A quirk of the weather (thanks, Climate Weirdness!), and hungry migrating birds can clean out a crop in a matter of hours! Help a friend: …
Support your local winter market! Yes, winter market! So often we think of farmers markets as a summer thing. After all, summer is the growing season. Here in Montana we’re not ready to give up on markets when the snow starts to fly.
The Bozeman Winter Farmers Market runs from the end of September to the end of April, and you can get your “fresh local food fix” every two weeks through the season. While you’re not going to find tomatoes and cucumbers on offer, you will find a wonderful array of products from 30 plus vendors.
Modern supermarkets are as sterile as hospitals, the produce is mostly hard as tennis balls and practically odorless and tasteless, and the staff is less than helpful when you have a question. They have very little connection to the food they put on the shelves. In contrast, the farmers you meet at your local farmers market are directly connected to the food they raise and the land on which it is grown.
As cities grew, more and more people left the farms, and the food had to be brought to them. In the century since Seattle’s Pike Place Market was opened, a lot has changed and we have become distanced from our food and the people who produce it. It is today’s farmers market that is reconnecting American consumers to the land and to their food.
An old-fashioned county fair gathered farmers, their families, and hundreds of “city folk” to meet and connect over good food. Barns full of prize-winning livestock; exhibits of garden produce, baked goods and preserves; and lots of music and excitement helped build a sense of community. Seattle Tilth’s annual Harvest Fair is an urban version, but all of the components are there!