Farmers Gear up for Gardner's Market - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Farmers Gear up for Gardner's Market

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For the third year in a row, farmers around Billings are harvesting their crops for the Healthy By Design Gardner's Market.

Farmers say it gives residents an opportunity to buy locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables at affordable prices. It started up three years ago, and according to Riverstone Health prevention health specialist Alyssa Auvinen, it was the result of discussions during a Riverstone Health diabetes focus group.

"One of the big things that came out of that focus group is that some of our clients didn't feel like they had enough to access to fresh fruits and vegetables that they could afford on tight budgets," says Auvinen.

Local Billings farmer John King has been involved in the gardner's market for two years.

"Its been quite adventure. I really enjoy it. It started out pretty slow at the farmers market last year but it started picking up more and more and we got business," says King.

King is picking fresh arugula, salad greens, spinach, lettuce, baby greens, and radishes to offer up to the community.

"You get a healthier product that's grown without chemicals and grown locally so its not shipped or transported," says King.

And King himself uses all organic fertilizers from his one-acre garden, providing fresh ingredients for an affordable price.

"All three census tracks on the south side of billings are actually food deserts. so that means that its hard for people to easily access fresh fruit vegetables, dairy products and things like that," says Auvinen.

Most of the farmers who attend the Gardner's Market offer chemical-free vegetables and produce. And the market is here to stay every Thursday until October 3rd.