A Farm Fresh Thanksgiving

(original post via Farm Fresh RI Blog)

After a rough start to the season – tomatoes and potatoes got blight, strawberries rotted in the rain – a mild November is producing a bounty of late fall veggies. Slightly frost-kissed, their flavor is rich and crisp and perfect for a celebration of the harvest. It’s a fitting turnaround for the place that Thanksgiving calls home. Ah, autumn in New England.

Make your Holiday dinners a 50-mile meal, focused on seasonal ingredients from our local farmers. They’ve endured a tough 2009 to grow our food and finally have the crops to show for it.

Courtesy of the Brown Herald

At the Wintertime Farmers Market in Pawtucket every Saturday 11-2, you’ll find a variety of veggies, fruit, eggs, meat, seafood, cider, flowers from 30 different farms and cheese, bread, pastries, coffee, jams from 20 other local producers. Plus, live music and a cooking demo by Chef Sophie of My Little French Cottage with butternut ginger soup and carrot leek potato soup to taste. It’s our state’s largest farmers market, with 50 local producers all under one roof and the widest variety of local foods available for your everyday meals and your holiday dinner. Some highlights at the Wintertime Market:

  • Cranberries from Fresh Meadows Farm
  • Beef and Pork from Aquidneck Farms, Hill Farm, Stoney Hill Cattle
  • Chicken from Pat’s Pastured
  • Apples and Cider from Hill Orchards, Barden Orchards
  • Jams and Sauces from many farms and producers
  • Local Cranberry Ice Cream from Kafe Lila for your hot apple pie
  • Broccoli, Sugar Pumpkins, Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Onions, Potatoes, Carrots, and so many more veggies from a whole lot of farms!
  • If you’re looking for a turkey, they’ll likely sell quickly at the market. You may want to contact a farm directly to inquire.

There’s such great abundance right now of incredible food grown on farms right here in our own communities. Honest, fresh and bursting with flavor. It’s something to be truly grateful for.

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We here at Green Life Smart Life are thankful for organizations like Farm Fresh RI, who work to provide the community a link to one of our most valuable resources: our farms.  We love our locally source and organic produce and are lucky to have a farmers market even in the winter months.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Eat well and be well.

 

Posted by: Ashley / follow me on Twitter

Top 3 Farmer’s Markets in US Named, RI’s Casey Farm Deserves a Nod

Almost thirty thousand people from across the country voted for their favorite farmers markets this summer,” said Jane Kirchner, Senior Director of Marketing for American Farmland Trust (AFT). “And in the last three weeks of the promotion, we’ve seen the top 20 markets in each category change positions, sometimes daily.”

American Farmland Trust designed the online contest to promote the economic and social value of farmers markets in communities, and to bring attention to the need for consumers and communities to recognize the necessity of local farm and ranchland to the existence of local food.

“Customers can visit our website and learn the top 20 markets in each of three market categories,” says Kirchner. The top three markets for each category are:

  • Small Markets (1-30 vendors) Collingswood Farmers Market, Collingswood, NJ
    1,030 Votes
  • Medium Markets (31-55 vendors) Williamsburg Farmers Market, Williamsburg, VA
    725 Votes
  • Large Markets (56 or more vendors) Davis Farmers Market, Davis, CA
    3,060 Votes

The top three markets will each receive a shipment of “No Farms No Food®” recyclable tote bags to give away to the customers who made their top finish possible. “It’s been great fun to watch this promotion unfold,” says Kirchner. “We hope that all of the markets have seen increased interest in and visitors to their markets as a result of the promotion, and that they will participate in next year’s contest.”  AFT will announce further information on the winners and ongoing efforts to support and promote farmers markets through its website and other media.

I just want to add the RI’s own Coastal Grower’s Market that is held at Casey Farm in Saunderstown every Saturday from 9 AM to Noon deserves some serious recognition. It is always filled with the best local, and largest selection of organic fare, than any of the other markets. From ice cream to grass fed meats and from berries to kolarabi, this farmer’s market is an exploration in new tastes and all your favorites. I think next year we’ve got to get voting!

posted by KDL | follow me on Twitter: newscaster

Support Your Local Farms!

farmfreshriIt’s easy to say “support your local farms.” After all, who wouldn’t agree with this in principle? However, spouting platitudes and actually doing what you say are two very different things.

In Rhode Island, it’s getting a lot easier to support your local farms because, believe it or not, there are so many more of them sprouting up!

The Providence Business News reports these highly encouraging and exciting stats for Rhode Island locavores:

Farming is undergoing something of a renaissance in Rhode Island. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that the number of farms in the state grew 42 percent from 2002 to 2007, compared with a 4 percent growth rate nationwide.

The state is home to 1,219 farms, compared with 858 in 2002. Most are small, part-time operations with about 40 percent earning $2,500 or less in 2007. Nearly 64 percent made $10,000 or less.

Also telling is the number of farms in Rhode Island engaged in agritourism, growing from six in 2002 to 43 in 2007. In total, they generated $689,000 in income two years ago, according to the USDA census.

If you reside in the Ocean State, please visit the Farm Fresh web site and get to know and support some of the more prominent farms in Rhode Island. And beyond that, just take a look around your neck of the woods and see who’s tilling the soil in your area. You’ll feel even better about eating right!

Posted by Joe Paone

Abby’s Blog: Kid’s Helping the Earth Native Strawberries

In RI, June means a few things.

The end of school, in my case that isn’t until June 26 thanks to snow days.

The beach opens, in my case we’ve only been once because it won’t stop raining.

The strawberries come in. Oh they’ve been so good. Last weekend, we got them from local Healey Farm on Saturday. We got them from Schartner Farm on Sunday. We got them from the Farmers Market at Marina Square on Tuesday. We got them from  Belmont on Friday. And yesterday we went to the new Farmers Market at Lippit Park on the corner of Hope  St & Blackstone Blvd in Providence.

We’ve eaten them right our of the container (washed from my mom’s water), strawberry shotcake made by my mom, cut up in my cereal and in my yogurt. But that bite of a fresh sun-warmed strawberry picked off the plant right at the farm is the best way to eat them.

They are so good. Go find your local farmer’s markets (here’s who has them in RI) or go and pick your own at the farm. Strawberry eating time is here.

Posted by Abby age 6