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By Stacy Walenter

The Troy Farmer’s Market held its annual Mother’s Day Market on Friday, May 11 at the Troy Museum. The rainy weather subsided long enough to offer a warm, delightful day to reintroduce the community to market season.
The Mother’s Day market began after vendors suggested the market offer bedding plants during ideal planting time in the spring.
“Mother’s Day weekend is always the guide to get your garden planted to maximize your yield,” said Troy Farmer’s Market organizer Shawna Kelsey said.
Though there were less vegetables and fruit available for purchase during the Mother’s Day Market, plant starters were plentiful.
Kelsey also allows a few more craft vendors at this market so community members can find last-minute gifts for mom. There were homemade cards, tea towels, aprons, jewelry, honey, tinctures, syrups, soaps, oils, and baked goods available, as well as the addition of a massage booth.
The regular market will begin on June 1 and continue every Friday from 3:30 until 6:30 p.m. through the end of September.
The annual Apple Festival will be held on September 28. The festival is popular because of the apple press, which is available to use at no cost. However, press will be available to use through the entire month of September if you want to beat the crowds.
There will also be an indoor Fall Bounty Market on October 19.
This year, the market will feature two innovative programs to help low-income families.
Residents who have SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits can participate in Double Snap Benefits. The program essentially offers free money to maximize families’ abilities to buy locally produced food.
SNAP beneficiaries can have their benefit card swiped for any amount and can receive up to $10 of matching money. For example, if you swipe your card for $10, you will receive $10 in wooden tokens. You will also receive an additional $10 in tokens for a total of $20 to spend. $10 must be spent solely on produce, but the other $10 can be spent on food-bearing plants, seeds, and other types of food at the market.
“At our market, everything is made or grown locally,” Kelsey said. “We try to maintain a consumable-heavy market.”
The market will also introduce the Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program. Seniors can receive $50 in market coupons to use during the market season. The coupons can be used on produce, herbs, and honey produced in Montana. The date and time for sign-ups will be announced later.
Though vendors want everyone to come and shop the array of locally grown food, the market reminds attendees that dogs are not allowed on the museum lawn, so please leave your furry friends at home.