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Wrapping up a Cool Dozen Years at the C LT Farmers’ Market

Friday, August 30, 2019 1 A hours

So much of what we love about summer!  That was the feel at our final market day of 2019.  Labor Day…How did we get to this hallmark of summer’s end so soon?  Maybe we were just having too good a time…

People arrived as always, parked, and made their way onto the Market Green.

The vegetables, fruits, meats and shellfish were ready…along with all the other tempting purchases-in-waiting….

 

Paula Clare sang and played while the people stopped to listen and enjoy.

People continued to show the care of our environment by bringing their own bags and containers and using our mini Recycling Center located near the wash stand….

We enjoyed another visit from the RI Guiding Eyes for the Blind…The trainers and accompanying puppies enhanced awareness and warmed more than a few hearts.

And at the end of this final market, some of our volunteers, many vendors, and a few four legged friends…gathered to send a “See You Next Year” message…and a “Thank You for a GREAT Season!”…Actually a DOZEN great seasons!

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While we haven’t “Discovered Something New about….”  ALL of the participants in our market this summer, here are three more for you to get to know…

For the past 5 years the Church of the Holy Spirit (on whose grounds the CLT Farmers’ Market is fortunate to hold each Friday morning market in the summer) has offered a weekly children’s art activity on the picnic table under a shady, cool tree…Art Under the Big Tree? The activities spring from a program called “Giving Gardeners: Kids Who Care”. The intent is to “facilitate and nurture an appreciation and stewardship of this good earth…” Each project is designed to heighten children’s awareness of caring for the earth. Materials used to reflect this goal include repurposed and/or reused or recycled items. Emphasis is also placed on reducing waste in the first place. And the children in attendance ALWAYS have fun!

This year’s activities, organized by Pam and sometimes by John, two church members, included counter top compost bins from plastic coffee containers and kaleidoscopes from paper towel tubes. They are already looking ahead to next year when Art Under the Big Tree resumes.

Oh how the CLT Farmers’ Market has yearned for a food cart! And this year, through the efforts of our market manager Julia and the serendipitous availability of Teddy’s Griddle, this dream came true!

Teddy’s Griddle operated by Theresa, Scott and Co. showed up each Friday with the most delicious assortment of sandwiches and salads, each with something tantalizing added to set it apart from what be might expected. As the market opened, the fragrance of sizzling ingredients on the griddle would cast a beckoning finger to everyone who ventured into our market setting…

Sweet Pea Farm, nestled in a portion of the 1700s era Amos Greene Farm in Charlestown (property held in conservation by the Land Trust), speaks to heart of the CLT Trust’s mission to protect open space and conserve natural resources. Kathan, the farmer-in-charge who is experienced in the sustainable food world, has spent the past couple years building her CSA vegetable and flower business and serving local families. Her philosophy of working from the soil up has resulted in harvests that are not only deliciously healthy, but visually stunning.

Our market was delighted to welcome Kathan and Sweet Pea Farm this summer, and we look forward to an ongoing relationship.

In closing how about a Rainbow Spin through the summer….?

We are a colorful crew!

A word of thanks to our photographers.  Fred Baker has been behind a camera for more Farmers’ Market Seasons than can be recounted.  His artistic sense and willingness to show up at the market provide the material for this blog. 11 Fred 1

But Fred is not alone.  Julia Bancroft, our competent and beloved CLT Market Manager for the past two years, has shown that she has more skills than we knew….among them a good eye for capturing the happenings, people and spirit of the market.

Thank you isn’t a broad enough term….11 photographer

As the seasons change, when the mid winter sets in, we hope you will scroll back over this past summer (and summers past…this site is a bit like a picture album from recent years) as you dream of a new season at the Charlestown Land Trust Farmers’ Market.  We’ll be waiting to welcome you in the Summer of 2020, our 13th Season coming up!

 

 

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Party Day – Rain or Shine!

1 A hours

Friday, August 23, 2019

How does the saying go?  “Neither rain nor sleet nor….” That partial quote is not only true for the U.S. Mail.  It was also true for The Charlestown Land Trust Farmers’ Market on Friday.  Musicians played while Listeners listened,

the Cooks cooked while people enjoyed,

10 party tent

Shoppers shopped, Vendors shared,

Volunteers volunteered,

Visiting agencies interacted (Our thanks to Southern RI Volunteers, Hope’s Harvest, and Guiding Eyes for the Blind of RI!),

People visited (animal visiting too!),

and a good time was had by all!

In this “corner” of the post, maybe you’ll “Discover something new about the Stoney Hill Cattle Company…”

10 stoney

Four generations of the Luchka-Coulter Family have operated the Stoney Hill Cattle Co. located on Shumankanuc Hill in Charlestown. The farm itself dates back to the late 1600s-early 1700s and is the longest continuously operated farm in the Town of Charlestown. Kim, a mainstay farmer at our market, offers high quality beef, pork, poultry and eggs along with a wealth of knowledge about how to prepare everything deliciously. And shoppers can be assured that their meat has been raised humanely where “Cows can be cows and pigs can be pigs…”to paraphrase Kim’s husband Bill.

“Discover something new about  Vicki’s Jams and Jellies…”

Inspiration is a great motivator and family relationships often provide a source for that. So it was with Vicki whose Great Grandmother, her Meme, first showed her how to make jam from the high bush blueberries located behind her house in Stonington. Fast forward a few years and Vicki’s Jams and Jellies have found their yummy way to our Charlestown Land Trust Farmers’ Market. With lots of research and taste testing Vicki has vastly expanded her line to include flavors from pineapple to bacon.

“Discover something new about Pop on the Block 10 pop on the block Pop on the Block , a newcomer to our 2019 market, had its beginnings three years ago on…yes, you guessed it, Block Island, cooked up by a family team. Matt, our local vendor, tells the story of a snack that meets the requirements of discerning customers with no GMO issues and kernels sourced from local farms. The vibrant flavors, a broad array of them, result from natural seasonings added to a sound basic product. If a bag is purchased upon arrival at the market, it’s a pretty sure thing that most of it will be gone by the time the customer leaves.

This coming Friday, August 30th is the final market of 2019!  Paula Clare will be with us to celebrate and bring us MUSIC.  Paula was to be our very first musician this summer, but raindrops did get in the way that time.  Lucky for us, she has agreed to join us this Friday as we bid farewell to our 12th Season – a cool dozen!  We look forward to having YOU join us as well!

 

What’s for Dinner?

Friday, August 16, 2019

1 A hours

Summertime meals!  Based on a bountiful and ongoing harvest the variety of fresh flavors has a wide range.  We suspect that the many of our shoppers base their meals on what is found at Friday’s market.  Here are some recent photos showing actual dishes prepared by our shoppers at home…evidence of why they show up week after week!

Can you guess where each ingredient was purchased?…Are you inspired to create your own delicious (and quite beautiful) meal when you come to shop this Friday?

Friday was an especially social day –  URI’s Soil Testers were on hand with flocks of people surrounding their table asking questions, picking up seeds, sharing stories, and receiving information.  It’s hard to see them tucked in the back of the accompanying photo…9 family

Looking at the collection of photos from the market, a theme emerges….Conversations, conversations, conversations!  Start at the CLT Market Table, head next door to Julie for EBT/Credit, and then around the corner to Kelley’s Kreations….9 F market table29 F market table9 F Market table49 F the Credit EBT table

9 F Kelleys

Continue on to Gabe at the Meadow Brook Inn tent and then the shellfish shoppers at Ninigret Oyster Farm…Next up? Perspectives, some of our beloved volunteers. Conversations galore!

The Crone Tones settled into the middle of the green with an ongoing kaleidoscope of performers and an audience that assembled and reassembled throughout the market day.

Instruments provided an incentive for getting involved. …One of the youngest (below) responded to a little bit of encouragement – and then Voila!   Participation!

Not far from the music was the whirrrr of the potters wheel as South County Art Association’s  Jason Fong showed observers how it is done…SCAA pottery is well known in our area.  People are welcome to visit their studio in Kingston and perhaps sign up to try their hand.9 F SCAA

Resuming the socializing and shopping market tour…There’s the crunch of Pickily, fresh lemonade from Kara and her Perspectives crew, local meats from Stoney Hill (with cooking recommendations from Kim, if you’d asked her…), Lazy K Ranch‘s alpacaware, soft and fine AND effectively marketed by Celia (even without her front teeth), and those late summer RI fruits from Narrow Lane..All the while the irresistible cooking aromas from Teddy’s Griddle were calling…..

Don’t forget the dogs who have been adding to the market ambiance.  Note below: One as an observer,  a pair having their own discussion, a third ready to lead the way, and the fourth – still a “babe in arms”.

This week  “Discover something new about Meadow Brook Inn

When Gabe and Marissa purchased the Meadow Brook Inn 14 years ago they were intent on running a quality “Scratch Kitchen” underpinning their Special Events business. They have done that, earning a fine reputation throughout southern New England for delicious food and a welcoming air at their elegant Inn near the Carolina section of Charlestown. They also offer off site catering and have expanded to two other farmers’ markets in the South County area. Word has it that there’s a food truck in their future.  This summer their daughter Martine has joined us offering everything from a variety of salsas to eggplant parmesan…perfect for premier summer meals!

Now onto “Discover something new about Audrey’s Creations…”

Audrey’s fine arts background was only part of what led her to start Audrey’s Creations, a local business that has been with our market since we moved to our present location 7 years ago. Another motivation? What was she to do with some of the broken but treasured pieces of jewelry in her possession?” Those items, in need of imaginative refurbishment, have been combined with stones and beads and shells. And the results are lovely, sometimes whimsical pieces of jewelry sold each summer at our market.

Across the way  “Discover something new about   Pure Haven Essentials”   Awhile back, when Diane learned about the toxins routinely used in cosmetics, she went on a search for an alternative. After looking into several companies she ultimately settled on Pure Haven Essentials (formerly Ava Anderson), a RI based company that had been an innovative startup and gone on to develop a line of healthy, cruelty free cosmetics. Their philosophy (and Diane’s) seemed a good fit with that of our health oriented, locally sourced farmers’ market and Pure Haven has been with us for the past 5 years.

Climate-caring citizens?  We have them!…people willing to bring their own plastic bags….or containers…or coolers….or whatever….to avoid using more plastic.  Each effort, no matter how small, feeds into what is called the “butterfly effect” .  Their numbers are growing!

This coming Friday, Aug. 23rd is PARTY DAY!  Our annual thank you to everyone!  Watermelon, hot dogs, all kinds of music (and impromptu dancing!)  Along with local musicians including members of Farm Dog and the Crone Tones, we’ll also have  Southern RI Volunteers (SRIV) on hand with opportunities for volunteering across South County.  And Hope’s Harvest will join us to tell how they employ volunteers to harvest surplus fruits and vegetables from farms and then distribute this bounty to those in need.  Come learn more…and PARTY with us!  Season #12 has just one more week after this Friday…The summer flies!

 

 

Summer in Full Swing

1 A hours Friday, August 9, 2019

The lush abundance of this season!

Fruit? Veggies? Meats? Shellfish? Side Dishes? Locally Made Items? Music? Children’s Activities? Alpacas (with long eyelashes)? They’re here awaiting you!

Much anticipated Narrow Lane Orchard has joined us with blueberries, peaches, nectarines, and this funny little peach called a Saturn…It really does look like the rings around that planet – and the flavor is out of this world!

Music at our market always draws an audience…and among the most uninhibited watchers are the children. One can observe them bouncing or twirling or jiggling along to the tunes.  This week  Tom Burgess doubled as guitar player/vocalist and Pied Piper.

Consistent with CLT efforts to care for the land, the water table and surrounding natural resources, Green Energy Consumers Alliance, a visiting non profit, fit right in.  They showed up with information about renewable energy and AN ELECTRIC CAR for close viewing.   Several conversations were had as visitors stopped to inquire…

And a good deal of interest surrounded the car!8 electric car

Just down the way there was talk of clean, safe well water, a subject dear to the heart of locals. Water Testing people were on hand to offer valuable info.8 J well water

What else at the market? For one we had dishes and condiments from Meadow Brook Inn, with assistance from Martine.8 Meadowbrook 2

Logan got a workout selecting oysters, little necks and steamers from Ninigret Oyster Farm.  There were chowder clams too for stuffies or your own version of chowder.8 Logan at work

8 J rainbow produceSweet Pea Farm offered vegetables wreathed in a rainbow of flower arrangements.

 

 

 

 

This week  “Discover something new about Burnside Acres Farm…Burnside Acres, a mainstay farm at our market, has been a farming site since the 1700s when the property was owned by the Browning family. At present it is a 20 acre working farm, one of very few still found along the RI south shore. John Jackson and Vicki Lepree live in the circa 1750 farmhouse (once used as a post office and general store) and for the past 42 years have utilized increasingly modern farming practices along with the overall hard work required. The farmland, just the other side of the Charlestown line, has been put into conservation through the South Kingstown Land Trust.

Then head over to “Discover something new about Pickily…” Sam Chesebrough, creator of the Pickily line of crunchy, summer vegetables, knew a good thing right from the start. Inspired by his grandmother’s recipe for pickled cucumbers he has gone on to create a whole line of taste sensations. Sam, husband and father of three young children, has worked in marketing and food related fields over the years. Moving back from the city with his family he has shifted direction and focused on perfecting a line of delicious, briny vegetables. His children’s favorite pickled treats? The cucumbers and cauliflower. Mine? The pickled mushrooms. It’s his first year at our market…Stop by, sample, and make your decision!

5 F Pickily2

This coming Friday, August 16th we will be joined by the South County Art Association as well as URI Master Gardeners with another opportunity to gain soil testing information. Tunes and Tales with the Crone Tones will be on hand with instruments for audience participation.  You won’t want to miss this!

 

 

 

 

Look Closely!

1 A hoursFriday, August 2, 2019

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Keep in mind the availability of our services for Credit/EBT, Debit, SNAP, Bonus Bucks and information on Senior Coupons – all available at our market.  Julie, at the info table, will be happy to answer your questions.

 

Changing things up a bit for this week, here’s a little quiz.  Can you match photo to vendor?  LOOK CLOSELY.

10 R stoney hill7 F Kelley's7 F Teddy's7 hamburg bun7 Farm Dog accordian7 close lemonde makings7 close sand hill7 close Audrey scallop7 close popcorn7 SP flowers27 F Gandolf7 close peppers7 close oyster7 close Isabella7 close salsa7 close pickily7 vicki's jam

Starting at the top, left to right the answers are:: 1. Stoney Hill Cattle Co., 2. Kelley Kreations Pottery, 3. Teddy’s Griddle, 4. Great Harvest Bakery, 5. Farm Dog for Music, 6. Tools for fresh Lemonade, 7. Sand Hill Cove Photography, 8. Audrey’s Creations, 9. Pop on the Block, 10. Sweet Pea Farm, 11. Gandolf of Lazy K Ranch, 12. Burnside Acres, 13. Ninigret Oyster Farm (note the seaweed for authenticity), 14. Is-a-Bella Jewelry, 15. Meadowbrook Inn, 16. Pickily, 17. Vicki’s Jam.,

….Come on by this Friday and Look Closely.…There’s so much for you at our market!

It was Farm Dog Week for Music!  They developed QUITE a following! 7 F Farm Dog group

Archery was a popular choice when once again the Boy Scouts (Narragansett Council) arrived and invited people in to test their skill. 7 Archery

The Art Table-under–Tree for children, run by the Church of the Holy Spirit, had its share of involvement with a Hot Air Balloon craft, as shown by this young artist:7 child balloon

This week “Discover Something New about Sand Hill Cove Photography…”:

Don Cameron, of Sand Hill Cove Photography, has an artist’s eye and the heart of an advocate for a way of life that is dependent on the sea. After an architectural career he settled in the Sand Hill Cove section of Narragansett where he continues to explore, observe, and photograph life in the nearby fishing village of Galilee and beyond. His photos invite people to bring the beauty and flavor of coastal and inland South County home with them.

And…“Discover Something New about Ninigret Oyster Farm…”:

For more than twenty years Rob Krause, of Ninigret Oyster Farm, has been shellfish farming, most of it on his own leases in Ninigret Pond. He has been developing his farming expertise to the point where oyster seed is started in a solar powered upweller, suspended from a rafter for 12 months. (next to Ninigret Landing Marina which he owns with two other oyster farmers). The baby oysters are then spread on the pond bottom for another 12 months before harvesting…They then find their way, after 2 years, to restaurants around the country AND to the Charlestown Land Trust Farmers’ Market every summer.

This coming Friday, August 9th Green Energy Consumers’ Alliance (formerly People’s Power and Light) will be on hand with valuable information on renewable energy options.  It’s reported that they’ll bring an ELECTRIC CAR for people to investigate.

We’ll welcome back URI’s Water Testing Team, always an important resource in our rural area with its many wells as the sole source of drinking water.

Our Music Man for the day will be Tom Burgess, someone we look forward to hearing every summer!

And this Friday evening, August 9th at 6:30, at the newly opened Patricia Sprague Forest Preserve in the Carolina section of town, the Charlestown Land Trust will host the kick off event for RI Land Trust Days.  6 land trust daysThis month long, annual celebration of open space and conserved land around the State of Rhode Island is sponsored by the RI Land Trust Council and highlights many outdoor treasures that are available to the public throughout the year.  Friday night’s event is free, open to the public, includes an hour long walk with refreshments served.

Join us!

 

 

Abundantly Summer!

Friday, July 26, 20191 A hours

This week you’ll find a “tour” of photos from around our market green. Volunteers helping out, vendors engaged with customers, shoppers in every corner, conversations across the market….Summer is rolling along.  .

And remember – Our Credit/Debit/SNAP/Bonus Bucks program is up and running  each week.

 

Julie is on hand (next to the Market Table), happy to offer information and answer any questions.

First stop – our VOLUNTEERS….

 

And now around the market green…From Burnside Acres with all those newly picked vegetables to Meadowbrook Inns array of dishes to Perspectives lemonade to Great Harvest‘s baked goodies…

 

Audrey’s Creations and Vicki’s Jams and Jellies (bacon to name just one variety) greeted shoppers as they rounded the corner…

Teddy’s Griddle was serving up deliciousness (aromas were wafting), Stoney Hill was ready with their local, famed meats, Sweet Pea Farm stayed cool with fresh greenery and flowers.

Pickily and Sand Hill Cove photography engaged shoppers as they strolled along our shade-blessed corner.  Is-a-bella’s unique bracelets were on display as well…

There was the Craft opportunity found in the Art-under-the-Big-Tree section of the market (always something different) and a nearby photo op at our CLT Face-in the Hole….so many places to stop!

There may not be photos to show, but Ninigret Oyster Farm, Pop on the Block, and Pure Haven Essentials were on hand, busy serving customers.

All the while Mark Hinkley played his keyboard with a range of music to please every shopper.  If you had a request, Mark was at the ready!

Visitors this week included URI’s Water Testing team, always an important part of our market at some point in the summer.

They shared the visitor spotlight with the Boy Scouts (Narragansett Council) who set up an archery area at the edge of the market. Target practice, anyone?

There’s a new section on our blog… “Discover something new about….”.  Each week you’ll find 2 or 3 featured farmers or vendors or volunteers.  Learn something new,  something that you might not have gotten from conversations at their booth each week…We begin with….

“Discover something new about Kelley Kreations”….This came from family member Susan Scotti, Kelley Kreations Pottery is a family business. Whether working at the markets or designing and making the pieces, it’s fun to do it together. We make nature inspired functional and sculptural ceramics and like to add a touch of whimsy wherever we can. We love to give back, on the local level, by participating in the Empty Bowls events to raise money for the food bank, and raising money for the International Rhino foundation, on the global level.”

And across the way “Discover something new about…The Lazy K Ranch”. Aside from being home to the beloved Gandolf and Carl, here’s more: Alan and Ann Kinsley run a small family fiber farm in West Kingston, The Lazy K Ranch, which offers Alpaca fiber socks, gloves, hats, mittens and designer yarn. This breathable and sustainable material is soft and insulating. Gandolf and Carl, two affable alpacas from the farm, travel each week to the farmers’ market wearing their “born in” alpaca attire.

What to look forward to this coming Friday, August 2nd?   For music we will have Farm Dog, “traditional and original material with an old timey feel”….We look forward to their time with us every summer.

The archery session with the Boy Scouts was a hit….and they are on target to join us again this Friday…so aim to be there!  You can learn more about the Boy Scouts

One more thing….RI Land Trust Council sponsors RI Land Trust Days every year as summer moves toward fall.  This year the kick off event is a hike on one of CLT’s treasures: The Sprague Property in Carolina.  Friday, August 9th is the date, 6 o’clock is the time.  If you’ve not visited this newly acquired property, you are in for a treat!  Free, open to all, and refreshments too!6 land trust days

As always, the Charlestown Land Trust Farmers’ Market is the kind of market it is because of the community spirit that prevails.  Join us each Friday during the summer!

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!