Top 10 Public Farms in Southwest Montana
How to Fulfill Your Montana Farmhouse Fantasy
When you think of Montana, you often think of vast open land, breathtaking mountains, and farms. Thanks to TV shows and movies, most of us associate rancher culture with life in Montana, so it would only make sense to fulfill these dreams on your vacation! There are many different ways to experience Montana farm life, ranging from low interaction, such as purchasing fresh produce from a local stand, to staying overnight on a farm and indulging yourself in the lifestyle. No matter what public Montana farm adventure you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered!
One activity we highly recommend participating in if you visit a public Montana farm is U-Pick! U-Pick is essentially what it sounds like. A farm will grow fresh produce like peaches or blueberries, and then they allow the public to come, pay a fee, and pick their own to take home! There are many options for U-Pick in Montana; here are two of our favorites:
Gallatin Valley Botanical at Rocky Creek Farm
Located by Rocky Creek near Bozeman, Rocky Creek Farm is run by the Rothsciller family. Though they have a wide variety of hands-on opportunities, one of the most unique is their U-Pick berries and apples! You can pick berries ranging from strawberries to raspberries, but most uniquely, the Aronia berry.
They offer picking on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays during the same hours their Farm Stand is open. For the most up-to-date information, check on their social media pages!
Red Hen Farm
Red Hen Farm in Missoula focuses on providing local, and fresh produce and fruit to the community or visitors and peace from the farm for anyone to come enjoy. They offer various kinds of fruit to pick from, the most popular of which are strawberries and raspberries. Red Hen Farm offers many other amenities, including a CSA share. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, which is when a set of individuals pledge to support a farm operation. This makes that farmland more or less the community’s farm through mutual support and sharing. The share from Red Hen Farm comes with different benefits, from eggs to flowers. All in all, Red Hen Farm has a great homegrown feel!
If you’re looking for a more immersive experience, you may be interested in staying overnight at a public Montana farm for your vacation! This way, you can really feel what it’s like to see fresh dew on the field, have a rooster as your alarm clock, and live the simple, slow life. Here are some of the best overnight stays on farms in Montana.
ABC Acres, located in the Bitterroot Valley, offers four rental cabins for your perfect getaway vacation! You can stay at the Guest House, Gate House, Range View Cabin, or Yellow House. The Guest House has 4 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths and is located in the center of the farm. From your front porch, you will be able to experience wildlife, such as elk, as well as the farm staff keeping this public Montana farm running with daily duties.
The Range View Cabin is the way to go if you’re looking for something a little bit more simple. Range View is just 1 bedroom and 1 full bath, with a pullout bed sofa if needed. As for how the cabin earned its namesake, it is located at the highest elevation on the farm, combined with grand windows on the South and West, providing breathtaking views of the Bitterroot Mountain Range. Depending on the season you choose to stay at ABC Acres, they offer many different activities ranging from Fall Festivals and rodeos to skiing and farmers markets!
If you’re looking to experience a less structured or “normal” public Montana farm experience Bodhi Farms is the place for you! Bodhi Farms identifies as a boutique eco-resort and permaculture farm, offering activities such as glamping in tipis, saunas, massages, farming activities, and farm-to-table dining. They offer three different package types for tipi glamping, including Locals Staycation, Romance Package, and Your Bodhi. While you are more than welcome to reserve a tipi without these packages, they are helpful if you’re looking for something specific in your stay.
Those of you looking for a romantic getaway with your loved one should absolutely book the Romance Package! It includes a bottle to share, flowers, and a delicious treat after your dinner in the restaurant. All this, paired with a nearby creek singing you a lullaby while you stargaze, will make you feel like there is no one else in the world but you two. If you’re looking to have a bigger party, such as a Bachelor/Bachelorette Party of a family reunion, you can rent this whole public Montana farm plus amenities and adventures with the Your Bodhi package. If you decide to stick with a regular reservation, you still have many opportunities to explore all of these amenities, plus many more!
Fresh Produce Farm Stands
Maybe you don’t have time on your trip to directly participate in the homestead lifestyle on your trip, but still want to purchase local produce, not to worry! There are many opportunities to get fresh produce straight from public Montana farms!
Getting fresh produce from SweetRoot Farm is like borrowing a cup of sugar from a neighbor. As advertised on their website, they are open 24/7, all 365 days a year! They offer many different goodies at their stand, such as greens, potatoes, garlic, eggs, coffee beans, stir-fry packs, and much more. What they have to offer will vary from season to season, but you can double-check what is available via their social media.
SweetRoot wants you to come any time that works for you; seriously, they say even if they are sleeping, you can come in through the door and take what you need. As for payment, they accept cash, checks, or “please bill me receipts.” They have a purchase book you can tally your purchases on, change you can make for yourself if you need, or you can even just leave a note that you’ll be back later to pay or how they can reach out to you for you to pay. SweetRoot wants it to be easy for anyone to get fresh produce when they need it and trusts all their customers.
County Rail Farm
County Rail Farm and Field Five Flowers are both run by a queer couple in Huson, MT. They worked for many different farms before settling into County Rail. Their farm stand is open every day from dawn till dusk and is reliant on an honor system. All they ask is you take what you need and leave what you can, and you are able to pay with cash, Venmo, PayPal, check, or farm share credit. What they have to offer can vary from season to season but can include orange tomatoes, lettuce, arugula, and much more.
On top of their delicious fresh produce, County Rail Farm hosts many events such as Queer Dance Parties, Planting Parties, and Farm Dinners! County Rail pays their respects, acknowledges, and honors the tribes who originally owned the land their farm is on. However much time you can or want to spend on this public Montana farm County Rail is more than happy to have you!
Family Friendly Farms
If you’re thinking about bringing the kids on your trip, there is an abundance of public Montana farms that cater to a more kid-friendly environment! Children are never too young to learn the joys a farm can provide, as well as all the important goods and services they provide!
Turner Farms 406
Turner Farms was actually built from the ground up by a family. When the children wanted bunk beds, the parents told them they had to contribute to their funds. After setting up a little stand for extra produce grown that year, it soon became clear to the Turner family that this was something they wanted to grow. They have seasonal activities available, like their pumpkin patch, as well as their self-serve farm stand.
Most interesting though may be their farm tours! Tours are available to anyone from bigger groups, such as schools, to individual families. When they are all booked for tours, they still encourage anyone who is interested to come out and explore this public Montana farm on their own! Turner Farms has a great atmosphere for the younger generation who may be interested in learning more about what farm life looks like or how we all benefit from their hard work!
For a more unique public Montana farm experience, you may want to check out the Bison Range! The Bison Range focuses less on products and more on wildlife. They also focus on conservation, so rather than being a working farm, the range was made to show the beauty of this species that almost went extinct! You can drive through the range and watch the bison graze and live their everyday lives. The National Wildlife Refuge, along with the Salish and Kootenai Tribes, currently manage the range.
Seasonal Exclusive Public Montana Farms
Farms are heavily influenced by the change in seasons, whether it be the produce they can grow or the activities they can offer. This can also mean that you can have a unique experience if you visit in one season versus the next. Here are some of our favorite public Montana farms for seasonal fun!
Applestem Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch: Fall Winner
Looking for some fall fun? Applestem has got you covered! They are open for the general public, pumpkin patch, and corn maze Friday through Sunday. You do have to pay for admission, but once you do, you have access to their corn maze, duck races, corn tent, tube slide, farm animals, and many more fun activities! The pumpkin patch price varies on the pumpkin you pick. Classic fall fun mixed with the unique opportunities they offer and the beautiful changing leaves combines to make an experience you just can’t pass up!
The Ranch at Rock Creek
The Ranch at Rock Creek is an overnight resort that offers many different types of stays, you can even stay in a homesteader wagon! They want you to be able to have a worry-free stay, so once you pay one of the rates offered, you don’t have to worry about paying extra fees once you are there. There are a few activities that have extra fees, but overall there are plenty to choose from for no extra cost! During the Winter, you could enjoy ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, or horseback riding. Summer, Fall, and Spring offer even more outdoor adventures, such as archery, fly fishing, mountain biking, hiking, sapphire mining, and much more!
Montana is a great place to live out your farmhouse fantasy. Every location has something unique and fun to offer, so if you have time, visit as many as you can! The best part is all of these locations are along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, so if you want to visit a couple of places in a weekend, you can follow the trail and see many more sites. With all these opportunities and much more, there is something for everyone!