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National Farmers Market Week celebrated locally

LAKE COUNTY – Although the time has past for National Farmers Market Week, Aug. 5 to 11, it’s not too late to support local markets across the county.

“We are in the produce season,” said Rosie Goldich, food and agriculture coordinator with the Lake County Community Development Corporation. 

Markets in Arlee, Ronan, St. Ignatius and Polson have vendors with tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, garlic and a plethora of other items. 

Goldich said markets help producers sell directly to consumers, and market goers get to support local producers. She said it’s also a way for community members to come together in a family inclusive space. 

On Thursday, Goldich was at the Ronan Farmers Market and said the children from the Boys and Girls Club of Lake County and the Flathead Indian Reservation attended to ring the opening bell in celebration of National Farmers Market Week.

“It was a week to celebrate local markets,” she said. “We are celebrating local vendor and the communities that support them.”

The United States Department of Agriculture developed the national celebration to bring awareness to markets. They also provide grants to help markets pay market managers. The Ronan market utilized the grant.

Goldich said a community survey helped develop this year’s Ronan market. “We asked people where they wanted to have it and what they wanted to see,” she said. The consensus was that the market should be located behind the Visitor’s Center and include music and kids activities, so organizers worked to make that happen.

Every week the Ronan market has an activity for kids that can include crafts and coloring. If kids participate, they get a $2 token to spend at the market. 

Local markets can all be found on Facebook for updates. For example, the Mission Falls Market in St. Ignatius was canceled for one week only due to the smoke and heat, and the Polson Farmers Market posted that it was too hot for the chocolates for one week, but other vendors still had plenty of non-melting sweets. The Arlee Farmers Market also posted that their hours have changed.

Lake County market times: 

Wednesday: The Arlee Farmers Market is open from 5 to 7 p.m. 

Thursday: The Ronan Farmers Market is open from 4 to 6 p.m., across from the park and behind the Visitor’s Center.

Friday: The Polson Farmers Market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., downtown. 

Friday: The Mission Falls Market in St. Ignatius is open from 5 to 7 p.m. on Mountain View Drive. 

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