Eating Local

Who says you can't eat the scenery? Thousands of people do just that in the Crown of the Continent, where there's a pronounced bias in favor of local produce, fruit, meats, and canned goods, most readily available in summer at Farmers Markets in 19 Crown communities.

There's an equally intense taste for wild elk and venison, mountain huckleberries, saskatoons, and mushrooms. Natural and locally farmed foods are available at dozens of regional restaurants, lodges, and stores. But wild game can't be commercially sold, thankfully, and mustn't be confused with the domesticated sacrilege sold some places. The chance to taste wild elk is a good excuse to befriend a local hunter.

By choosing to eat local, you also support open spaces, working lands, and community businesses.

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Latitude: 48.3748958 Longitude: -114.188118 Elevation: 3082 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Steve Thompson

Full Explanation

FarmHands is a group of farmers, businesses and eaters whose newly updated map serves as a Flathead County guide to 68 farms, seven farmers markets, and 39 businesses that make an extra effort to support local farmers.

Who’s your farmer? People want to know, says Pam Gerwe, co-owner of Purple Frog Gardens near Whitefish. That’s why she helped found the Flathead Valley group, which also provides helpful advice if you want to grow your garden, raise chickens, and preserve fresh produce the long winter.

Many regional chefs go out of their way to buy local so that their customers have the freshest food. Here are a few of my favorite regional restaurants that serve tasty, local food whenever possible: - Log Cabin Café in Choteau, Montana - Tin Roof Grille in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta - Pescado Blanco and Tupelo Grill in Whitefish, Montana - Red Tree Lodge Restaurant in Fernie, British Columbia

Farmers Markets: By rough count, the number of farmers markets in the Crown of the Continent has doubled in the last couple of years. Markets in 19 communities offer bedding plants, fresh veggies, fruit and flowers, and locally canned, cooked, dried or baked goodies.

Montana Bigfork - Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning at High School; Thursday afternoon at the Montana Club on Hwy. 35 Choteau - Saturday morning, Visitor Info Center Columbia Falls - Thursday evening, Discovery Square downtown Condon - Sunday afternoon, Community Hall Eureka – Wednesday evening, Riverside Park Great Falls – Saturday morning, Civic Center Kalispell – Saturday morning, Kalispell Center Mall Missoula – Saturday morning and Tuesday evening, Downtown Polson – Friday morning, Masonic Temple parking lot Seeley Lake – Sunday mid-day, Littlebird’s Schoolhouse West Glacier – Friday evening, Alberta Visitor Centre parking lot Whitefish – Tuesday evening, Downtown; Thursday evening, Pin and Cue parking lot


Cardston – Thursday mid-day, Charlie Cheesman Ice Centre Fort Macleod – Thursday afternoon, Curling Rink Lethbridge – Saturday morning and Wednesday afternoon, 3rd Ave & 6th St. S. Pincher Creek – Friday afternoon, Kootenay Brown Pioneer Village

British Columbia

Fernie – Sunday mid-day, Rotary Park Jaffray-Baynes Lake, Saturday morning, Community Centre Kimberley – Sunday morning in the Platzl

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