Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Did somebody say "earthquake"?

If you were in Charlestown, RI this afternoon around 2pm, you might have felt the earth move. For those of us that did not feel the rush of the earthquake, we might want to try this recipe: Poblanos Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Shrimp borrowed from www.thedailygreen.com. It's sure to make your earth quake. (Too cheesy?) You can substitute shrimp for chicken or some local seafood like lobster meat or cod.

    Roasted poblanos and red peppers:
  • 8 poblano chiles
  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • Stuffed Poblanos:
  • 4 ounces mild goat cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup grated Panela cheese or Monterey Jack
  • 1/2 pound cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp, chopped
  • 1 shallot, very finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more if needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more if needed
  • Red Bell Pepper Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Serrano chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more if needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Roast and peel the poblano chiles and red peppers: Over an open gas flame (on the stovetop or outdoor grill), roast the chiles and peppers, turning with tongs for even roasting, about 5 minutes each (you can roast two or three at a time on each gas burner). The chiles and peppers are done when they are soft, blackened and blistered over most of their surfaces (it is not necessary to get every nook and cranny, and for the chiles which must remain intact for stuffing, it’s important not to over-roast them).

2. Place the hot chiles and peppers into two separate large bowls. Cover the bowls with plates or with plastic wrap; set aside for about 15 minutes. Using a paring knife, gently rub the skin off of the flesh of each chile and pepper. Wipe the surface of the flesh with paper towels to remove most of the excess skin and charred bits; discard the skin and set the chiles and peppers aside. (Never run roasted chiles or peppers under water to remove the skins; doing so removes flavorful natural oils.)

3. Make the stuffed poblanos: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9- by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Carefully slit each chile down one side and remove the seeds, leaving the stems attached. In a medium bowl, combine the goat cheese, Panela cheese, shrimp, shallot, chopped red pepper, cilantro, basil, salt and pepper; stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Divide the cheese mixture into eight equal portions. Place one portion into each chile, being careful not to overfill. Close each chile, overlapping the edges slightly. (These can be made a day ahead, covered and refrigerated). Transfer the stuffed poblanos to the baking sheet. Bake until just warmed through, about 10 minutes.

4. Make the sauce: Cut open the roasted red bell peppers; remove and discard the stems and seeds. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic and Serrano chile and cook, stirring occasionally until the shallots are tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender. Add the roasted red peppers, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add more broth as needed to reach the desired consistency (it should not be too runny). Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. (The sauce can be made a day ahead and refrigerated). Return the sauce to the skillet to warm slightly.

5. To assemble: Place one or two stuffed poblanos onto each plate. Spoon sauce on and around the poblanos.

Stay tuned for more recipes and updates. You can find great peppers from Burnside Acres this week at the market.

-Your Charlestown Land Trust

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tomatoes are here!

With all this crazy rain and weather, I've been cooking some delicious foods. I've been in the mood for tomatoes because all the great varieties that One Love Farm and Burnside Acres have this summer. Try this recipe with some tomatoes and bread. You'll be in for a treat!


1/2 small baguette (about 12 inches long)
1 large garlic clove, mashed
Olive oil for brushing
6 medium to large tomatoes, cut into large chunks
1/2 medium onion chopped
3 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh basil
4 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 300ºF.
Split the baguette lengthwise. Rub the cut side of one half very well with the mashed garlic. Brush liberally with olive oil. Cut the baguette half in half again lengthwise, and then cut these strips into 3/4 inch pieces. Place the croutons on a baking sheet, crust side down. Bake 30 minutes, until dark golden.
If croutons are made in advance, put the tomatoes in a large mixing bowl a bit before you intend to mix the salad, then drain off and discard any juice that may accumulate. To serve, add the croutons, onion, and basil to the tomatoes. Whisk the vinegar and oil for the vinaigrette. Pour over all and toss.

In the mood for more tomato recipes? I've found some great recipes on farm websites in the local area.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Silen Auctions & Baked Goods

As you know, the Charlestown Land Trust is gearing up for the annual benefit auction on August 20th. This auction is the Charlestown Land Trust's main source of revenue for protecting open space, doing environmental outreach in the community, and hosting the Charlestown Farmers' Market among other great things the Land Trust does. To get everyone as excited for the auction as our auction committee, we're helping with a series of mini silent auctions at the market. These silent auctions tend to be centered on the farmers' market. You'll have the opportunity to bid on one item each week. Past items have included a great set of Poblano Farms Salsas, a watercolor print of the Charlestown Farmers' Market by Frances Topping, and a picnic for two at Mill Pond.

Stop by our booth at the market and find out what the auction item of the day includes. We're located right next to Isis's baked goods. So when you're munching on your savory rosemary cake, take a look at the Charlestown Land Trust booth and support the organization and open space!

-Your Charlestown Land Trust

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lunchtime & Sunshine

The farmers' market season is now in full effect. We opened the Tuesday farmers' market on Falcone Field last week. We had smiling faces ready to eat dinner. 

Join us today for the Tuesday market from 4-7pm. You'll find your favorite vendors from the Friday morning market.

With lunchtime right around the corner and the warmth outside, a crisp, clean soup sounds delicious. Stop by the market and pick up a few cucumbers for this quick recipe.


5-6 cucumbers (peel if desired)
2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbs. chopped dill
1 tsp minced mint
2-3 cloves garlic
1 Tbs vinegar
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
Place all ingredients except one cucumber into the blender and process until smooth. Chop the remaining cucumber and add it to the soup. Chill until ready to serve.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Put your hard hats on!

Big changes are happening near the Charlestown Farmers' Market. The Charlestown Historical Society is building a museum! Very exciting news!!
(Charlestown Historical Society at the Farmers' Market with the future museum in the background)
We arrived at the market this past Friday to find wooden beams raised near the historic school house. We're excited to see the process taking place each week.

Today is our first Tuesday farmers' market at Falcone Field. The market starts at 4pm and runs until 7pm. Join us for some delicious produce and a great time. We're at a new location, hope it's a blast!!

-Your Charlestown Land Trust

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Guess who's back??!!

The alpacas are back at the Cross Mills' Public Library for the Charlestown Farmers' Market!!!!

We'll be there tomorrow morning with plenty of produce, meats, seafood, fibers, honey, bread, and deliciousness. Join us from 9am-noon!

(silly alpacas with a new haircut)

Monday, June 20, 2011

How often do you read the newspaper?

My morning routine tends to include a newspaper of sorts either electronic & paper-less or the hard copy. Many times it includes blogs and twitter re-caps of 140 characters. 

Thursday mornings in the summer tend to add one exciting step to the routine: searching for the Charlestown Farmers' Market ad. I completely forgot about the ad until this weekend. Quickly I searched for the Charlestown Press and flipped through the pages. Ta-da! The ad was in the Charlestown Press. This made the rainy Friday a little brighter.

(Find the Charlestown Farmers' Market ad in your local Charlestown Press)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Opening Day

The Charlestown Farmers' Market started its fourth season at the Cross Mills' Public Library this morning at 9am. Dressed in full rain gear, we had a good amount of market patrons visit and enjoy great local produce, seafood, meats, sorbets, coffee, and pastries. The pitter-patter of rain drops on the tents, along with the great music, made for a pleasant morning. 
(Our rainy opening day: filled with music, laughter, and great local foods!)

The moment the cinnamon buns and scones arrived, everyone lined up at Isis's booth for breakfast and Mike's coffee from Mills' Creek. With fathers' day around the corner, many people were picking up fresh oysters and littlenecks from Ninigret Oyster and grilling meats from Browning Homestead. One market patron even got "drive-up delivery" from Burnside Acres for plants! The great surprise today was the newest addition of gelato and sorbet from One Love Farms. Some delicious flavors include: Banana Caramel (tastes just like Bananas Foster) to Chocolate Hazelnut to Mixed Berry. We're so happy that the summer farmers' market season has arrived!!

Next week we will have our full line-up of vendors including fresh honey from South County Honey and meats from Stoney Hill to name a few. We hope to see you at the market on Friday!

-Your Charlestown Land Trust

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

So much going on in Charlestown for the Farmers' Market

This week has been quite the adventure. We have prepared the newsletter (pick one up at the market!), met with farmers, sent emails, gotten training to accept WIC, and made signs, lots and lots of signs. I'd like to think that each week brings new challenges and opportunities for the Charlestown Land Trust as we prepare the Charlestown Farmers' Market from location changes to security detail costs.

In the past two weeks, I've had over 5 different people ask me: Why is the Charlestown Land Trust involved in a farmers' market? and Why is the Charlestown Land Trust organizing a farmers' market?

Two very important questions that I'm sure we've all asked ourselves. The answer involves the Charlestown Land Trust's mission. The Charlestown Land Trust is interested in protecting open space for the benefit of all. Farmers actively use and protect open space through growing crops and raising animals. It seems very fitting for both the Charlestown Land Trust and the local farmers to work together towards "protecting open space for the benefit of all". The Charlestown Land Trust organizes the Charlestown Farmers' Market to promote the local farmers and what they do with open space. In supporting the Charlestown Land Trust, you also support the local farmers through the Charlestown Farmers' Market. 

When you're at the farmers' market at the Cross Mills' Public Library, visit us at our booth and learn more about what the Charlestown Land Trust does in your community. If you're interested in helping with the farmers' market, let us know! 

-Your Charlestown Land Trust

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Guess what just arrived in South County?!

Yes!!!!! They are here!!!!!!!!!!

After weeks of anticipation, multiple drafts, and approvals: the Charlestown Farmers' Market posters have arrived!! The posters, bookmarks, and bumper stickers have been picked up. The posters are so colorful and festive, we might just frame one and put it in the office! In the next few days you'll find posters throughout town, announcing the fantastic, original, and authentic Charlestown Farmers' Market. If you spot a poster, take a picture with it, and email it to us... we will send you a surprise!! 
(The festive Charlestown Farmers' Market poster. Thanks FarmFreshRI for the fantastic job!!)

We are sooo excited for these posters because they remind us that the market is only a few weeks away. Hope to see your smiling faces at the market at both the Cross Mills' Public Library and at Falcone Field!

-Your Charlestown Land Trust

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What's on your mind?

All we can think about is preparing for the Charlestown Farmers' Market at the Cross Mills' Public Library!!

(The summer market will be opening soon!)

We've been working on the first newsletter that will come out in few weeks for the Farmers' Market, focusing on specialty crops and farmers. 

Do you have a clever name or idea for the newsletter? Let us know! If you come up with the newsletter name you can win an awesome Charlestown Land Trust t-shirt or tote. We'll be taking name suggestions until June 10th.

-Your Charlestown Land Trust

PS. Check out our facebook page for recently uploaded pictures from the farmers' market in 2008. We've been going through our pictures and have found some gems! Can you spot your favorite farmer?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Saturdays in South County

Summer Farmers’ Market season has started throughout the state of Rhode Island! Many outdoor markets opened last Saturday throughout South County. We stopped by various markets to enjoy the local foods, outdoors, and to say “hi” to a few of the Charlestown Farmers' Market vendors that also sell at Saturday markets. A few of the Saturday markets in South County include the Richmond Farmers’ Market, Coastal Growers’ Farmers’ Market, and the South Kingstown Farmers’ Market at East Farm. We loved seeing vendors from One Love Farm to Browning Homestead! It was wonderful to see so many people getting ready for the opening day of the summer/outdoor market season.

Don’t you worry; we’ll be opening in Charlestown soon!! The Charlestown Farmers’ Market opens at the Cross Mills’ Public Library at 9am on June 17th!!!!!!!!
Look who we spotted!

Before we left the South Kingstown market, we saw Kathy dancing with the fabulous and famous “Ladies of the Rolling Pin”! It was a great treat! We’re so excited that the market season has started! Can’t wait to see your smiling faces at the Charlestown Farmers’ Market!!!
The Ladies of the Rolling Pin dancing at East Farm!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Where is the Charlestown Farmers' Market?

The popular question keeps coming up.

Q. Where is the Charlestown Farmers' Market? 
A. At the Cross Mills' Public Library, off of 1A.

To clear up the confusion, I've provided a map of the market. Feel free to click on the map and get a larger view of the area. If you're still a bit confused, feel free to contact us! You can email the market at: charlestownlandtrust@gmail.com.

-Your Charlestown Land Trust

(Charlestown Farmers' Market)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Gingery Rhubarb Granita via EdibleRhody

It's Mother's Day weekend!!
In preparing for delicious Mothers' Day meal for mom, I've been searching for a dessert. I came across this recipe that sounds fantastic on Edible Rhody. The best part is that rhubarb is in season in May in Rhode Island!! The Charlestown Farmers' Market opens up in a few weeks, so I'll definitely try this recipe this weekend and bring it out again once the market opens with some fresh, local rhubarb. Thank you EdibleRhody for another great idea.

Let me know what you think!
-Your Charlestown Land Trust

PS. Wondering what's in season in Rhode Island before you visit the farmers' market? Check out the FarmFresh Harvest Calendar for a quick overview.

Gingery Rhubarb Granita

½ cup water
½ cup granulated sugar
1½ pounds rhubarb stalks, trimmed and sliced into ¼-inch pieces
Peel of one lemon, roughly chopped (avoid white pith)
1 heaping tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
Pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

In a saucepan, bring the water and granulated sugar to a simmer. Add the rhubarb, chopped lemon peel, ginger and salt. Simmer until the rhubarb is soft and falling apart, about 15 to 20 minutes. If desired, add slightly more sugar to taste. Cool completely.

Pour the mixture into a shallow metal baking pan. Freeze it for several hours, stirring every 30 minutes until the liquid freezes into small crystals.

If storing for later use, cover the pan and keep it frozen until ready to serve (allow time to soften if necessary).

In a large mixing bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks begin to form.

Add the powdered sugar and beat just until combined. Scoop the granita into bowls and top each with a dollop of whipped cream.

Serves 6 as a dessert.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April's Quick Farmers' Market Update

We've been hard at work planning weekly and monthly events, demonstrations, and activities for the farmers' market. We got great ideas from all the farmers and market patrons, like yourself. Get excited, we definitely are!!

If you've got any ideas of things you'd like to see (or taste... yum!), let us know at the Charlestown Land Trust. We love to see you at the market at the Cross Mills' Public Library on Friday mornings.

To get a little taste for upcoming events at the farmers' market this summer (yes, the pun was fully intended):
- Charlestown Farmers' Market Recipe Contest
- and much, much more!!

Dates will be posted online and at the market once we have a full calendar.

We can't wait to see you at the market this summer!!!

( Charlestown Farmers' Market at the Cross Mills' Public Library)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Foodie & Farm Events in Southern Rhode Island: Mark Your Calendars!!

Get your calendars out and your green sharpies, I’ve got two great events for you to write in and attend in southern Rhode Island.

The first event consists of one of my favorite things: bread & bread making. The class will be called "Bread Baking 101". It is on Tuesday, April 19th from 2:30pm  to 5:30pm at the Peace Dale Congregational Church in Wakefield, RI. The Charlestown Land Trust (CLT), the Jonny Cake Center (JCC), and Southern RI Volunteers (SRIV) have teamed together to produce this great event for you. Space and food is semi limited, an RSVP would be greatly appreciated (even if it’s a few hours ahead of the event). Karen Jarret will be teaching you how to make bread and you will be able to take a loaf of rising bread home.

The second event is the 10th year anniversary of the East Farm Spring Festival. This will be on May 7th from 10am-2pm at East Farm. The URI Outreach Center organizes this great event for families, foodies, locavores, those interested in environmental issues, gardeners, fish enthusiasts, farm lovers, and just about anyone. It is a great event to bring children to or to bring the child in you to have fun in the spring time. A “Paint a Fish Tote” booth will be available along with free pH soil testing, food, music, and more. It is a blast and a wonderful time outside. If you’re looking for compost bins, gardening tips, and fun, this is the place for you.

Hope you’ve marked your calendars!!! I will see you at these fun events!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Narragansett Creamery Recipe: Gnudi with Lemon-Thyme Butter and Breadcrumbs

It’s a sunny Friday here in South County. What a wonderful spring day! To top off a great morning, I got my Narragansett Creamery newsletter today in my inbox. Narragansett Creamery has been one of the vendors at the Charlestown Farmers’ Market for the past few years. They have a bundle of cheese varieties (with Rhode Island based names in many cases!) that are sure to satisfy your palate.

One of my favorite things about their newsletter is that it always comes with a recipe. This time, the recipe focuses on a contemporary plate suggested by one of the cheese makers. I enjoy that it includes chard. I know I’m always looking for chard recipes, especially when it is in season in Rhode Island.

Let me know what you think!

Happy Eating!

Below is the recipe, provided by Narragansett Creamery via email:

Gnudi with Lemon-Thyme Butter and Breadcrumbs

  • 1 pound Narragansett Creamery Renaissane Ricotta
  • 12 ounces young red or rainbow chard (can substitute Lacinato kale, spinach, or another dark leafy green)
  • 1 egg (the pastured eggs we buy are in the large to extra-large range)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium lemon (preferably organic), zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for forming
  • 1 stick plus 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • several fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup soft fresh breadcrumbs

Drain the ricotta in a cheesecloth-lined strainer suspended over a bowl for at least 2 hours at room temperature. Save or discard the whey. 

Clean the chard well in plenty of cool water to remove any grit. Pat dry and remove the stems by folding the leaves like a book with the stem facing out, and cutting at an angle. Roll the leaves into a cigar shape, cut it in half lengthwise, then chop into small pieces. Cook the chard in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes, drain, cool, and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. You should end up with about 1 cup of chopped chard. (This step can be done ahead of time.)

Transfer the strained ricotta to a deep mixing bowl, and beat it with a flexible spatula or the back of a spoon until fluffy. Lightly beat the egg and add it to the ricotta along with the grated cheese. Add a pinch of salt, a grinding or two of pepper, and a teaspoon or so of lemon zest.

Add the cooked chard and 1/2 cup of flour to the ricotta mixture and stir until the flour is completely incorporated into the batter and the chard is evenly distributed throughout.
 Lightly flour your hands and scoop out a spoonful of the batter. Gently roll it into a sphere about the size of a large gumball. Place on a parchment-lined tray or sheet pan and repeat until you have rolled out all of the batter (you should end up with about two dozen gnudi). Refrigerate the gnudi until you are ready to boil them (the gnudi can also be frozen at this point).

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a wide skillet, melt the 2 Tablespoons of butter. Add the breadcrumbs and stir well, then cook until they are browned and crisp. Remove the breadcrumbs to a bowl and toss them with about a teaspoon each of fresh thyme leaves and lemon zest.

Wipe out the skillet and melt the remaining stick of butter. Add several thyme sprigs and cook over low heat, being careful not to brown the butter. Add the lemon juice to the pan, stirring through.

Add the gnudi to the boiling water in batches. When the gnudi float to the top of the pot, allow them to cook a minute or two before removing them with a spider or slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate, repeating until all are cooked.

Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the starchy water to the butter and lemon mixture, stirring through. Remove the thyme stems and discard.
 Add the cooked gnudi to the lemon-thyme butter and toss gently. Divide the gnudi and sauce between 4-6 warmed, shallow bowls, topping each serving with some of the lemon-thyme breadcrumbs.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March Market Update & EcoRI Article

As March comes to a close, we are getting to April showers… and farmers’ markets!
Here in Charlestown, RI, we’re working hard, getting your summer farmers’ market at Cross Mills’ Public Library ready for the season. The market is about 10 weeks away. It’s time to start organizing all those delicious local recipes you want to try out in the summer!
We’re planning everything from food demonstrations with local chefs to exciting energy outreach from the URI Energy Fellows and composting demonstrations for the market. We might even have a seed day, to start your mini farmers’ market plant to remember the excitement of the summer year round!  If there’s anything you’re looking forward to or would love us to have, let us know!
Speaking about seeds and farmer’s markets… did you catch this week’s article on EcoRI about organic farming in Rhode Island? Check it out: Organic Farming Growing Fast Locally: http://www.ecori.org/front-page-journal/2011/3/24/organic-farming-growing-fast-locally.html
Happy Reading!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Alpaca Demonstration

Looking for exciting things to do on an April weekend in Charlestown, Rhode Island???!? Come visit Hannah's Alpacas at the Cross Mills' Public Library on April 9th at 10am!

(Hannah's Alpacas at the Farmers' Market)

Hannah's Alpacas are one of the exciting vendors from the Charlestown Farmers' Market. You can come and learn about these fascinating animals at the Alpaca Demonstration. This is a free event, open to the public of all ages. Cameras are welcome!

(Alpacas being Alpacas) 

The funny faced alpacas come from the heart of Hopkinton, RI. These wonderful animals are quite impressive. Come to the Alpaca Demonstration and learn more about them!

 (Alpacas at the Charlestown Farmers' Market)

If you're ever in town, visit their farm store for wonderful alpaca products from handmade scarfs, hats and gloves to jackets, sweaters, socks to yarn to other organic surprises. The list goes on!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Applications for Summer 2011

The Charlestown Farmers’ Market is only a few months away! If you are interested in being a vendor at the market, please fill out the application and submit it to:
Charlestown Land Trust
P.O. Box 1387
Charlestown, RI 02813
Or you can email them to:
Applications for new vendors will be due at the end of April. Please make sure you get your applications in for summer 2011!!
Visit our website for vendor rules and application!

Friday, March 18, 2011

GeoTagging & Green Bucks

In our active lifestyles, one of the popular terms regarding the outdoors, spatial data, GPS (you know where I’m going with this one…) is: Geotagging. I must admit, I’m new to the geotagging game of going out to a spatial position/ location and finding a clue or a picture or a surprise… or trees and vegetation. The exciting thing about geotagging is that everyone can do it; it’s like a scavenger hunt for people of all ages.

Charlestown Land Trust is adapting this geotagging idea and making a game out of it. I promise more details will be posted here and on our website in the next few weeks.

Now you're probably thinking: how does this relate to the Charlestown Farmers' Market??

After you visit a certain amount of protected open space properties in Charlestown and Southern Rhode Island and take pictures. You will send in the pictures and receive Green Bucks in return. Green Bucks work like money at the farmers' market.

Another big question: how does visiting protected open space relate to the farmers’ market?

Actually, many farms in Southern Rhode Island are protected. Visiting these farms is a great way to meet the farmers and learn about where your food is coming from in Rhode Island.

We want you to visit, enjoy, and benefit from the protected open space in Charlestown! Once the “geotagging rules” for CLT are up, join us and take lots of pictures. The more sites you visit and document, the more green bucks you can receive for the farmers’ market. It’s a win-win in my mind!

(Looks familiar? This picture is from the summer. It was taken out by the protected open space found behind the Cross Mills' Public Library. In our CLT geotagging game, pictures with animals, nests, and exciting things will be worth extra green bucks!!)

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at: Charlestownlandtrust@gmail.com  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mussels in a Tomato Herb Broth

It is right around lunch time and my mind always wonders to the delicious farmers’ market foods. This weekend, I visited the Coastal Grower’s Winter Market as it’s one of the few winter markets in Southern Rhode Island. I’ve lately been enamored with the freshly caught cod available, found right next to the shellfish.
As I sit here wondering what lunch or dinner might be this week, one of my favorite cooking demonstrations from the Charlestown Farmers’ Market came to mind:  mussels in a tomato herb broth.

(Mussels in a Tomato Herb Broth)

Doesn’t that make your mouth water a bit? Picture this: summer in Charlestown, shorts and short sleeves, the smell of sunscreen and a faint hint of bug repellent as the day is coming to an end, cooking in the outdoors, surrounded by friends at the farmers’ market, the sounds of laughter and the chatter in the background… and the smell of a tomato broth slowing coming together on the grill, cooking the mussels in it to perfection. Now I bet you’re in the mood for some mussels in a tomato herb broth.

(Karen & Michael cooking at the Farmers’ Market)
To make this summer picture more realistic, I’ve attached the friendly faces of Karen and Michael, who did a fantastic job last summer cooking at the Charlestown Farmers’ Market. Together with Margaret, Linda, and a few other Land Trust members, they provided excellent food demonstrations at both the Quonochontaug (Quonnie) Grange and Cross Mills’ Public Library. Each cooking demonstration left everyone in anticipation for the next one.
Now that you’re in the mood for some local shellfish, I’ve included the recipe for the mussels in tomato herb broth. Let me know if it’s just as delicious as at the farmers’ market!

Tomato herb broth for Mussels
·         4 lbs. mussels 
·         Garlic- 6 minced fine cloves
·         Celery- 2 chopped medium stalks
·         Onions - 2 chopped into small chunks
·         Fresh Basil, Oregano, Sprig of Rosemary
·         Fresh, fire roasted tomatoes (10.5 cups) or 3-28oz. cans
·         Pepper & Salt to your liking

1.       Sauté garlic, celery, and onion in olive oil and then add: Fresh Basil, Oregano, Sprig of Rosemary, Black Pepper, and Salt to your liking
2.       Diced Tomatoes- Fresh, Fire roasted or regular diced (3 - 28 oz. cans since it’s the wintertime)
3.       Simmer for an hour or more and let the flavors enhance by letting it sit overnight.  
4.       Cover the mussels in sauce and bake them (covered) for 45 + minutes or until opened @ 350 degrees.   
Enjoy with a loaf of crusty bread!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bonfire & Open Space Celebration

       Rhode Island experienced great March weather this past weekend, a mix of sunshine, a slight breeze, and the signs of spring. Charlestown Land Trust hosted their annual Bonfire and Open Space Celebration at the Amos Green Farm. The Bonfire was quite an impressive sight. Among the great group were some of the farmers and vendors of the Charlestown Farmers’ Market, members of the Charlestown Historical Society, and community members, families, and children.

(Bonfire & Open Space Celebration)

       As you entered the property a loud noise came from the waters next to the historic stone wall. The sound was so captivating, I walked over to find a good amount (over fifteen) frogs swimming and wadding in the temporary pond. After much conversation about the frogs or toads, species, and such, we decided the animal must be a: Rana sylvatica, also known as a wood frog. It was such a great greeting from the frogs, to announce spring and our Open Space Celebration!

(wood frog in the water) 

       To get to the Bonfire, you need to walk by the historic Amos Green house. It is a living reminder of what life was like in Charlestown and southern Rhode Island, many, many years ago. The house was home to Amos Green in 1750. The home without running water and electricity has seen many children grow into successful young adults, families come together, and times change (using electricity, telephones, etc) throughout the years. Once you reach the house, you walk up past a few stone walls and see the Bonfire.

       The Bonfire was in one of the many fields of this great property. This protected property is part of a greenway that goes through the region. Many animals benefit from these lands, such as the cows that graze the fields and the wood frogs that greeted us at the entrance.

(waters filled with frogs)

       This Bonfire and Open Space Celebration reminds the Charlestown Land Trust and the community of the importance of protecting preserves, open space, and the environment. By hosting the Charlestown Farmers’ Market, the Land Trust promotes farmers and vendors who dedicate their lives to the land and sea.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sustainble Farming Article: Can it feed the world?

Interesting opinion piece in the nytimes today:

Sustainable Farming Can Feed the World?

I found this article thanks to Edible Rhody. They have great updates and profiles on Rhode Island foods. I look forward to their quarterly issue each and every season.

What are your thoughts on the article?? I know I'm in the mood for some local food today!

- Your Charlestown Land Trust

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mark Your Calendars!

We're counting down the days to see you at the Charlestown Summer Farmers' Market!!! 

We are fifteen (15) weeks away from the first Friday market of the season in Charlestown, RI. 

I know I'm excited! Are you?

-Your Charlestown Land Trust