For Release: November 22, 2013
Contact: Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402
Seven Indoor Winter Farmers’ Markets Throughout the State Offer Rhode Islanders a Wide Variety of Local Products
Visit the Farmers’ Markets to Shop for Rhode Island-Grown and Produced Produce, Poultry, Meats and Seafood to Serve as Part of Your Thanksgiving Meal
PROVIDENCE – Rhode Islanders now have seven winter farmers’ markets available throughout the state where they can purchase a wide variety of locally-grown and produced products. The Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Agriculture and partners are helping to sponsor the indoor farmers’ markets through the “Get Fresh. Buy Local.” statewide campaign aimed at promoting awareness of and interest in buying RI-grown specialty crops.
“As you prepare for your Thanksgiving meal, take some time to visit one of our seven winter farmers’ markets,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “Nothing’s better than a Rhode Island-grown turkey, locally-harvested fish and shellfish products, and farm-fresh potatoes, carrots, apples, cider and winter squash to compliment your Thanksgiving menu. They are all available – straight from the farm and the sea – at the winter markets.”
The South Kingstown Indoor Winter Farmers’ Market in the Peace Dale Mill Complex at 1425 Kingstown Road (Route 108) in Peace Dale is open on Saturdays through April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Now in its fifth year, this market is an outgrowth of the South Kingstown farmers’ market that operates at URI’s East Farm and at Marina Park from May through October. This indoor winter market features a cornucopia of locally-grown and produced products, including seasonal vegetables and fruits, cornmeal, breads, harvest decorations, eggs, honey, candles, jams, RI wool blankets and yarns, artisan soaps, RI raised beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, oysters, fish, seafood, baked goods, and dog biscuits. For more information about the South Kingstown Indoor Winter Farmers Market, visit its website at www.southkingstownfarmersmarket.org.
The Coastal Growers’ Winter Market in North Kingstown at Lafayette Mill on Route 102, just west of Wickford in North Kingstown, is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through May 17. Throughout the summer and fall, the Coastal Growers’ Market operates on Saturdays at Casey Farm in Saunderstown. Shoppers are able to purchase a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, cheeses, naturally raised meats, breads and baked goods, fresh eggs, preserves, honey, chocolate, local seafood and fish, ice creams, kettle corn, flowers, wreaths, soaps, coffee, and handmade pizza for lunch. For additional information about the Coastal Growers’ Winter Market, visit its website at www.coastalmarket.org.
The Mount Hope Winter Farmers’ Market at Mount Hope Farm in Bristol is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Among the many products that are available at this market are locally-raised meat, fish, vegetables, eggs, Alpaca felted items, freshly-baked breads, pies, cakes, coffee, honey, herbs, granola, and knit items. The Mount Hope winter market is located at 250 Metacom Avenue in Bristol, and will be open through May 31. For more information, visit www.mounthopefarm.org/farmersmarket.
The Farm Fresh RI Wintertime Farmers’ Market at Hope Artiste Village at 1005 Main Street in Pawtucket is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through May 17. From now through January 29, the market will also be open on Wednesdays (except for Dec. 25 and Jan. 1) from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Now in its seventh year, the market specializes in fresh, locally-grown and produced food including fruits, vegetables, baked goods, eggs, meats, fish, shellfish, artisan chocolate, granola, coffee, jams, jellies, and prepared lunch items from numerous local farms and food producers. For more information about the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers’ Market, call 312-4250 or visit www.farmfreshri.org.
The new Hope Valley Indoor Winter Farmers’ Market, located above the police station in the Richmond Community Center at 1168 Main Street in Wyoming, is open Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., through April 19. Vendors participating in the market include Our Kids Farm, Usquepaugh Baking Co., Stoney Hill Cattle, Carolyn’s Kitchen, Amador Coffee, Brown Family Seafood, Hanna’s Farm Alpacas, and Shepherd’s Harvest. For more information, email market manager Meredith Westner at firstname.lastname@example.org
In Cranston, the Pawtuxet Village Winter Farmers’ Market will be open on Thursdays, beginning December 5, at the Edgewood Congregational Church located at 1788 Broad Street. The market will run every Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. until April 17. Vendors include Blue Skys Farm, Pak Express, The Local Catch, PV Farmstand, Bernie B’s Honey, Barden Family Orchard, Presto Strange O Coffee, GC Farm, Long Entry Farm, Foremost Baking Company, Terry’s Tasty Treasures, Little Falls Café, and Virginia & Spanish Peanut Company.
The Aquidneck Growers’ Market located in the parish hall of St. Mary’s Church in Portsmouth is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through early May. A wide variety of locally-grown fruit and vegetables will be available through the winter in addition to fresh breads and pastries, locally-sourced fresh seafood, pasture raised meat and eggs, and changing weekly artisan vendors. The market is located at 324 East Main Road. For additional information, visit www.aquidneckgrowersmarket.com.
The state’s $170 million agriculture industry benefits Rhode Island’s economy and quality of life, and provides access to local foods and horticultural products. Rhode Island has 1,219 farms, mostly family run, which occupy 61,000 acres. In addition to the seven indoor winter markets, the state has 50 seasonal farmers markets in urban, suburban and rural areas, and numerous pick-your-own farm stand operations. According to the 2007 USDA Census of Agriculture, Rhode Island was ranked number three in the country for direct marketing sales of fruits and vegetables from farms to consumers, on a per farm basis. Rhode Island also had $6.3 million worth of agriculture sales sold directly to the public, equal to 9.5 percent of all agriculture market sales, which ranked Rhode Island first in the US for percentage of direct market sales. The Economic Impact Study conducted by URI significantly determined that many economic values surpassed USDA figures.
“Buying fresh, locally-sourced meats, seafood, vegetables, fruit and dairy products at the winter farmers’ markets helps Rhode Islanders enjoy delicious, healthy foods and supports our local farmers, so get out and visit one of the markets today,” Director Coit added. “It promises to be an enjoyable – and delicious – experience!”