2013-11-28 / News

Three winter farmers markets close to island

Rhode Islanders now have three winter farmers markets available close to Jamestown where they can purchase a wide variety of locally grown and produced products.

“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,” said DEM Director Janet Coit.

The winter market 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 cream, kettle corn, flowers, wreaths, soaps, coffee, and handmade pizza for lunch.

Also in close proximity to Jamestown, the South Kingstown market in the Peace Dale mill complex at 1425 Kingstown Road is open on Saturdays through April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Now in its fifth year, the market is an outgrowth of the farmers market that operates at URI’s East Farm from May through October. This indoor market features a cornucopia of locally grown and produced products, including seasonal vegetables and fruits, cornmeal, breads, harvest decorations, eggs, honey, candles, jams, wool blankets, yarns, artisan soaps, beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, oysters, fish, seafood, baked goods, and dog biscuits.

East of Jamestown is the Aquidneck growers market located in the parish hall of St. Mary’s Church in Portsmouth. It 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, fresh seafood, pasture-raised meat and eggs, and changing weekly artisan vendors. The market is located at 324 East Main Road.

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.

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