As a newly arrived resident in Laurel, Montana, I am still discovering the “best” places to buy many things – including fresh produce. Local farm stands were quite common around my northeastern USA home, but I have found fresh produce to be difficult to find here in the high plains of central Montana. Produce offerings at local supermarkets seem poor in my opinion, while prices at health food stores are beyond my budget.
I recently saw a sign here in Laurel for the Laurel Downtown Farmer’s Market. I was immediately interested but needed to track down some more information. The Laurel Downtown Farmer’s Market is held each Wednesday afternoon during the summer months and starts at 4 p.m. The market is an open-air affair with offerings from local merchants that include farm produce, baked goods, handcrafts, jewelry, and other assorted flea market-type items.
The Laurel Downtown Farmer’s Market is held at the Laurel Town Square. This may sound simple enough, but the location can be a challenge for someone who is not a Laurel native. The Laurel Town Square is located in the 100 block of First Ave between East Main Street and East 1st Street in the heart of downtown Laurel. The Town Square is a park that is nestled between commercial buildings in the middle of the block and is across the street from Yellowstone Bank.
I was happy to find a farmer’s market in Laurel to purchase some fresh produce. We were quite pleased with the prices at the vendor from whom we purchased zucchini and cucumbers. I have come to enjoy the transaction of purchasing produce directly from the grower. Somehow this makes me feel more connected to the food chain. We do have a small garden behind our house, but we do not have space to grow all of our own produce. Purchasing produce at a local farmer’s market is the next best thing to growing it at home in our minds.
I have only two disappointments with the Laurel Downtown Farmer’s Market. The first concern is that the location is rather difficult to find unless you are already familiar with the site. It is somewhat hidden and many people could spend all summer in Laurel without ever seeing the event in progress. Parking is also non-existent at the site so market-goers will need to park and walk. My other disappointment was that I only spotted one produce grower – the other booths were all for various handcrafts and other items. While I was certainly appreciative to find one produce grower, the name of the event would leave one to believe that it was a farmer’s market as opposed to an open-air bazaar with an occasional local produce grower. Nonetheless, I enjoyed my trip to the Laurel Downtown Farmer’s Market and will certainly return next week to purchase more fresh produce from a local produce grower.