Archive for the ‘Farms’ Category

Chickens roam free and eat grass at Pat's...

Chickens roam free and eat grass at Pat’s Pastured on Briggs-Boesch Farm.

For the past several years, we have been purchasing Pat’s Pastured products at our local farmers’ markets. From their farm in East Greenwich, RI, they raise pigs, sheep, chickens and cows to produce grass-fed beef and lamb, free-range eggs, pastured-raised pork, and, of course, sausage and bacon.

They currently have a week left to raise money through a Kickstarter campaign (http://kck.st/1ieZOIZ) to bring the pasture to plate with a food truck and cart to sell hot breakfasts, lunches, and snacks this summer. We have already backed the project. We thought you might too…

Support their Kickstarter at http://kck.st/1ieZOIZ

Pat’s Pastured
Briggs-Boesch Farm
830 South Rd
East Greenwich, RI.
www.patspastured.com

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We’ve now lived in Providence for over four years, and it would be hard to fit in one blog post all my thoughts about that. So instead, I thought I’d describe an eventful, but fairly typical Saturday, which as it turns out, might be a perfect way to highlight our life in Providence.

8:28 am – We woke up “late” for us, which meant we had to rush to get the girls ready for gymnastics and ballet at Aim High Academy, where dozens of gymnasts were already hard at work.

10:00 am – We head to Allie’s Donuts–an institution for good reason. A donut cake (exactly what it sounds like) has been ordered for one of our daughter’s birthday this month.

11:15 am – We make our way to the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers’ Market opening day. This year’s market has more than doubled, and it is every bit better. We all sit in the courtyard and have Tallulah’s Tacos for lunch. The girls make a basket at ACKpack Basket Studio. Michele buys a giant stalk of brussels sprouts, freshly dug potatoes, onions, and parsnips from the market, along with apples from Barden Family Orchard. Our daughter insists we buy more pickles from Harmony Hill Farm. We get dessert–an almond croissant and an apricot financier–from the French Tarte. On our way out, we discover a new store, Sassy Mama Cuisine, that has rows upon rows of hot sauces. I’m looking for one made with Bhut jolokia, and pick from more than a dozen.

2:00 pm – I nap.

3:30 pm – I take my six-year-old daughter to Cirque Éloize, one of the first shows in this year’s FirstWorks Festival at the Providence Performing Arts Center, while Michele takes our two-year old to the Providence Children’s Museum.

6:00 pm – At home,  I make the kids a pizza with dough from Olga’s and cheese from Narragansett Creamery.

7:30 pm – Michele and I walk downtown to the Brown University/Trinity Repertory Theatre, to see a production of Twelfth Night, or What You Will. Since we didn’t buy tickets in advance, we wait standby and luckily get seats from a few no-shows. Even after four years of shows, it’s my first time in the Pell Chafee Performance Center.

9:30 pm – We get drinks and appetizers at Gracie’s, which turned out to be a meal that would rival the best in recent memory: a sherry-roasted beet salad with Cloumage cheese, pistachio nougatine, wild rice crispies, sour apple, and Aquidneck honey; Hudson Valley foie gras with fennel dusted brioche donuts, roasted peach, pistachio, raspberry gelee; russet potato gnocchi with house cured ham, broccoli, cauliflower, cheddar, buttery herb crumb; and crispy veal sweetbreads with sunny side quail’s egg, parmesan spinach, potato fondue, pickled ramps (this one was a standout).

10:30 pm – Our babysitter needs to leave early tonight, so Michele grabs a cab home. I stay on, for a show at AS220.

12:00 am – The band Melt Banana plays in AS220’s tiny venue, where you can get up close and mingle with the bands.

1:00 am – I take an UberX ride home! Just 2 minutes after calling…

I’ve always thought that a perfect city is one that you can “use” to its fullest regularly. And with that as my definition, I’m in the right place for now…

For more information:

Aim High Academy
3355 S County Trail
East Greenwich, RI
http://www.aimhighacademy.com/

Allie’s Donuts
3661 Quaker Lane
North Kingstown, RI
https://www.facebook.com/AlliesDonuts

Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers’ Market (Saturdays 9 am-1pm and Wednesdays 4-7pm through May 17, 2014)
at Hope Artiste Village
1005 Main St.
Pawtucket, RI
http://www.farmfresh.org/winter

Tallulah on Thames
464 Thames Street
Newport, RI
http://www.tallulahonthames.com/

Sassy Mama Cuisine
at Hope Artiste Village
1005 Main St.
Pawtucket, RI

The French Tarte
at Hope Artiste Village
1005 Main St.
Pawtucket, RI
http://www.frenchtarte.com/

ACKpack Basket Studio
at Hope Artiste Village
1005 Main St.
Pawtucket, RI
https://www.facebook.com/pages/ACKpack-Basket-Studio/467747816608744

Barden Family Orchard
56 Elmdale Rd
North Scituate, RI
http://www.bardenfamilyorchard.com/

Harmony Hill Farm
Barrington, RI
http://harmonyhill-farm.com/

Providence Performing Arts Center
220 Weybosset Street
Providence, RI
http://www.ppacri.org/

FirstWorks
http://first-works.org/

Providence Children’s Museum
100 South Street
Providence, RI
www.childrenmuseum.org

Olga’s Cup & Saucer
103 Point Street
Providence, RI
www.olgascupandsaucer.com

Narragansett Creamery
www.richeeses.com

Brown University/Trinity Repertory Theatre
www.browntrinity.com

Gracie’s
194 Washington Street
Providence, RI
graciesprovidence.com

AS220
115 Empire Street
Providence, RI
www.as220.org

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Our six-year-old has been asking to go fishing since last summer, and this weekend we finally got around to it. As it turns out, Rhode Island has several waters stocked with trout exclusively for children ages 14 and under.  However, for this trip, we headed out to Slater Memorial Park in Pawtucket.

The trip began with a stop at Benny’s — Rhode Island’s answer to Wal-Mart, Benny’s is a small store that often has exactly what you’re looking for (fishing poles, kid’s bikes, school supplies, large storage bins, automotive supplies, gardening equipment and seeds, etc.) There, Geoff bought two fishing poles and some fake bait. The next stop was the R.I. Aquarium and Pet Center for some lively worms.

The reaction shot after catching the fish.

The reaction shot after catching the fish.

We then staked out our spot along the pond at Slater Memorial Park. The first few hours involved our repeatedly twisting the fishing line, twice catching our hook in some tree branches, and reeling in our line repeatedly to discover the fish had once again taken the bait and escaped unhooked. Our two-year-old seemed to think we were simply feeding the fish and exclaimed excitedly each time the hook came back from the pond emptied. Perhaps that’s what made it so surprising when we got pull on her rod and reeled in an actual bass. You can see by the photo how enthusiastically she posed with her fish.

Even without such success, it would have been a great day at the park — we also took a swan boat ride (a bit pricey at $5/person), several carousel rides (only 25 cents each), and found a large playground. The park also contains a children’s zoo at Daggett Farm, a gallery within the Rhode Island Watercolor Society, and a seafood restaurant, not to mention tennis courts, baseball fields and a bike trail. Apparently, we’ll need more than a day to complete our exploration.

Slater Memorial Park
Pawtucket, RI
www.experiencepawtucket.org/bVisitbPawtucket/Recreation/SlaterMemorialPark/tabid/216/Default.aspx

RI Trout-Stocked Waters for Children 14 and under:

  • Frosty Hollow Pond in Exeter
  • Geneva Brook & Pond in North Providence
  • Lapham Pond in Burrillville
  • Lloyd Kenney Pond in Hopkinton
  • Seidel’s Pond in Cranston
  • Silvy’s Pond in Cumberland

More information at www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatres/fishwild/troutwaters.htm

Benny’s 
www.hellobennys.com

RI Aquarium & Pet Center
905 North Main Street
Providence, RI
(401) 415-0455
www.riaquariumpet.com‎

RI Fishing Licenses (Note: children do not need licenses)

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Opening day at the Providence Alternative Market.

Opening day at the Providence Alternative Market.

As the Hope Street Farmers’ Market continues to expand (it’s now common to park a few blocks away), a new market has arrived.  The Providence Alternative Market launched this past Saturday less than a mile down the road on North Main Street with a small selection of vendors including Ward’s Berry Farm (Sharon, MA),  Baffoni’s Poultry Farm (Johnston, RI) and several more. Although I still find it a bit perplexing why they chose to have the market on the same exact day (and nearly the same time) as the Hope Street Market, I do recognize the need to have an alternative market in order to give an outlet for some of the other wonderful nearby farms.

On our visit to the first Providence Alternative Market, we found radishes, asparagus, rhubarb, and leafy baby kale. And in fact, the onions and potatoes looked more appealing than the ones at Hope Street this week. Although you won’t find nearly the variety as Hope Street, there are some advantages–no lines,  and great quality produce and meat. And you can always go to both. We did.

Providence Alternative Market
Saturdays May 18-October 26, 2013 10 am – 2 pm
http://provaltmarket.com/

Hope Street Farmers’ Market
Saturdays May 18-October 26, 2013 9 am – 1 pm
www.hopestreetmarket.com

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Farmstead Chef Matt Jennings will deliver the conference's keynote

Farmstead Chef Matt Jennings will deliver the conference’s keynote.

Yes, we can admit that Providence is not the best Spring Break destination, as Travel & Leisure reports. However, we do rank high in arguably more important measurements: #1 for hamburgers and #2 for both pizza and ice cream. As if you needed more than that, Providence also ranks #8 for ethnic food and #9 for micro-beers, among others.

So, it should be no surprise that the Taste Trekkers Food Tourism Conference plans to come to Providence for its inaugural event in September 2013. Organized by Mystery Meet founder and Brown alum Seth Resler, the event, designed for people who plan their vacations around food, will bring together hundreds of chefs, farmers, food bloggers, travel writers, culinary students and others to enjoy a range of cuisines. Farmstead Chef Matt Jennings will deliver the conference’s keynote address, and the event will feature a cocktail reception, a tasting pavilion, a food truck court, and group dinners all around the city.

In anticipation, they’ve launched a KickStarter campaign that will run through March 30 to fund the event. As with all KickStarter campaigns, if the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers’ credit cards will be charged. If the project falls short, no one is charged. So ante up everyone–they are giving away tickets, books, posters and more to contributors.

Taste Trekkers Food Tourism Conference
September 20-22, 2013
www.TasteTrekkers.com
Reserve tickets and more through their KickStarter campaign at www.kickstarter.com/projects/mysterymeet/taste-trekkers-food-tourism-conference

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Enjoying an apple straight off the tree.


Each year we try to find a new farm for apple picking in addition to our old favorites. In past years, we’ve discovered Jaswell’s Farm, Hill Orchards, and Sweet Berry Farm. This year, we decided to try Knight Farm, founded in 1800.

Although many farms have stands or shops (Jaswell’s and Sweet Berry Farms are my favorites), few have restaurants. When we arrived this morning, it was clear this was a popular place for brunch and with good reason. It’s certainly nothing fancy, but they serve simple comfort food in a charming and rustic atmosphere. I ordered an egg sandwich, and I was not disappointed.

Knight’s apple orchards feel relatively compact to some of the others (they have about 40 acres versus Jaswell’s 100 acres), but really how many apple trees do you need? We had no trouble picking our own crisp, tasty apples. Of course, the real work came later — peeling apples, rendering lard (from Pat’s Pastured Pork), rolling the crust, and baking the pie. Not that I did any of that. But I did eat a piece of the resulting pie, and it was delicious.

Knight Farm and Restaurant
1 Snake Hill Road
North Scituate, RI
www.knightfarm.com

Also see Farm Fresh RI’s Pick Your Own Guide near Providence.

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Food trucks at the Ship Street Farmers’ Market.

It’s just a few weeks after the official unveiling of Providence’s new Ship Street Square, and it’s already home to a weekly farmers’ market. At this point in the season, the food trucks outnumbered the produce stands, but we were fine with that.

At the produce stands today, we found arugula and apples.

We ordered a few sliders from Rocket Fine Street Food (the Rocket sauce is excellent), and Geoff got a taco from Mijos Tacos. For dessert, the kids chose the non-dairy gluten-free soft serve from the Like No Udder truck. In my opinion this tastes pretty much like you’d expect — in other words, it’s no Frosty Freez— but they didn’t seem to notice the difference. As for me, I opted for the rhubarb mint ice pop from Rocket — a little sweet and perfectly refreshing.

Ship Street Farmers Market
Ship St And Richmond St
Providence, RI
see listing at Farm Fresh RI

Like No Udder
www.like-no-udder.com

Mijos Tacos
https://twitter.com/#!/mijostacos

Rocket Fine Street Food
see related blog post

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