Double the Bounty

Summer markets inspire a breezy routine attune to seasonal rhythms: Hopping on a cruiser, riding into town with grocery totes in tow, surveying the harvest on the first lap, pausing for a beverage, and then diving into decision making on lap two. Friend sightings pepper the excursion and the junket ends with a blanket unfurled on the grass and a pre-kitchen sampling of scores. It’s a routine many Jackson locals adopt twice weekly during the People’s Market on Wednesday evenings at the base of Snow King and the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings on Town Square.

Both markets feel like cornucopias of community by weaving live music and local philanthropy into the fresh mix. The People’s Market, staged from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays at Snow King through September 16, takes on a festive tone with food vendors dishing dinner, valley brewers pouring beers and local artists selling their wares against the core backdrop of produce provided by half a dozen local farmers. New to the Wednesday array is sweet treats by the Gros Ventre Fox and goat cheese made by Winter Winds Farm; beloved standbys include the jams, pies and pickles made by Roots Kitchen and Cannery as well as the cheese rounds of Larks Meadow Farms. Each week, two local nonprofits are featured at prominent booths, and come August, Bike-In Movies will screen outside après the market.

The Saturday market, as locals call it, envelopes Town Square in the bounty of the region from July 11 through September 26. Founded in 2000, the Farmers Market has become a local institution. Serious foodies show up at the start – 8am – while leisurely shoppers wander through the stalls until the noon closing. The market’s mission of giving back to the community extends beyond retail exposure to include a highlighted Chef of the Week – restauranteurs prepare and donate samples from their menu – and a Non-Profit of the Week, the benefactor of vendors’ 10% donation of total sales. All told, the Farmers Market has funneled more than $200,000 in donations to valley nonprofits.

This little JH piggy went to market… twice every week, all summer long.