Hello and Happy August– and at the risk of sounding like everyone else…. How is it August already?? I don’t want the end of summer in my sight just yet!
I hope you’ve all been eating well this summer. True, there may be ice cream shops and Del’s stands everywhere you turn, but I’m also seeing tons of signs for “Fresh Eggs” and “Fresh Produce” all over the place. I’ve really been making the effort to add more locally grown and raised foods into my life and I wanted to share some of my favorite go-to spots. Click on the links to see each Facebook page for more info:
1100 Lafayette Rd, North Kingstown RI
This is our second season joining their CSA. (FYI: CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.) You pay a fee to the farm upfront and each week you pick up a bag of whatever goodies were harvested. This one began 3 weeks ago and so far we’ve gotten green beans, kale, basil, beets, onions, potatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, peppers and summer squash. I am almost certain I forgot at least one or two things too. I’m so excited this goes through the end of October when it’s time for all my favorite winter squash. It’s only August and I’m already thinking about pumpkin pie!
What we got last week:
I pick up our loot every Wednesday. This farm is only a few miles from our house so it’s super convenient. It’s definitely a challenge to eat up all of this food before the week is through and we get our next fully loaded bag. Bring on the challenge I say. We honestly DO eat more vegetables because of this CSA! If you’re trying to eat more veggies (who isn’t?) then a CSA like this is a perfect way to make that goal happen. No worries if you missed this year’s CSA– Healey’s farm stand is open now so head over and fill a bag with whatever looks good to you. And don’t forget to say hello to the adorable farm animals that live there. Healey can also be found at the Wickford Village Farmers Market on Thursdays from 1-5pm.
302 Potter Rd, North Kingstown RI
We went a few weeks ago in July– the blueberries were abundant and we picked a huge bagful. It was our first and only time and I highly recommend it. I never even knew this place existed so now I know and now YOU know…so go check it out while they are still in season. I only wish I had thought to snap a picture before we ate all the berries. I also made a Blueberry-Cheezecake with these– delicious!
460 Shumankanuc Hill Rd, Charlestown RI
They are at the Rocky Hill Farmers Market in East Greenwich on Saturdays. Naturally and humanely raised beef, pork and chicken. Awesome eggs. Yes, they even have bacon. ♥ Lucky Foot Ranch is also there with yummy veggies!
71 Weeden Ln and 455 North Rd, Jamestown RI
These two farms are practically right across the street from one another in Jamestown. Grass-fed and pastured meats. Free-range eggs. Fresh cider in the fall! I hear there are even donuts. I’m not far from the Jamestown Bridge and I love going for runs or taking my dog for walks there so it’s a place I visit frequently. Take the scenic ride over the bridge to these farms to pick up their delicious meats and eggs.
555 Gardner Rd, Exeter RI
This is out in Exeter, but worth the drive down 102. Actually I haven’t been recently since we’ve been getting our CSA from Healey but I will say that this is the farm I frequent the most in the off-season. They have the best salad greens that they grow in greenhouses. So, in the late fall, winter and spring this is where I head to for my weekly greens as well as eggs. They also carry Narragansett Creamery cheeses which I have come to love!!
Our Kids Farm can also be found at the Wickford Village Farmers Market on Thursdays from 1-5pm.
Wickford Town Dock, Wickford, RI
Buy lobsters right off the boat in Wickford– we’ve done this a few times and they are the best! For fresh fish and scallops I usually go to Dave’s Marketplace where they always have several local choices.
505 Point Judith Rd, Narragansett RI
Ok. So, I haven’t been to the farm yet but when I saw their food truck on a bike ride to the Point Judith Lighthouse I got intrigued. I plan to check it out– they get amazing reviews for their beef and veggies.
There you have it. These are the places I’ve been going to since they happen to be an easy drive from my house in North Kingstown. I know a lot of you live around here, but if you live elsewhere in Rhode Island, visit the Farm Fresh RI website to find out more about what farms and farm markets are near YOU!
And finally, I will leave you with a picture of my one gigantic garden squash plant:
Yes, that is really just all ONE plant.
It’s heading to my swing! Keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t take over the house. This thing grows several inches while we sleep at night.
This year we actually did not plant anything. However, this squash plant, another squash plant under our apple tree, as well as a few tomato plants have sprung up on their own. I’m excited to see what happens…
Right now it looks like we will be getting at least one fabulous butternut squash from this monstrous plant. That large one is getting bigger each day and I just noticed a few babies forming:
As much as I find the idea of gardening and growing my own food fascinating, I would rather leave it to the experts. I’ve given it a fair shot and to be honest with myself, it really hasn’t been all that successful. However, I do kind of like the idea of having these “volunteers” that spring up rather than buying plants, planting them and watching them get diseased and die. I like to think that because they emerged independently, the conditions happen to be perfect for them to thrive and flourish! We shall see if my theory proves correct.
Everyone wins when you support your local farmers– you may pay a little more than you would buying your beef and tomatoes at Wal-Mart but you’re going to benefit from undeniably better quality foods. It’s better for the animals, better for our planet and better for YOU. I know I feel good eating this way and I also feel good knowing my money is going to local growers who work so hard to grow and raise food the way it was meant to be.
On PBS there is this incredible show called Harvesting Rhode Island. You can learn all about the local farms in RI– from the fruit and vegetable growers to the more unusual like the Tilted Barn Brewery, Newport Vineyards, Wicked Tulips Flower Farm, Joslin Hill Apiary and the Allen Harbor Oyster Company. Definitely worth watching if you’re interested in what this awesome state has to offer for local food.