2018-02-01 / News

Local senior citizens reaping rewards from indoor bazaar

BY EMILY JONES


Twins Reagan and Madison Donnelly, both 10, and Lily Kincaid, 9, sell Girl Scout cookies to Diann Browning at the indoor farmers market Friday in the Conanicut Grange. Twins Reagan and Madison Donnelly, both 10, and Lily Kincaid, 9, sell Girl Scout cookies to Diann Browning at the indoor farmers market Friday in the Conanicut Grange. The bounty of the growing season ended in October, but that hasn’t stopped Jamestowners from enjoying fresh produce throughout the winter.

Vendors and patrons made their way Friday afternoon to the Conanicut Grange for the third week of the indoor farmers market. According to founder Patti Pereira, all produce is grown by Rhode Island farmers while household products and local art comes from stores in town. Because profits benefit the seniors, Pereira expressed the importance of community support for the island’s oldest constituency.

“The main purpose is to help seniors pay for meals, activities, bus trips and even injury costs,” she said. “We want the community to give back to the seniors of Jamestown.”


Ernie Savastano, owner of Vin’Oliva, offers Italian olive oils and vinegars during the market. 
PHOTOS BY ANDREA VON HOHENLEITEN Ernie Savastano, owner of Vin’Oliva, offers Italian olive oils and vinegars during the market. PHOTOS BY ANDREA VON HOHENLEITEN Ten vendors hawked their goods last week at the senior center, including some who participated in the Fort Getty farmers market during the summer. Ernie Savastano, owner of Vin’Oliva at East Ferry, brings oils and vinegars from Italy to West Street.

He’s joined by the Rev. Kurt Satherlie, who sold farm-fresh produce to raise money for the town’s food pantry at St. Mark Church. This was his first week at the market.

“Many Jamestowners seem to be in full support,” Satherlie said.

Live & Learn, a community enrichment center, provided meals prepared by students in the after-school program. For every meal purchased, a dinner was donated to a local senior. The club originally was founded by Gina Malloy to teach students entrepreneurial skills. Jen Kincaid, supervisor of the booth, has been cooking alongside 10-12 children weekly since September.

“Last week, we sold 32 meals,” Kincaid said. “This week’s most popular dish was the strawberry shortcake.”

Essential Oils, operated by Cheryl Page and Erica Wiggin, is a new business in town that sells oils for therapeutic services. Customers participated in a make-and-take program, which allowed them to combine oils to their liking. “We’re about spreading awareness on emotional wellness and well-being,” Wiggin said.

Artist Coffee Bell is spreading positivity through kindness rocks. The inspirational stones are painted with optimistic quotes written by seniors and Girl Scouts. The purpose is to hide the rocks around Rhode Island for someone else to find. Bell encourages people to post pictures of the rocks they find on the Friends of Jamestown Seniors Facebook.

“Then re-hide to help spread kindness,” she said.

While the produce and products are the selling point, the atmosphere is welcoming and enjoyable. Customers can stroll from booth to booth while listening to live music by The Jugs, an eight-piece ukulele band that plays on stage every week.

The indoor farmers market is ongoing from 4-7 every Friday night through early spring. Only cash is accepted.

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