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.

2 Listen...do you want to know a secret

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!

 

 

 

One More (Glorious) Time….

Friday, August 31, 2018

The bell rang one more time for 2018 (in Linda Style) and the Market came to life.

Season 11 was drawing to a close, but not before Shoppers and Visitors, Vendors and Volunteers prepared for Labor Day Weekend, procuring just what would be needed for the final Hurrah of the Summer.

Strolling through the market one was greeted by the familiar and welcome collection of local, fresh food…

…and smiling shoppers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Jewels of the Summer who shone forth this year (all with varying versions of the same name) included Julie who staffed our SNAP/EBT/Bonus Bucks table, Jules, our intern from URI and our crown jewel, Market Manager Julia.

They were underpinned by Charlestown Land Trust Volunteers who provided yeomen’s labor as they set up, organized, staffed, greeted, photographed, and cleaned up so that EVERY week we experienced a well run market.  Thank you especially to Linda, Roe, Karen, Roger, Fred, Pam, Sue, Elaine, Faith, and surely more….  This list doesn’t acknowledge the many others who helped out.  You know who you are…and so, gratefully, do we!(That’s Fred, one of our valued photographers, looking through a different kind of lens…)

And through the latter part of the summer our volunteer team has been rounded out with PERSPECTIVES workers….Three cheers for ALL the work they’ve done!!!

Surfriders RI were on hand to share their mission to enjoy and protect our RI coastline.

This year saw a real emphasis on reducing single use plastic, promoting sustainable practices, and paying closer attention to environmental care here in Charlestown. Many of our vendors joined in.  But notice also some of the ways in which our shoppers honored that effort by bringing their own bags and/or containers:

Finally, a word about our host site:  The Church of the Holy Spirit has generously welcomed us as we have set up shop across their green front yard for the past 7 years.  Every Friday morning the lawn is mowed, the parking lot available, and there is an environmentally focused Children’s Activity staffed by parishioners under the tree not far from the Alpacas…We are ever grateful for the use of this lovely open space.

Come next winter you may want to browse through the photos from the past in fond recollection – and then start anticipating the coming summer season.

Farewell Gandolf!  We look forward to seeing you and Carl and all the Gang back at the Charlestown Land Trust Farmers’ Market toward the end of June 2019!

The Perfect Place to Be?

Friday, August 24, 2018

It WAS the perfect place to be!  A clear summer day with…..

live music of all sorts,      

an opportunity to chat and linger with family and friends, new and old,

a chance to check out the newest in electric vehicles (courtesy of Peoples Power and Light),

do some sun exploration via the “sunscope” with Scott MacNeill from the Frosty Drew Nature Center and Observatory (He knows the REAL name of the piece of equipment),

take delight in watching some little ones,

and help yourself to our cookout Party Food – prepared and served by our unmatched volunteer staff!

When you were finished with your watermelon, it was time to visit the South County Art Association to view a fine demonstration of skill and artistry.

Amidst the special events, shoppers still made the rounds, selecting goods from our vendors, the backbone of our market.  Here are a few of them: 2 J Stoney Hill2

All the while, in and around the bustle of our weekly market, Trevor from PBS showed up to do some filming for a production of “Our Town”. And when he took a little breather, Trevor tasted his FIRST oyster – one from Ninigret Oyster Farm!

Season 11 draws to a close THIS Friday, August 31st…We’ll have all the fresh food, local offerings and finely crafted items you’ve come to look for each week in the summer.  The RI Chapter of Surfrider will be there!  Join us one more time in 2018 to be part of our Farmers’ Market Community!

Taking Care of the Environment Starting Right Here in Charlestown!

Friday, August 17, 2018  We, at the Charlestown Land Trust Farmers’ Market are INVESTED!  We’re invested in maintaining natural resources and open space.  We are invested in sustainable practices. We are invested in our community.

How are we showing that investment?  For one thing, this year we have a new policy to MINIMIZE THE USE OF PLASTIC – with an emphasis on single use plastic.  Here are some examples of  efforts to follow this policy.

Every week at our CLT Market Table we offer reusable bags for Shoppers to purchase.  Some of the bags are made of recycled materials by one of our volunteers.

Alongside the Blue Trash Receptacle a Green Recycling Bin is brought out for people at the market to separate out their mostly plastic recyclable items  (not straws!  They go into the blue bin.)

What does reduced use of plastic look like for Vendors?  This year the Lemonade Boys have decided NOT to use plastic straws, an item that so often ends up on our beaches and in waterway, hurting animals that inhabit the area.

Great Harvest has paper bags for some of its products including for this delicious cookie held up by Blessing.

Wandering Star uses compostible containers and obtains compost from a local farm.

Narrow Lane Orchard uses cardboard boxes for their berries instead of plastic.

And Lazy K Ranch raises animals which provide the sustainable, renewable fiber for their beautifully soft items.

 

 

 

Our Shoppers are showing their investment in the care of the environment, not only by bringing their own reusable bags, but by using a bucket from home for carting off oysters….….and bringing a previously used bag for this week’s clams! Inspiring!!!

So bring your own bags or buckets or whatever is needed in order to take home as much of your Farmers’ Market produce using as little single use plastic as possible!

Another aspect of Sustainability has to do with keeping our market running week after week.  Each Friday morning Vendors unload, set up, and arrange their goods.  And each Friday afternoon they wrap up, pack up, and reload their vehicles.  Our Volunteers – from Perspectives and from Chariho High School (along with our faithful CLT group!) have made a world of difference in the way the market works every week…We LOVE them!

We were treated this week to a visit from Hera Gallery in Wakefield….What a treasure trove of potential artistic expression! Fairy Houses and crafts of all kinds were available for people of ALL ages! 

And once again, URI Master Gardeners showed up with all sorts of gardening info, soil testing options and welcoming smiles.

Glorybound came by this past week and gave us a country sound that fit right in with our market vibe.

This coming Friday, August 24th,   People’s Power and Light and the South County Art Association will be on hand.  We’ll also be holding our annual PARTY MARKET!  For Music we will be JAMMING – Bring your instrument(s) – clapping hands and tapping toes will do!  Enjoy our CLT Party/Picnic with hot dogs on the grill and watermelon.  Remember last year?  We had a BALL…and WE PLAN ON JUST AS MUCH FUN THIS YEAR!  Join us!