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:
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:  

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

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Charlestown Land Trust: Who are we & what do we do?

Your Charlestown Land Trust - Charlestown’s Land Trust - preserves and protects the distinctive character of our local area through acquisition and management of open space.

You can learn more about the Land Trust at:

The Charlestown Land Trust with the help of your local farmers and vendors has organized the Charlestown Summer Farmers' Market for the past few years. This summer will be our fourth year bringing you delicious produce, hearty meats, savory cheeses, sweet honey, colorful flowers, natural fibers, artisian breads and merriment!

Charlestown Land Trust sponsors the Farmers' Market at Cross Mills' Public Library. If you are interested in volunteering, participating, or joining in on the fun, email:

We will be updating you as we prepare for the summer Farmers' Market with events, recipes, stories, plans, and everything locavore related.

Your Charlestown Land Trust