Archive for July, 2019

Heart of Summer 2019

Friday, July 19, 20191 A hours

Our farmers’ market is built on the belief that open space feeds a healthy lifestyle.  And supporting an economically and environmentally vigorous farming community is one way to support that open space. 2 shopping bags

So then, what are some of the other ways, small and large, that we sustainably support the lifestyle we value?  Start with shopping bags redesigned and stitched by our volunteers from recycled materials. Attractive, useful, and available each week at our market table.

Many of our shoppers already come with their own shopping bags in hand….But for some vendors, plastic produce bags are the way to package some of the less “tidy” foods…like say Oysters.  Here’s what customers arrived with on Friday, ready to purchase shellfish….and minimize the use of new plastic, single use bags.

They brought their own to reuse! Less plastic to escape into the environment.  We LOVE our customers for so many reasons, and this is one more!  Do they know it’s  Plastic Free July?

Strolling around the market to the music of “Where’s Lewis?” (Gerry Nicoletti and Lee Singer) our visitors were greeted by a host of vendor choices….

And a new vendor on our market green: Is-a-Bella with summery jewelry of her own design.3 Is a bella

(Keep in mind that we have SNAP benefits, Credit and Debit services, and Bonus Bucks, available at our market. Plus Senior Coupons are accepted for vegetables and fruit.)


Wander back past Pure Haven Essentials and Lazy K Ranch (Gandolf and Carl, the Alpacas) on one side, Stoney Hill Cattle Co. on the other and head to the big tree to find children actively involved in Pam’s latest environmentally related craft project-of-the-week.  Each week something creative, engaging, and conservation minded sponsored by the Church of the Holy Spirit.5 F Art Activity

Community nonprofit guests this week included URI’s Master Gardeners with a host of volunteers offering information on soil testing and all kinds of gardening know how.5 F Burnside 3

Between Perspective’s lemonade stand and Pickily RI DEM Outreach folks set up a table of wonders.  Among the RI artifacts was a bobcat pelt saved after the animal tried to  navigate a road – unsuccessfully.  Exquisite in design….soft to the touch (better on the animal, of course, but….)

Coming up this Friday, July 26th, customers will be able to speak with representatives from URI’s Water Quality Testing.  Here in Charlestown we ALL have wells and checking the quality of our water is up to each of us.  Stop by to learn more.

The Boy Scouts, with several active troops in the area, will be on hand to share their stories.

Our own Mark Hinkley will bring us music…He’s definitely our Keyboard Guy! Join us!


Composing Our Summer Song

1 A hoursFriday, July 12, 2019  We are into the rhythm of the season, composing our summer song.  On Friday morning the clouds scudded away, the rain receded….And while the humidity lingered, the chords of summer were ringing true, right from the opening bell.

Burnside Acres’ array of vegetables continued to crescendo and change with the season….New this week? CORN!

And across the way was Sweet Pea Farm making their debut at our market with fresh greens, herbs, flowers – grown and harvested on land conserved by the Charlestown Land Trust!

For a long while now the Farmers’ Market has been questing after a FOOD TRUCK.  Our market manager Julia connected with Teddy’s Griddle…And the food they served on Friday?  It had many of us singing a happy tune – Delicious!!!  Come on by to sample!

A summer song leads one to think that there was music at the market.  And there certainly was!  To everyone’s great pleasure Peter Weremay played from beginning to end. People settled on the lawn to listen, visit, enjoy…

But there was more….Music that is heard is only part of a summer song… Our Market song includes notes from our artisans:  Kelley’s Kreations, Sand Hill Cove Photography, and Audrey’s Jewelry Creations…to name a few.

FARMS are central to any farmers’ market and they are the melody for our song.  In addition to the fruit and vegetable versions we have Stoney Hill Cattle Co. for beef, pork, chicken (and eggs), Ninigret Oyster Farm for oysters of course, but also little necks and steamers, and Lazy K honey and beautifully made alpaca items (Thank you in part to Carl and Gandolf!)

The parts of our market song are kept in harmony and on key by our market manager and our volunteers.  It’s easy to see how the music flows with their support and watchful eyes. Land Trust volunteers and members of the Perspectives community continue to keep us on pitch.

Each week there is a bit of a variation in the tune we play when we welcome local nonprofit groups.  We were glad to welcome back two long time friends: Dave from the Westerly branch of  Save the Bay  and Indie Cycle ready to recycle unwanted electronics…or as Phyllis, one of the owner’s says, “anything with a cord.”

Of course, our shoppers and visitors are the ones who provide the voices for our summer song.  It is summertime…and it can be HOT!  Here’s how one of our favorite market attendees sang her song  in the heat last Friday…

Join us this Friday, July 19th as we continue creating our summer song.  Gerry Nicoletti will bring us music we love.  Plus RI DEM’s Fish and Wildlife Service will be on hand and URI’s Master Gardeners’ soil testing service will be available.


The Third One’s the Charm

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Friday, July 5, 2019   The 4th of July Weekend in South County!  It seems as if everyone wants to be here…It can seem like everyone IS here.

The market welcomed a steady stream of shoppers and visitors.  And yet, as busy as the market was, there was still a sense of a time when lingering was more a part of life.  People met one another, exchanged greetings, engaged in conversations, laughed, shopped, sat on the lawn….lingered.

People at the market table welcomed arrivals, helped direct shoppers and offered info about our Charlestown Land Trust…including the upcoming Summer Party and Auction on Thurs., July 18th.  The Summer Party has proven to be a overall GOOD TIME!  Tickets are available at the market on Friday or online at The Charlestown Land Trust website.

Chris Fee’s music contributed to the vibe.  His notes wove through the morning…sometimes toe tapping, other times pure entertainment.

As for shopping?  Take a look at just a few or our offerings.  Vicki’s jams and jellies, Great Harvest‘s bakery items, Pure Haven‘s organic skin care products, Meadowbrook Inn‘s yummy side dishes, Sand Hill Cove’s South County photographs,….and the reliably fresh assortment of vegetables, fruits, and flowers from Burnside Acres.

A word about our VOLUNTEERS – There could be so many words about our volunteers…  Without them we would be unable to run the market we run.  They staff the CLT Market table, they direct parking, they spread the word about the market, they help the vendors and show people where things are…Today we’ll reintroduce Perspectives, the group that is with us for a second year and is a main source of volunteer work at our market.

Each week Perspectives people help unload, set up and break down materials for the various vendor booths.  And this year they have stepped in to make decidedly delicious, fresh squeezed lemonade.  Our beloved Lemonade Boys from last year retired,  and we were unsure how to provide something of similar quality.  In stepped Kara, The Lemonade Lady from Perspecitves.  You really MUST try this summery beverage!

This week’s community guests included the Anne from the Domestic Violence Resource Center and Gabby from EcoRI, an online environmental news source for our state.  Sign up for the ecoRI’s weekly newsletter – every Tuesday.  Both of our visiting organizations has an admirable track record of making life in RI better for her citizens.

Coming up this Friday, July 12th….Be ready for Indie Cycle.  Electronics recycling – “Anything with a cord” is the catch phrase.  We’ll enjoy music by Peter Weremay (as we do each year!) and have an opportunity to speak with people from Save the Bay with an office in Westerly where the focus is on our RI coastline and Little Narragansett Bay.   Come learn more…and then shop for  local fresh food and products.


Up and Running!

1 A hoursFriday, June 28, 2019 Sunshine, clear skies, and a grassy farmers’ market square filled with vendors, shoppers, music, children’s voices, and good cheer!  Market number 2 gave a full welcome to Season # 12!

There we were with ALL THAT FRESH FOOD plus a CLT Market table to help people find what they sought, volunteers from Perspectives to help set up and close down the market, a Credit/Debit/SNAP/EBT/Bonus Bucks table to help foot the bill… 1 Julie and SNAP….and MUSIC from Gilead Road bringing us altogether.

Greeting Shoppers from last year made it feel like a kind of reunion.  And meeting new customers and visitors to the market was, as always, a delight.

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Carl and Gandolf share the good news about another promising season at the CLT Farmers’ Market

Check here each week to learn more about our vendors, volunteers, community service groups and visitors ….For this posting, here’s a quick look at some of what (and who) could be found at our second market day for 2019 – from Burnside Acres veggies and fruit to Stoney Hill meats to Great Harvest bakery items to Meadowbrook Inn side dishes to Ninigret shellfish to Pop on the Block popcorn.  All that deliciousness!

Notice the happy, engaged expressions on our shoppers’ faces… and the sellers too. There’s a reason for that. Our market is a place people want to be on a Friday morning in the summer.

2 Kids' activitiesChildren visiting the market each week are invited to an art corner under the tree near the Church garden….This week’s creative opportunity? Flowers from paper tubes – Made from recycled materials.

This week’s visiting nonprofit groups included URI’s Water Quality Testing (In Charlestown EVERYONE has a well.) and the URI Master Gardeners . Take a look at the garden near the Cross Mills Public Library and Historical Society Archive and then visit the Native Garden at Kettle Pond Visitor Center to see just what these marvelous green thumbers can do!


We also welcomed Rhodeside Revival, a community group – new for us – that promotes composting for a healthier environment.2 Roadside Revival

The summer is a comin’ in with bells on, as they say.  We invite you to join us!



One for the Money, Two for the Show….

1 A hoursFriday, June 21, 2019  Rain!  Pouring down at 6 AM, the time we agreed would be the hour to declare an open or an optional market day…..What to do?

The Charlestown Land Trust was ready.  The Vendors were ready.  The grounds of the Church of the Holy Spirit were freshly mowed, the garden walkway had been regraveled by Larlham Landscaping inviting strollers…. But the weather?  Not so much….

And so it was decided that opening day would be an optional market day for vendors….No market table or children’s programming, no musical instruments which risk ruin in the rain…. At least half of our vendors decided to wait for friendlier skies…the following week.

…As for those determined to show up?  The rain subsided and eager, stalwart shoppers arrived! There were spring vegetables and flowers from Burnside Acres… and briny shellfish from Ninigret Oyster Farm.


Gandolf and Carl, the beloved alpacas from the Lazy K Ranch, were on hand



as was the Meadowbrook Inn with delicious condiments, appetizers, and side dishes ready to accompany the fresh offerings.



New to our market this year is Pickily!  Pickled vegetables of all sorts are tasty additions to any meal and a tasty addition to our market as well.

Kelley’s Kreations came with new pottery designs added to some long time favorites and Audrey’s Creations offered jewel-like sparkle on a gray day .

In addition we were fortunate to have two non profit neighbors joining us, despite the weather!  Neighbors Helping Neighbors, sponsored by St. Andrew’s Church in Charlestown has partnered with other groups in the community to provide service to local people who need a helping hand with home maintenance. Habitat for Humanity, a partner of St. Andrew’s,  was on hand to talk about their mission to support those on the road to home ownership.

We’re looking forward to a summer filled with the bounty of fresh, local food; new knowledge of our community; a celebration of the open spaces all around, and happy, satisfied visitors.  Join us every Friday, 9:30 to 1, all summer long!