The market spills out from the pavilion into the fields beyond. It is a blooming spectacle of fruits, flowers, vegetables, and handicrafts. Soft indie music plays while crowds of Bozemanites wander the market. The sheer amount of products available dazzles the eye, and the fragrant scents of coffee and soap rise up from the booths. The Gallatin Valley Farmers' Market is truly a sight to behold.

During the summer, Bozeman hosts two farmers’ markets each week. The Bogert Farmers’ Market takes place on Tuesday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Lindley Park. Sadly, the Bogert’s season concluded on September 10. However, the second market, the Gallatin Valley Farmers’ Market, is held on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Gallatin Valley Fairgrounds at the Haynes Pavilion. You can make one more shopping trip at this incredible local market before the season concludes on September 14. 

The Gallatin Valley Farmers’ Market began in 1971 and was managed by a group of volunteers until 1996, when Career Transitions, Inc. took over. Career Transitions, Inc. is a private nonprofit that assists Gallatin Valley clients and families with barriers to employment and economic security through education, employment, and training. The fees paid by the vendors at the farmers' market go directly to providing literacy and training services for the Gallatin Valley area.

I spent each and every hot summer weekend this year at the farmers' market. I love cooking, particularly when I have the chance to create my own recipe directly from ingredients I purchase. Fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients from the market are a chef’s dream come true. The Gallatin Valley Farmers’ Market offers a wonderful array of produce, including summer squash, peaches, Asian eggplant, kale, broccoli, and peppers. The low price of most produce from the farmers' market doesn’t hurt either. For a food-loving, broke college student, there’s nothing better than an easily accessible and inexpensive source of ingredients. 

 

I’ve also purchased other fun items at the market. I’ve bought handmade wooden hoop earrings, coffee-scented soap, and goat milk lotion. As for prepared foods, there’s plenty on tap. I bought a beautifully baked strawberry rhubarb pie, brownies, and pour-over coffee from one of the best roasters in Bozeman. 

In addition, the farmers’ market is a safe and fun community space. Meandering around with my friends and sipping coffee while we buy rhubarb jam and farm-fresh eggs is one of the best parts of my week. I also love knowing that the market is helping people in need in the Gallatin Valley. 

While the summer farmers’ market season is coming to an end, Bozeman also hosts a winter farmers' market in the Emerson on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The winter farmers’ market provides seasonal winter produce like onions and spinach as well as prepared foods like granola and kombucha. It also carries the same wide variety of handicrafts with the addition of hats and scarves for the chilly winter weather. It starts up again on September 21, so mark your calendars for fresh, delicious local produce and beautiful homemade goods.