Lindley Park

Lindley Park has been chosen as the new venue for the Bogert Farmer’s Market.

Bogert Farmer’s Market vendors will have a new spot and fewer weeks to sell their goods this summer. The change has some sellers nervous.

The longstanding market was displaced after the city of Bozeman’s Bogert Pavilion partially collapsed in March. As the city figures out what to do next, the pavilion remains fenced off with the pieces that crumbled still on the ground.

The market’s tables of artwork, baked goods, food trucks and vegetables will set up at Lindley Park from June 18 through Sept. 10. That’s a month shorter than previous years with two weeks shaved off on either side.

The market will hold onto its typical time, Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Market Director Salal Huber-McGee said the 100-vendor market was limited to 80 businesses this year to adjust to the improvised spot. Those who didn’t make the market are on a waitlist. Huber-McGee said they may find more room once the market sets up for the season.

“We definitely belabored over this and spent a huge amount of time stressing and not sleeping about it,” Huber-McGee said. “A lot of people either compensate their income here or it’s their livelihood. It’s also an incubator for businesses that have ideas they want to try out.”

Matthew Broughton, with 3 Fiddles Farm, said the Bogert market brings in about 70% of his business. He’s sold at Bogert for a decade and the change to a new spot without a roof has him worried.

“Lindley Park is lovely, but knowing the fickleness of the Bozeman shopper, their unwillingness to come out when it’s raining, that’s one of our main concerns,” Broughton said. “We’re hoping the public get informed enough to create the crowd swell. We’re scrambling to make sure we can survive.”

For the first time, 3 Fiddles will also sell at the Saturday market, which Broughton said means he is splitting his attention and entering another unknown.

Leslie Witter, with Root to Rise Gardens, began her farm three years ago. She uses about a quarter acre of land to raise crops with a quick grow time like salad mixings and baby roots vegetables.

Bogert’s later start means she has more greens than she can sell, which she said exacerbates an ongoing issue for farmers.

“We all struggle with spring once the winter markets have ended and after the summer markets close in the fall,” she said. “We could use a more consistent market for our business. The change in Bogert brings that to the forefront.”

Nate Brown, of Amaltheia Organic Dairy, which sells goat cheese and vegetables, said Montana’s late spring makes Bogert’s early end date especially hard.

“It was kind of a struggle for a lot of farmers to get everything in the ground,” he said. “And September is primo vegetable season; it’s when we have everything.”

Brown echoed others’ concern on whether the crowds will follow the market but said vendors may have some more space at Lindley Park. He added the switch is “nerve-wracking, for both us and the market organizers.”

His mom, Sue Brown, said the family business is still living with the uncertainty of the market’s future with a pavilion.

“It was shocking when it came down, but we’re quite frustrated the city isn’t moving faster with trying to make the repairs,” she said. “I thought they would be right on it because it is such a festive activity for the people of Bozeman.”

City of Bozeman spokesperson Melody Mileur said in a statement Thursday the city is “evaluating several options for repair of the pavilion.”

“City commission will make a decision for moving forward later this summer,” Mileur said.

Ona Meyer said she’s happy with the temporary spot but hopes the pavilion is ready by next year.

Meyer has sold her pottery at the market since its beginning. Bogert is where people discovered her work or connected her to other jobs, like the real estate agent who asked her to make Bozeman mugs for their clients.

But Bogert isn’t all about money for her.

“It’s where I get to connect art to community. It’s all about that,” Meyer said. “Wherever we are, we’ve got a strong community that loves the Bogert market. They’re loyal.”

Katheryn Houghton can be reached at khoughton@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2628. Follow her on Twitter @K_Hought.

Katheryn Houghton is the city government and health reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

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