A vibrant gathering of local artisans, handcrafted goods and stories that bring Big Sky to life
By Finley Timon EDITORIAL INTERN
On Wednesday nights, Town Center comes alive during the Big Sky Farmers Market. The market creates a sense of community and gives local business owners the space to showcase their products and tell their story.
In its 15th summer, the farmers market continues to bring energy, food, art and music to the heart of Big Sky. As locals and visitors walk through the tents and trailers, it is the stories vendors share that make Wednesdays so popular. The Big Sky Farmers Market showcases an impressive collection of handcrafted goods and local artwork. Talented artisans and craftsmen from the community—and some from far beyond—display their creations, from hand-woven textiles and intricate woodwork to hand-poured candles and jewelry.
This marketplace not only supports local artists and entrepreneurs but also allows visitors to take home a piece of Big Sky’s artistic heritage. Whether it’s a one-of-a-kind gift or a memento of a vacation in town, everyone is sure to find something that displays the rich culture of Big Sky.
And, of course, the food.
Brian Leap, better known as “the pickle guy,” uses his mother’s recipe to produce Plate and Pantry’s infamous sweet garlic pickle. Plate and Pantry has been selling at the farmers market for seven summers, now selling barbecue sauces that use their pickle brine as the base. What sets the Big Sky Farmers Market apart is the impact it has on vendors like the pickle guy.
“We really, really appreciate the farmers market crowd because that really is what brings life to our product and word of mouth and it’s been great, great for our business,” Leap said.
Not only does incredible mountain scenery surround the farmers market, but in the foreground of that picture is the beautifully grown floral arrangements of Kokoro Farm. Meara Cassidy runs the Kokoro Farm tent where ranunculus and kohlrabi fill the crates of florals and produce. For eight summers, family after family have walked away from the farmers market with a nicely wrapped Kokoro Farm bouquet. In a climate like Big Sky’s, Cassidy explained that farming is not for the faint of heart.
“It is a cold climate and it’s harsh, so it’s nice to bring produce and meet locals who are here all season and are here all year and get to really enjoy our tiny, tiny [growing] season,” Cassidy said.
The Kokoro Farm tent shares flowers and produce from their Belgrade farm with locals and tourists. No matter how long a vendor has been selling in Big Sky, the impact of these Wednesday nights are unique.
“It’s a wonderful outlet for meeting folks,” Cassidy said. “Locals, international folks, people who are here just in the summers. It’s a great mix and we enjoy our customers.”
No matter how old a vendor is, their booth may be just as busy. Going on her second year selling at the farmers market, 10-year-old Remy sells her homemade hand cream. Her hand cream is made of beeswax, olive oil, coconut oil and some lavender essential oil.
“I love doing the farmer’s market here because my grandparents live here, so I’m just visiting them in the summer, from Detroit. So I love doing something fun while I’m here,” Remy said. Her grandparents helped her make bath bombs last year and are helping this year with her new hand cream.
Every vendor’s origin story is different and Rachel Ward with Treasure State Treats made the most out of at-home baking during the pandemic. Rachel said her love for dogs and baking sparked her business idea, bringing her dog treats to the farmers market.
“I lived in Big Sky a long time before moving to Ennis, so it’s kind of home to me,” Ward said. She loves to bring her dogs to the farmers market. She added how Wednesday nights are,”such an animal-friendly-oriented community, so it’s great to kind of give back to that.”
Hey Bear, a clothing retail business based in Town Center, doesn’t have to travel far to get to their farmers market spot. But the word gets out fast once their trailer is lined up among the vendors.
Hey Bear is owned by Outlaw Partners, the publisher of Explore Big Sky.
Brand Manager Conner Clemens spoke about what the farmers market means for Hey Bear:
“The people around here are always really interested in what we’re doing. It’s mostly for us getting the word out and since there are a lot of tourists during the summer, it’s nice that we can talk to people from all over the country or the world really,” Clemens said.
“The Big Sky Farmers Market is awesome,” she added.
Clemens explained how Hey Bear’s purpose is to promote bear awareness and bear safety. The audience at the farmers market is perfect to get the word out about their cause.
As the sun sets on another vibrant farmers market night, the essence of this cherished event stirs in the air. It is more than just a gathering of tents and trailers—it is a celebration of community, artistry and the human spirit. Through handcrafted goods, local artwork and the tales of dedicated vendors, the market weaves a tapestry that reflects the culture of Big Sky. Each vendor’s story adds a unique brushstroke to the vibrant canvas of this cherished event.
Locals and tourists alike meander through the bustling marketplace. They not only take home cherished mementos but also carry with them the memories of the people who brought those creations to life. The Big Sky Farmers Market is a testament to the power of human connection, a place where stories come alive and a community thrives.