Local Food

Stella Fong

At Tippet Rise, passion rendered music, erected life-sized sculptures, and created food. Chefs Nick Goldman and Wendi Reed of Wild Flower Kitchen cater with energy and gusto at the 10,260-acre art and music center in Fishtail, Montana. Amongst the musical notes and wide-open spaces, they feed world-renowned performers from afar, and guests arriving for chamber music recitals or tours of the vast sculpture park.

Lynn Donaldson

Ox Pasture features local big sky flavor. For Executive Chef Chris Lockhart, seasonal produce and products from the environs around Red Lodge shape his menu planning.  Local bounty plays the starring role backed by flavors and food from afar. Contributors to the local offerings include Laurel Farmers Market, owned by Leslyn and Greg Johnson. Even more, “local” also applies to the strong community support, filling the restaurant with eager patrons who have become regulars at the popular restaurant.

Vine-ripened tomatoes. Sugary-sweet corn. Crunchy-spicy radishes. There’s no better time than the present, while winter lurks, to plan your summer harvest. We need hope, visions of deliciousness, especially after living through one of the heaviest Montana snowfalls in 30 years.

A beautiful and plentiful bounty requires thoughtful planning and preparation. Kate Rosetto, of Kate’s Garden, and Claire Johnson, of the Gainan’s Garden Center, provide hints for a successful harvest from sketching out a plan for the garden plot to rotating crops, to growing enough for preserving.

The Governor’s Local Food and Agriculture Summit will be held later this month in Bozeman.  It’s been nearly a decade since former Governor Brian Schweitzer convened the last Summit, a sort of pop-up food think tank, and in that time the state’s local food scene has changed. 

“Nationwide, this focus on local foods has grown dramatically,” said Annie Heuscher, director of the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition