Saturday, August 31, 2013

On the market...


Home Grown
After arriving in Lewistown late Friday, my
first thought is always FARMER'S MARKET!
Locals set up their booths every Saturday all
summer long in a park a few blocks away
from our condo. It's odd that I'm so excited
given I'm at the Union Square Farmer's
Market every weekend in Manhattan. Both
are unique in their own ways but the folks
here in Montana (left) would sell a lot more
if they took some tips from the city slickers!
Believe it or not, most people want to eat
healthier. For whatever reason it seems
that most Montanans have not embraced
the concept of anything organic. Well...
at least not the Hutterites (shown left)
who grow most of the vegetables. We used
to have an organic food coop. However mismanagement and apathy caused it
to slowly fail and then finally close. Somebody local needs to figure this out.

The most popular item at Union Square are
the cut flowers. Who can resist carrying home
a bouquet or bunch? You can't stroll past a
booth and not be tempted. Right now the
Dahlias are simply beautiful. The biggest
issue in Montana is our very short growing
season. Seems that most of our Lewistown
farmers prefer veggies over posies. I suggest
they reconsider... not only are flowers prettier,
they seem to fetch high prices!

The hottest culinary phenomena in Manhattan
is exotic animal protein. In Montana we're surrounded by tasty cattle. Meanwhile every home freezer is filled with venison, elk, antelope, pheasant, grouse, and more. Yet why is a market in Manhattan the only place I can buy fresh rabbit?! Can't Lewistown leverage our big bucks for big bucks? Hilger Meats (owners shown left) should set up a booth and sell pork jerky. Yes...
I said PORK jerky and trust me... it's delicious!

My personal favorite is cruising the plethora
of farm stands that bring the most amazing cheeses to Union Square every weekend. Every single one seems tastier than the one before. Not only beautiful to look at, they are amazing to consume. What about Lewistown?! We've certainly got cows, goats, and even Lhamas. So why can't someone local milk the opportunity and mold this into a chance to build a new cash cow? Get moooooooving!

In the end, the most popular booths at Union Square give out free samples. You can walk through the market and devour a meal bite by bite, booth by booth. While I have no desire to dig into a common bowl, it's obvious that hundreds are willing. One thing is certain, samples drive sales! Come on Lewistown, give, give, give! If only Mrs. "N" (left) would open up a jar of her Chokecherry jam, her apron pockets would overflow with cash!