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Grocery News: Wintertime Farmer’s Market at Hope Artiste Village

By Katy Killilea

The Wintertime Farmer’s Market (organized by Farm Fresh Rhode Island) in Pawtucket is so over-the-top wonderful that we can forgive the Hope Artiste Village its extra little “e.” With activities for kids and fun little shops, in addition to locally grown produce and local cheeses, meats, shellfish, baked goods, and more local stuff we all want, this market is a winner. Providence (thanks to Pawtucket) just took another huge step toward Portland/Seattle legendary cool-city status.

Winter MarketAs for food shopping with kids, I like it better without them–it’s crowded. But my kids had fun too: students from Johnson and Wales were running a “Vegetable Bingo” game for kids as parents watched other JW chefs demonstrate the making of local apple crisp. They loved sampling handmade chocolates, visiting the Game Shop (which was full of unusual European board games of great appeal to kids), and selecting trading cards from a huge box of free ones–utterly devalued currency to serious players but rare treasures to certain little boys–at Die Hard Games. And Die Hard Games will be hosting free Pokemon tournaments for kids every Saturday at 1:00–guaranteed to attract additional small shoppers to the market.

I left with groceries for the week: local eggs, dried beans, oats, vegetables, and meat for not much more than I would have spent at the grocery store. The quality, of course, is far better. And the shopping experience, of course, is so much more fun. Highlights from my bag: blueberry chocolate jam ($6), two dozen free-range eggs ($6), Romanesco cauliflower ($3/lb.), and grass-fed Angus beef ($5.50/lb.).

Most vendors accept cash, checks, and “Fresh Bucks, which are golden coins imprinted with a tomato. Fresh Bucks are adorable, available in $1 and $5 increments, and can be purchased with a credit card. So a stop for cash at an ATM needn’t slow you down on your way to the market.

The details:
Hope Artiste Village – 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket
Every Saturday until May
11a.m.-2 p.m.
For more info, visit: www.farmfreshri.org

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  • You should have mentioned too the heirloom beans (dried beans) from Maine called “Joseph’s Cattle Beans”—very good for chili.

  • I can’t wait to visit!! Thanks for this review. It sounds exactly like how we’d love to spend a Winter Saturday morning.

  • Wow, to be compared to Portland and Seattle markets just makes me brim with delight! I am so proud to be the Market Manager of thsi exciting Farmer’s Market. Despite the heavy snow forcasted we will still be open this Saturdady Dec. 20th from 11am-2pm. We want you to be abkle to pick up any last minute gorceries or gifts you may need for your Holiday celebrations! We have lots of $20 and under gifts perfect for a friend, teacher, or that hard-to-buy-for loved one! If you are in a rush or just need some suggestions, please come to the farm fresh table and ask one of us for help! We would be happy to make scrumptious suggestions! I even made a short video “gift guide”. You can view it on our web-site: http://www.farmfreshri.org
    Hope to see you at the Market!!