Missoula Grain and Vegetable Co. is working harder and through colder weather to bring consumers fresh greens and roots through January. Local arrangements will provide Helena with harvest fresh vegetables, meat and bread options after the Farmers Markets close.
Providing a venue for Helena residents to meet and pick up their food box orders is a chance for consumers and growers to come together in a common way, said Riley Tubbs, co-owner at Ten Mile Creek Brewery.
“We are our tagline - a somewhat organized community,” Tubbs said. “This is yet another way to be involved, a way to provide an awesome thing. We’re trying something Helena didn’t have going on.
“Come down, pick up your box, have a beer - or not,” he said. “Have a drink and talk to the people who grow your food.”
Pick ups will be scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. at the brewery.
Ten Mile Creek already has partnerships with local farms, Riley said. They give local farmers their spent grain.
Riley said he is familiar with the garden. He visited the Missoula Grain and Vegetable Co. booth several times at Helena’s Saturday Farmers’ Market and was impressed not only with their produce but with their booth.
“They had a great presentation,” he said.
Jamie Stitt of Cooper Creek Ranch, another regular at vendor the Saturday market, has been looking for a manageable way to get her beef to loyal customers throughout the winter. In the past, she was trying to schedule to meet people in town, but that got to be difficult and frustrating to coordinate, she said. Stitt was looking for a regular place and time to deliver orders and found out about the arrangement with the brewery through Kate McLean, owner and baker at Sunflower Bakery in Helena.
“I talked with the farmers and the people at Ten Mile Creek and it all fell into place,” she said.
Cooper Creek Ranch will begin delivering meat shares to her customers at the brewery the first and third Tuesday of every month, beginning in November. Shares will cost $65 and include a variety of cuts. You can sign up for one or two shares a month.
“There will be $75 to $85 worth in a share,” Stitt said. “This is a good way for me to mix and match different cuts.”
McLean won’t be making her bread available for pick-up at the brewery, as she has an agreement with Sage and Oats, just down the street. People are invited to walk down and pick up their deliveries from 3 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.
“We decided to stay there because of the limited space at the brewery,” McLean said.
They will deliver bread during the winter and add a selection of pastries for the holidays. People can pay at the beginning of the month or for a few months at a time. Depending on the number of weeks in the month, the cost will be between $24 and $30.
This is the second year Sunflower has done this through the winter. This year, McLean is being more flexible and allowing subscribers to select weeks and hold off on other weeks, depending on their holiday plans.