Farm Fresh RI blog

Musings about locally grown food in the ocean state

Healthy Foods, Healthy Families Hits the Middle of the Season

By Alex Male, HFHF Intern

Healthy Foods, Healthy Families (HFHF), Farm Fresh RI’s nutrition education program serving families with young children, has reached the middle of the season and full enrollment! Thank you to everyone who has stopped by and participated so far. In case you missed the fun at the markets, here is an update on what we’ve been up to at the Healthy Foods, Healthy Families tent.

Every week, families learn about a fruit or vegetable through tastings, recipes, activities, and hands-on food based nutrition education. We kicked off the season with simple recipes featuring familiar fruits and veggies, and then ventured to recipes and foods that some families were tasting for the first time, like our earthy beet lemonade and pepper quinoa boats.  Thanks to the kid-friendly samples prepared by our fabulous Johnson and Wales University interns and encouraging children to take one bite of every new sample, we’ve barely had leftover samples!  The samples are a hit with parents too. As school is swinging into full gear, the HFHF newsletter presents fun ways for parents to include fruits and veggies in snacks and lunches.

Even though we had a lot of enthusiastic children participate in our fruit and veggie-themed activities, we definitely had a few favorites.  At the end of July, we made pepper people with toothpicks and veggies. We gave each child half of a pepper and they stuck veggies onto the pepper with toothpicks to make a face. The children quickly got creative, and we started seeing pepper mice, pepper cars, and pepper boats amongst the pepper people.

Another big hit at some of our markets was the bike smoothie. In honor of Bike to Farmers Market Week, HFHF gave children the chance to make their own cantaloupe smoothie with a bike-powered blender. Everyone loved these pedal-powered treats.

A favorite activity was definitely salsa making week in August, when tomatoes were the featured ingredient.  To get children involved in the preparation, they combined the ingredients into a bowl and mixed them together to make their own salsa. The children who made the salsa seemed excited to try it, even if they didn’t like tomatoes. It has been great to hear parents return to HFHF excited to share stories of their children helping to cook dinner at home.

Healthy Foods, Healthy Families will be at the farmers markets until the end of October, so we still have a lot of fun activities and delicious samples to go! Hope to see you at the market.

September is Hunger Action Month

September is Hunger Action Month and there are many activities and events to highlight across the state. 

RHODE ISLAND COMMUNITY FOOD BANK AT FARMERS MARKETS

During this month, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank is inviting the public to speak out against hunger in Rhode Island. Stop by their booth at a farmers market near you and learn about their new toolkit, “One Kid Can”, for teens and children who are interested in helping the hungry through food drives, fundraisers, and other events.

The RI Community Food Bank will be setting-up at the following markets:

  • September 16th - 3-7pm - Whole Foods University Heights, Providence
  • September 17th - 3-6pm - Downtown Farmers Market, Providence
  • September 18th - 2-6pm - Haines Park, Barrington
  • September 19th - 3:30-dusk - Armory Farmers Market, Providence
  • September 24th - 3-7pm - Whole Foods Garden City, Cranston
  • September 25th - 3pm-6pm - Hope Street Farmers Market, Providence

For more details on these markets click here.  

FRESH FOOD FOR ALL FUND 

For the month of September, Farm Fresh RI will be asking for donations from farmers market customers to help support our Fresh for All Fund.

 The Fresh for All Fund: 

  • Strengthens farmers markets in low-income neighborhoods
  • Empowers parents to raise a new generation of veggie lovers
  • Leverages federal SNAP dollars to reduce the prevalence of obesity and diet-related disease
  • Invests federal SNAP dollars into the local economy

Stop by the Farm Fresh RI Table at your these farmers market today and donate!

FARM TO FOOD PANTRY 

Local farmers have donated over $2,500 worth of fresh produce to local food pantries since the start of the summer through Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s Farm to Food Pantry program

This Sunday: Conversation with Michael Shuman

Brown University’s Swearer Center for Public Service, The TRI-Lab at Brown & The Rhode Island Food Policy Council Invite you to a public conversation with:

Michael Shuman

Director of Research, Cutting Edge Capital
Director of Research & Economic Development, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies

Author of several books including: Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Move Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity

Sunday, September 8, 2013
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Brown University, Salomon 001
69 Waterman Street, Providence
(off the Main College Green)

Michael will discuss the ways a robust local food system can help fuel economic development in Rhode Island and will be available for a book signing after the conversation.  SAVE-the-Date link.

BROWN UNIVERSITY FARMERS MARKET OPENS SEPTEMBER 4TH

Schools are starting up and a cool breeze is in the air… the perfect time to stop by a fall farmers market! Most farmers markets continue through the end of October and are stock full of kale, cabbage, apples, herbs, squash, carrots, beets, breads, cheese, meat, fish, and more. For a full list of farmers markets that are open in September and October in your neighborhood, visit our website:www.farmfresh.org/markets.    

The Brown University Farmers Market is opening this Wednesday, September 4th (new day for 2013!). The market is located on Wriston Quad off of George Street, between Thayer St and Brown St. The market is open from 11am-2pm every Wednesday through October.

The following farmers and vendors are confirmed for 2013: 

Absalona GreenhouseBarden Family Orchard, Blue Skys Farm, Brown Community Garden (every other week), Freedom Food FarmHarvest KitchenHill OrchardsMello’s Farmstand,Narragansett Creamery, PV Farm StandSeven Stars Bakery 

Don’t forget that 22 markets across the state accept debit, credit and EBT. At 10 markets this fall, we provide a 40% bonus for customers shopping with their EBT cards (formerly food stamps). Stop by the Farm Fresh RI table to swipe your cards for tokens to spend at the farmers’ market stands.

This summer, Farm Fresh RI’s Healthy Servings for Seniors program ran at five sites: Progreso Latino in Central Falls, Burns Manor in Pawtucket, Child & Family in Middletown, Parkview Manor in Woonsocket, and Silver Lake Community Center in Providence. Participating seniors attended workshops about nutrition and local food, co-taught by FFRI and educators from the URI SNAP Ed program, and received a $15 incentive, redeemable at farmers markets in RI. The program included a field trip to a nearby farmers market, as well as a mini-market on site. One activity involved describing what food means to you. See the results above!

BIKE TO FARMERS MARKET WEEK - AUG 25TH THROUGH SEPT 1ST

 
Bike to farmers markets across the state from August 25th through September 1st!Farm Fresh Rhode Island, Recycle-a-bike, the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council (WRWC), Bike Newport are offering a few events for this 2nd Annual event. Enjoy the beautiful weather and extensive bike paths in RI this August, and demonstrate the craziest ways that you can transport local tomatoes, corn, eggplant, peaches, nectarines, and greens by bike trailer, rack, cart, or crates.

On Thursday, August 29 from 3:30-7pm bike to the Armory Park Farmers Market, where many of the farmers bike their produce in weekly. At this grand celebration you can get your bike tuned-up by the WRWC Red Shed Bike Shop mechanics on the spot for $5, have your bike valeted by Recycle-a-Bike, watch the Healthy Foods, Healthy Families program use their bike-powered smoothie maker for educational tastings, and donate your old bikes to support WRWC bike programs.

Bike to Farmers Market Week will also be celebrated with various smaller activities at the following markets around Providence:Neutaconkanut Hill Market on Monday, August 26th, Downtown Farmers Market on Tuesday, August 27th. These markets will have a few of the activities listed above.

On Aquidneck Island, bike to the Aquidneck Growers Market (AGM) in Newport on Wednesday, August 28th from 2-6pm.There will be a raffle for bikers at this market! Bike Newport will also have bike valet and bike safety information at the Wednesday AGM Market in Newport.
 
The West Warwick Farmers Market, which is located directly off of the Washington Secondary Bike Path, will have its own celebration later in the season. More information available soon!

With help from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation you can find maps of all the bike paths in RI online to plot your routes for the week. Additional farmers markets that are located just off of bike paths include:

 
Artwork by Adriana Gallo - adrianagallostudio.blogspot.com

MEET OUR INTERN SERIES: PART 4

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Above: Chef Brandon at a Veggie Box cooking demonstration (left); encouraging children to taste new food at the farmers market (right).

MEET OUR INTERN SERIES, PART 4!

This summer, the Farm Fresh staff has welcomed five interns to work in various capacities and programs.  The interns have proven themselves to be great assets, each bringing a unique level of creativity and curiosity to the particular program(s) in which they are involved.

Next up is Brandon Lam, the Healthy Foods, Healthy Families and Veggie Box culinary intern.

1) How did you hear about Farm Fresh Rhode Island? 

I heard about Farm Fresh RI through my internship coordinator and also through the Wellness and Sustainability concentration offered through Johnson and Wales.  I had also heard about FFRI from farmers markets in general.

2) What are some of the projects you have been working on at FFRI?

I have been working on a 17 week long menu for Healthy Foods, Healthy Families.  Additionally, I have been doing Veggie Box cooking demonstrations.

3) Does your volunteering at FFRI connect to your academics or future plans?

I believe that working at Farm Fresh will help me with my future goals.  To learn about the importance of sustainability is vital to understanding how the food system really works.  Creating simple kid-friendly recipes for HFHF has also provided me with insight about customized menu planning and recipes.

4) What do (did) you study in school?

I am a graduate of Johnson and Wales University.  I studied Culinary Nutrition with a concentration in Food Science.

5) What have you learned so far from volunteering here?

I have learned a great deal of information about vegetables and seasonal growing patterns, as well as new vegetables that I have never heard of before.

6) What has been your favorite time/moment at FFRI (so far)?

Cooking demos have been my favorite part.

7) What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable?

My favorite vegetable is green patty pan squash.

 

 

 

Wiggly Worms Wow Cunningham Students

As part of Farm Fresh RI’s Summer School Gardening program, students at Cunningham Elementary in Pawtucket are learning all about vermiculture. Learning the importance of compost and soil rich in nutrition for the plants helps students understand how fruits and vegetables are especially nutritious for their bodies. Americorp VISTA Cate Puccetti brought a worm bin to the weekly gardening session last Wednesday, and students were encouraged to get to know the worms personally! Each student received a cup of compost, including worms. They spread their compost out to count and measure the worms in the compost.

As the programming continues, students will use the compost to feed the small plants they are nurturing in their school garden. While veggie plants are growing, students will taste examples of what they will harvest later in the season. So far, strawberries, blueberries, zucchini, cucumbers, kale, cabbage and more have been on the tasting menu. Garden fresh produce has already been harvested and used to prepare tasty “Mint Water” and savory “Basil Pesto”.

This program is also being presented to students at Hope High School, Bailey and D’Abate Elementary schools in Providence as well as at the Community Garden at Thundermist in West Warwick.

MEET OUR INTERN SERIES: PART 3 

Cate whipping up a Wright’s Dairy Farm smoothie on a farm field trip with Pawtucket elementary students! 

MEET OUR INTERN SERIES, PART 3!

This summer, the Farm Fresh staff has welcomed five interns to work in various capacities and programs.  The interns have proven themselves to be great assets, each bringing a unique level of creativity and curiosity to the particular program(s) in which they are involved.

Next up is Cate Puccetti, the Farm to School Garden Program intern.

1. How did you hear about Farm Fresh Rhode Island?

I’ve been asked this before and I honestly don’t remember. I’ve grown up in Rhode Island on a farm. I think I must have found out about it through that. When I was in high school I would go to various farmers’ markets throughout the state. I also used their website a ton to search different farms and figure out where I could buy large amounts of fruits for canning. Once I got to college I started to fully understand the scope of Farm Fresh RI and how much they’re impacting food systems in RI.

2. What are some of the projects you have been working on at Farm Fresh RI?

The main project I’ve been working on is Farm to School with Kim Clark. Farm to School is a national program that is working to bring healthier, more local food into schools while simultaneously teaching students about where their food comes from and how it’s grown by implementing school gardening programs. I’m working this summer teaching in five different schools that have summer programs. The goal is to keep the gardens alive and abundant throughout the summer so that teachers can pick up in the fall and continue to use the gardens as a resource. Along with this I’ve helped work the Market Mobile and Veggie Box packing lines.

3. Does your volunteering at Farm Fresh RI connect to your academics or future plans?

If someone had asked me just four years ago what I wanted to do when I got older it certainly wouldn’t have had anything to do with farming or agriculture, but that all changed my freshmen year of college. UMass Amherst has an awesome program called Sustainable Food and Farming and after taking a class called Sustainable Living I was completely converted. The work Farm Fresh RI is doing coincides perfectly with everything I’m learning about. I can only hope to continue doing what I’m doing in the future.

4. What do (did) you study in school?

I have one more semester at UMass Amherst where I’m studying Sustainable Food and Farming. Most of the time when people ask what I’m studying they have no idea what I’m talking about. This major starts by looking at the various ways food is grown and then moves on to topics of distribution, food policies, and overall food access. A major focus is put on identifying systems that are in place and how to shift these systems so that they’re more sustainable and resilient.

5. What have you learned so far from volunteering here?

I would say the thing I’ve learned the most is that in order to make the most change or have the most success you have to be flexible. The type of work going on here at Farm Fresh RI is so multifaceted and because farms are involved it can even be unpredictable. Being able to change gears quickly and problem solve is the key to getting the job done.

6. What has been your favorite time/moment at Farm Fresh RI (so far)?

It’s definitely been working with the kids in my gardening programs. One moment in particular was when we were spreading compost into the garden before planting. When I dumped out the buckets there were tons of worms and the kids just dove right in picking them up and tossing them around. We later spent time learning about worms and how important they are for a garden. It’s been a great challenge taking everything I know and organizing it in a way that’s accessible for children. It’s also made me realize I know a lot more than I give myself credit for.

7. What’s your favorite vegetable?

Onions, garlic, chives, scallions…really any member of the Allium family. I rarely make a meal that doesn’t have one of the above included.

HEALTHSOURCE RI IS COMING TO A FARMERS MARKET NEAR YOU!

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Looking for more health insurance options?

HealthSource RI—Rhode Island’s health benefits exchange—is a new one-stop marketplace for Rhode Islanders and small employers to find, compare and purchase health coverage.

Starting in October, Rhode Islanders will be able to shop for coverage and see if they qualify for tax credits to help pay for insurance. Some will even qualify for low-cost or no-cost insurance coverage.

HealthSource RI will also help small businesses and nonprofits select insurance options that best fit their needs

Want to learn more? HealthSource RI will be handing out information and answering questions at these local farmers markets. Come by and say hello!

Can’t make it? To learn more, visit www.healthsourceri.com Like HealthSource RI on Facebook, Follow on Twitter or call (401) 222-5192

National Farmers Market Week!

National Farmers Market Week is being celebrated across the country from August 4th through August 10th. Stop by your local farmers market and let your farmers, vendors, market managers and volunteers know how much you appreciate their fresh produce and hard work!

The Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack released an official proclamation establishing National Farmers Market Week. They also released some exciting statistics about the growth of farmers markets over the years; in 2013 we are up to over 8,000 farmers markets across the country. 

We will have a few special activities and tastings this week at Neutaconkanut Park, Woonsocket, Armory, West Warwick, Downtown, Broad Street, and Slater Park. Information for these markets listed here.  

MEET OUR INTERN SERIES, PART 2!
This summer, the Farm Fresh staff has welcomed five interns to work in various capacities and programs.  The interns have already proven themselves to be great assets, each bringing a unique level of creativity and curiosity to the particular program(s) in which they are involved.
First up is Phoebe Neel, the Farmers Markets intern.

1) How did you hear about Farm Fresh Rhode Island? 
As a Brown Environmental Studies Student, it’s hard not to know about Farm Fresh RI! I was lucky enough to go to school with Farm Fresh RI staff members Hannah, Molly, and Kayla, and have had the good fortune to see Farm Fresh RI programs grow over the years.

 2) What are some of the projects you have been working on at FFRI?
I’ve been working with Sarah Lester, the markets coordinator, on a variety of different projects here at Farm Fresh RI, all in service of expanding knowledge of and access to the farmers markets in Providence. That looks like: a lot of hours on the ground at the markets exchanging SNAP benefits, credit/debit cards, and Fruit and Vegetable Prescriptions for Fresh Bucks tokens that can be used at markets; updating website information; coordinating a Health Fair at the Neutaconkanut Park Farmers Market in Providence; corresponding with our organizational partners; and spreading the word and explaining our programs to people on the street. It’s a really beautiful mix of logistical and physical work, theoretical strategy, practical applications, outreach and introspection.

 3) Does your volunteering at FFRI connect to your academics or future plans?
I’ve done terrestrial farm work in the past and presently work on an oyster farm in Charlestown, and farm work is something that is very near and dear to my heart. Because of that, I think it’s so important FFRI works to help farmers, who keep long hours and fight often uphill daily battles, by creating markets for their goods and connecting them to consumers, thus contributing to making it a more viable livelihood today. I also am consistently amazed by how FFRI’s work is so important to our overall physical health, and works to reroute money from ending up in the coffers of large corporations to instead support local Rhode Islanders and strengthen our local food economy. Working at this intersection of producers, consumers, and institutions allows me to use a variety of different skills, and I really see the everyday impact and increase in access to local food that is the result of our work here.
 4) What do (did) you study in school?
I study Environmental Studies at Brown, with a focus in ContemplativeStudies as well.
 5) What have you learned so far from volunteering here?
In addition to what I’ve said so far, I’ve learned a lot about patience; about perseverance; about how amazing it is to work for people who you trust and respect.
 6) What has been your favorite time/moment at FFRI (so far)?
Working at the opening day of the farmers market at the Thundermist Health Center in Woonsocket was incredible - the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program allows doctors to write a “prescription” for low-income clients at risk for dietary related health issues, that gives them vouchers to buy produce for free for their families at the farmers market. It was incredible to see how overjoyed some of the clients were to be able to buy fresh fruit and vegetables for their families, how the farmers were doing good business, and all in all it was an incredibly successful partnership for everyone involved. Everything clicked in that moment to realize how revolutionary it is to increase access and ability for all people, especially those in places with few grocery stores, to buy quality food for their families.
 
 7) What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable?
 Hard one, but probably avocadoes!


MEET OUR INTERN SERIES, PART 2!

This summer, the Farm Fresh staff has welcomed five interns to work in various capacities and programs.  The interns have already proven themselves to be great assets, each bringing a unique level of creativity and curiosity to the particular program(s) in which they are involved.

First up is Phoebe Neel, the Farmers Markets intern.

1) How did you hear about Farm Fresh Rhode Island? 

As a Brown Environmental Studies Student, it’s hard not to know about Farm Fresh RI! I was lucky enough to go to school with Farm Fresh RI staff members Hannah, Molly, and Kayla, and have had the good fortune to see Farm Fresh RI programs grow over the years.

 2) What are some of the projects you have been working on at FFRI?

I’ve been working with Sarah Lester, the markets coordinator, on a variety of different projects here at Farm Fresh RI, all in service of expanding knowledge of and access to the farmers markets in Providence. That looks like: a lot of hours on the ground at the markets exchanging SNAP benefits, credit/debit cards, and Fruit and Vegetable Prescriptions for Fresh Bucks tokens that can be used at markets; updating website information; coordinating a Health Fair at the Neutaconkanut Park Farmers Market in Providence; corresponding with our organizational partners; and spreading the word and explaining our programs to people on the street. It’s a really beautiful mix of logistical and physical work, theoretical strategy, practical applications, outreach and introspection.

 3) Does your volunteering at FFRI connect to your academics or future plans?

I’ve done terrestrial farm work in the past and presently work on an oyster farm in Charlestown, and farm work is something that is very near and dear to my heart. Because of that, I think it’s so important FFRI works to help farmers, who keep long hours and fight often uphill daily battles, by creating markets for their goods and connecting them to consumers, thus contributing to making it a more viable livelihood today. I also am consistently amazed by how FFRI’s work is so important to our overall physical health, and works to reroute money from ending up in the coffers of large corporations to instead support local Rhode Islanders and strengthen our local food economy. Working at this intersection of producers, consumers, and institutions allows me to use a variety of different skills, and I really see the everyday impact and increase in access to local food that is the result of our work here.


 4) What do (did) you study in school?

I study Environmental Studies at Brown, with a focus in Contemplative
Studies as well.


 5) What have you learned so far from volunteering here?

In addition to what I’ve said so far, I’ve learned a lot about patience; about perseverance; about how amazing it is to work for people who you trust and respect.


 6) What has been your favorite time/moment at FFRI (so far)?

Working at the opening day of the farmers market at the Thundermist Health Center in Woonsocket was incredible - the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program allows doctors to write a “prescription” for low-income clients at risk for dietary related health issues, that gives them vouchers to buy produce for free for their families at the farmers market. It was incredible to see how overjoyed some of the clients were to be able to buy fresh fruit and vegetables for their families, how the farmers were doing good business, and all in all it was an incredibly successful partnership for everyone involved. Everything clicked in that moment to realize how revolutionary it is to increase access and ability for all people, especially those in places with few grocery stores, to buy quality food for their families.

 

 7) What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable?

 Hard one, but probably avocadoes!

RAIMONDO ANNOUNCES SUMMER SMART MONEY TOUR

Treasury to highlight ways to help you find and save money

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – General Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo today announced the start of her Smart Money Tour to increase awareness about the ways Treasury can help people find, and save money. As part of this tour, Treasury will visit local farmers markets and senior centers to help people find their unclaimed property and raise awareness about the importance of personal financial management.

“My office is always looking for innovative ways to reach Rhode Islanders,” Raimondo said. “By offering convenient opportunities for people to start the unclaimed property process and answer their personal financial questions, we are moving our entire state forward, one person at a time.”

Helping You Find Money
During the last fiscal year, Treasury returned more than $8 million to over 8,000 Rhode Islanders. Currently, Treasury is holding more than 750,000 unclaimed properties worth more than $250 million. The average claim ranges from $100 to $125.

Treasury staff will be available to help people locate their lost or abandoned property for free. Unclaimed property includes items such as forgotten bank accounts, stocks and dividends, and life insurance claims. Our searchable online database is updated with new properties every week. Visit 
treasury.ri.gov/unclaimed to search and claim property. 

Helping You Save Money
In recognition that everyone could use a little free help understanding and managing their finances, information about Treasury’s financial empowerment program will also be available.

Raising awareness about the programs of Treasury’s free Empower RI initiative started this spring in local libraries. The Rhode Island Financial Coaching Corps, an Empower RI program in partnership with the Capital Good Fund, provides free financial help including: setting financial goals regarding budgeting, managing debt and building credit. 

To date, the Smart Money Tour has visited the Haines Memorial State Park Farmers Market in Barrington, the Meadows Independent Living Center in North Smithfield and the Warren Senior Center. Outdoor events are weather dependent. For event-specific information, contact Heather Hudson, Treasury’s Outreach Director at 401-222-2397.

 

Remaining dates and times to learn about Treasury programs:

Monday, July 15, 2013 - 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Greenville Farmers Market – St. Thomas Episcopal Church

1 Smith Avenue, Greenville, RI

 

Friday, July 19, 2013 - 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Colt State Park Farmers Market

At the Cross Street of Hope Street and Asylum Road, Bristol, RI

 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Garden City Whole Foods Farmers Market
151 Sockanosset Cross Road, Cranston,RI

 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Pilgrim Senior Center

27 Pilgrim Parkway, Warwick, RI

 

Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 3p.m. – 6 p.m.

West Warwick Farmers Market - Thundermist Health Center

186 Providence Street, West Warwick, RI

 

Thursday, August 8, 201311 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Johnston Senior Center

1291 Hartford Avenue, Johnston, RI

 

Friday, August 9, 20139 a.m. -1 p. m.

Goddard State Park Farmers Market

345 Ives Road, Warwick, RI

Tuesday, August 27, 2013   10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
South Kingstown Senior Center

25 St Dominic Rd, Wakefield, RI        

 

Thursday, August 29, 2013 - 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m .

Swift Community Senior Center

5 Saint Elizabeths Way, East Greenwich, RI

 

Thursday, August 29, 20133 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Wickford Village Farmers Market

63 Brown St, Wickford, RI

 

Friday, August 30, 20131 p.m. – 2 p.m.    

Leon Mathieu Senior Center

420 Main Street Pawtucket, RI

 

Meet Our Intern Series, Part 1!

This summer, the Farm Fresh staff has welcomed five interns to work in various capacities and programs.  The interns have already proven themselves to be great assets, each bringing a unique level of creativity and curiosity to the particular program(s) in which they are involved.

First up is Onelissa Martinez, more commonly known as Onne, the Healthy Foods, Healthy Families all-star intern.

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1) How did you hear about Farm Fresh RI?

I heard about Farm Fresh from Simon Moore, the Director of College Visions!

2) What are some of the projects you have been working on at FFRI?

I’ve been spearheading HFHF at the West Warwick market on Thursdays as well as working at three other HFHF sites every week.  I’ve also been doing some of the behind the scenes work that keeps the program running, especially reviewing entrance surveys and entering participant data into Excel.  Overall, I’m having a well-rounded experience and taking part in a little bit of everything!

3) Does your volunteering at FFRI connect to your academics or future plans?

Working with FFRI is inherently connected to my academic life - I’m seeing in action what good it does to have community involvement and how it can change the way people see things.  I hope I see more of these connections.

4) What do (did) you study in school?

Environmental Studies with a focus in religion/philosophy - i.e. adding to the number of unemployed graduates!

5) What have you learned so far from volunteering here?

I’ve learned so much about what goes into making a program like HFHF run smoothly.  There’s a lot of work that goes on in the background!

6) What has been your favorite time/moment at FFRI (so far)?  

Working with an amazing team!

7) What is your favorite vegetable?

I don’t have favorites but I guess I really like broccoli.  I’m sure I’ll find something new working with Farm Fresh this summer though!


RI Farm-to-School gardening programs are being taught at five different school/community gardens throughout the state this summer. Students of all ages are getting their hands dirty planting seeds, pulling weeds, and harvesting the fruits of their labor. Once all the hard work is done outside students have the opportunity to learn basic cooking skills as well as sample produce from their Veggie Box. Year-long gardening programs and clubs are often neglected in the summer. Tiny seedlings perish without scheduled watering, and weeds that were once small at the end of the school year shoot up and steal sunlight and nutrients from the surviving plants. Reviving the gardens will hopefully empower students to take ownership of them and ensure that come fall there will be plenty of watermelons and pumpkins to share.
Above are pictures from Cunningham Elementary with the super cool re-purposed palate “vertical garden”.

RI Farm-to-School gardening programs are being taught at five different school/community gardens throughout the state this summer. Students of all ages are getting their hands dirty planting seeds, pulling weeds, and harvesting the fruits of their labor. Once all the hard work is done outside students have the opportunity to learn basic cooking skills as well as sample produce from their Veggie Box. Year-long gardening programs and clubs are often neglected in the summer. Tiny seedlings perish without scheduled watering, and weeds that were once small at the end of the school year shoot up and steal sunlight and nutrients from the surviving plants. Reviving the gardens will hopefully empower students to take ownership of them and ensure that come fall there will be plenty of watermelons and pumpkins to share.

Above are pictures from Cunningham Elementary with the super cool re-purposed palate “vertical garden”.