bogert Park, and the Gallatin Valley Farmers Market on Saturdays at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds’ Haynes Pavilion.

For anyone who appreciates knowing the stories behind their food, these markets are the places to be. The Bogert market, which runs through Sept. 24, has approximately 100 vendors under the pavilion, offering locally grown fruits and vegetables, organic meat, baked goods, eggs, honey, cheese, crafts, art and more.

Such Bozeman-bred delights as heirloom tomatoes from Three Fiddle Farms and artisan baguettes baked at On The Rise are available, as are several dinner options for those wishing to purchase prepared food and spend some time in the park. The Bogert Farmer’s Market is known for being a family-friendly affair that provides local and fresh foods, while homegrown musicians supply live background music.

The Gallatin Valley market, running through Sept. 14, also offers produce, organic meats, baked goods, jewelry and crafts. There are more vendors at this market – about 250 in all – and the variety of wares such as houseplants, flowers and herbs makes the trip well worth it. Here’s a tip for Gallatin Valley market-goers: No trip to this farmers market is complete without stopping at the crepe stand.

Both markets were established in the early ‘70s by groups of people seeking to promote fresh food options, while supporting the community and local artisans.

The Bogert market is a fundraiser for the nonprofit Friends of Bogert Park, which commits the market’s revenue to the preservation and improvement of Bogert Park, while Career Transitions, Inc. operates the Gallatin Valley market. Also a nonprofit community-based organization, Career Transitions puts its vendor fees directly toward adult literacy and training services for the Gallatin Valley and surrounding areas.

In decades past, the phrase “farmers market” may have conjured up images of vegetables, but not much else. Over the years, however, our local farmers markets have expanded to include pet supplies, garden starters, pottery, and other specialty items.

Of utmost significance to many shoppers is supporting the production and sale of food close to home. There’s been a surge in understanding consumerism in recent years, with more people taking the time and money to give themselves and their families a more sustainable diet. We all know broccoli is healthier than Cheetos, but we’re learning it’s even healthier when pulled from the ground in Three Forks 14 hours ago, as opposed to 24 days ago in San Jose, California.

A new feature of this year’s Bogert Farmers Market is the presence of Gone Green Curbside Recycling, which is providing a free drop-off location for brown 12-ounce beer bottles during market hours. And as occurs each year, there are family activities in the park as well as music in the band shell at 7 p.m.

The Bogert Farmers Market is held Tuesdays from 5-8 p.m., and the Gallatin County Fairgrounds Farmers Market runs Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

For more information about the markets’ activities, vendors and directions, visit bogertfarmersmarket.org and gallatinvalleyfarmersmarket.com.

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Local farmers markets

Bozeman

Bogert Farmers Market: Tuesdays, 5-8 p.m. until Sept. 24

Gallatin County Fairgrounds Farmers Market: Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. until Sept. 14

Big Sky

Big Sky Farmers Market: Wednesdays, 5-8 p.m., from July 10-Sept. 4, excluding July 31 (Big Sky PBR).