When the locavore movement started to catch on in the early 2000s, Montanans seemed left out. The movement to buy locally grown food products – to cut down on carbon emissions needed to bring fresh food to us by truck, rail or plane – didn’t seem to work well with our state’s limited range of field crops.

But what a difference a few years can make.

For the last 10 years, locals have had the option to buy fresh produce year-round through the Bozeman Winter Farmers Market, offered two weekends a month in the Emerson Ballroom. There local growers offer greenhouse-grown produce through the winter months into May. Information on the market can be found at bozemanwintermarket.com. And it’s not just for produce. Baked goods and meats can also be found there, as well.

Of course the selection is even more plentiful in the warmer months. The Bogert Farmers Market has been open Tuesdays from 5 to 8 p.m., into late September at Lindley Park. Follow this market’s schedule of events for next year at https://bogertfarmersmarket.org/. And the Gallatin Valley Farmers Market has been in business since 1971. It has been offering locally grown food Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon in the Haynes Pavilion at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds through the warm months. Learn more at https://www.gallatinvalleyfarmersmarket.com/.

Both of those farmers markets offer a variety of locally grown produce and prepared foods and crafts.

And for more than a dozen years now, Montana State University has been growing produce through its Towne’s Harvest Garden. Students grow the vegetables and sell subscriptions to community members. The food is delivered to subscribers as it is harvested. More can be found about this program at http://townesharvest.montana.edu/.

Of course opportunities to buy locally grown eggs, beef, lamb, poultry and pork directly from local producers are too numerous to list. Many of the options can be found at https://www.localharvest.org/bozeman-mt/beef.

The proliferation of these options to buy locally grown food have greatly expanded consumer’s ability to shrink their carbon footprint. And not just in their own kitchens. Local growers supply stores and restaurants where those options are labeled for customers.

If you haven’t tried the locavore lifestyle yet, consider giving it a try and improve your diet and the environment at the same time.

Editorial Board

  • Mark Dobie, publisher
  • Nick Ehli, managing editor
  • Bill Wilke, opinion page editor
  • Don Beeman, community member
  • Richard Broome, community member
  • Renee Gavin, community member
  • Sarabeth Rees, community member
  • David Swingle, community member

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