location: 2325 Boston Neck Road, Saunderstown
when: Saturdays, 9-12 May to October; Tuesdays 3:30 to 6:30 June 18-August 27
parking and entrance: Free
for a list of vendors go to: http://www.farmfresh.org/food/farmersmarkets_details.php?market=15
The draw for my kids is Susanna’s Ice-Cream & Sorbet, jamming with Farm Dog Organic Music, and visiting an array of feathered and furry friends, but our weekly visits to the Coastal Growers’ Market at Casey Farm in Saunderstown are about much, much more.
It’s the locally raised, pasture-fed meats, the variety of conventional and organic produce straight from the farm that week, fresh fish from the Port of Galilee, and local honey that satisfies my, um, overly-enthusiastic– no, hyper-vigilant? Ok, really more like kind of cuckoo-obsessive need to feed my family food which is just that, and nothing else. Food as devoid as possible of things that are artificial, processed, genetically modified, or contain additives or preservatives. And these days, avoiding that stuff means fewer and more selective trips to the grocery store. Coming to the market means meeting the actual farmers who grow and raise the food being purchased that day and supporting them, so they can continue the work that they do so well: providing fresh, REAL food to all of us.
In addition to the selection of meat, fish, and produce, Coastal Growers’ Market, open Saturdays from 9 am to noon May to October, and Tuesdays 3:30 to 6:30 June 18 to August 27, also has vendors offering fresh flowers, herbs and mushrooms, local cheeses, spreads and sauces, fresh breads and baked goods, granola, cranberries, pet snacks, juices, and coffee. The beautiful work of local artisans – including pottery, jewelry, and hand-printed textiles, T-shirts and notecards—are also for sale at the market. This week, I was excited to see a new vendor from Exeter selling organic skin care and laundry products. Some vendors are weekly “regulars” at the market while others come and go through the season and feature their wares at other markets throughout the state.
Although you do not have to buy anything – parking and entrance are free, as is listening to the music and visiting the farm animals – I bet you’ll want to. Have ever you tried Susanna’s Meyer lemon sorbet.? Do it! And if walking around the market and farm works up a larger appetite, there is Bravo Wood Fired Pizza, Tallulah’s Tacos, or breads and baked goods from Seven Stars Bakery or Olga’s Cup and Saucer for some lunch. So pull up a picnic table and enjoy the friendly, laid back community atmosphere! Unlike a schlep to the grocery store, this is a weekly trip – it seems wrong to even call it an errand – no one in our house minds taking.
photo credit: Bridget Keane