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Frugal Family: Buy It Fresh

Are you still purchasing your produce and dairy products at the supermarket? Maybe it's time for a change.

Although there aren't many places in Woonsocket where you can purchase fresh-off-the-farm dairy and produce, you don't have to go far in order to keep your family healthy. Supermarket food is not only more costly, but far less fresh than the local, farm fresh items grown and cultivated right here in Rhode Island. In addition to our local farmer's markets, within an approximate 20 mile radius you will find local farms which sell everything from milk, eggs, bread, peaches, apples and blueberries to lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, eggplant, sweet corn and much, much more. These items are cultivated and picked fresh daily, weighed, and portioned to fit your families specific needs.

Although Wrights Dairy Farm (located on Woonsocket Hill Road, North Smithfield) does not sell produce, they do sell all the fresh dairy your family could want, and then some. Wrights is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. (4 p.m. on Sundays,) and sells fresh from the cow milk, eggs, bakery items including pastries and breads, chocolates, cakes, party trays and more. Conveniently located and extremely affordable, I can't think of a single reason why I wouldn't go to Wrights - instead of the local market - for the milk, eggs and bread my family needs. 

As for produce, there are more than a few locations which offer farm fresh veggies and fruit. One such place is Steere Orchards, located at 150 Austin Ave. in Smithfield and open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. At Steere's, you can purchase the produce directly from the stand, or take your family for a free hayride through the orchards and have them pick the fruit for themselves. This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy time outdoors with your children, while at the same time teaching them how fresh produce is grown.  Steere Orchard, a family owned business, is no more than a fifteen minute drive from Woonsocket.

Jaswell's Farm, located on Swan Road in Smithfield (right off of Rt. 116,) is another great local place for fresh food. Jaswell's farmstand and bakery offer the freshest picked seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as an assortment of fresh baked goods. They also carry a complete line of preserves, jellies, salad dressings, prepackaged baking mixes, Vermont cheeses, RI honey, candy, fudge and more. Jaswell's farmstand and bakery is open daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from May to December. September is the month for Apple Picking (begins Saturday, September 10 and extends through most of October,) and pumpkin picking (begins Saturday, September 17 through October 31.)

Yet another option is Captain Elisha Steere Farm, a historic landmark of Smithfield, RI, and one of the oldest continuously operated farms in Smithfield. Captain Elisha is currently owned and operated by Jeff Booker - a member of the 7th generation of Steeres to call the farm home. The farm is ideal for those folks interested in fresh produce without the picking (though there are plenty of apple trees waiting to be pruned!) Captain Elisha offers something the others do not, and that is an affordable membership to CSA - Community Supported Agriculture. This membership runs for 13 weeks (August 11 through November 3) during which members can go directly to the farm every Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. to pick up their allotment of fresh produce. Captain Elisha offers between 8 to 10 different items each week, with plenty of old standbys and some delectable rarities. Produce at the Captian's includes apples, peaches, berries when in season, broccoli, beets, cabbage, summer and winter squash, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, and much more.  To stock up on fresh produce today email Jeff at jeff@steerefarm.com, or simply visit the farm's produce stand located in front of the farm at 30 W.Greenville Road in Smithfield.

We in New England have a rare opportunity to feed our children and those we love fresh foods straight from God's green earth. Why would we choose to purchase our fruits and vegetables, milk and eggs, anywhere else? 

Steve September 01, 2011 at 06:40 PM
Quick question, how much of Jaswell's farm's produce is local vs. transported in from the west coast as is evident by the "Foxy" iceberg lettuce in one of the photos? From the writeup below, it sounds the lettuce is grown locally. In addition to our local farmer's markets, within an approximate 20 mile radius you will find local farms which sell everything from milk, eggs, bread, peaches, apples and blueberries to lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, eggplant, sweet corn and much, much more. These items are cultivated and picked fresh daily, weighed, and portioned to fit your families specific needs.
Jason D September 01, 2011 at 06:44 PM
Jeff very true. Paying a little more for a fresher product and product that will hold longer is worth it IMO. Not to mention you are supporting your fellower RI'ers. Sometimes NY and NJ are local compared to imports from another country or FL and CA. NJ blueberries are just the best.
Jason D September 01, 2011 at 06:45 PM
Wright's Dairy milk is worth the little extra. That stuff is sooooo good.
Steve September 01, 2011 at 06:54 PM
As an FYI, I think another place that's very good for produce and is local to Woonsocket is Fernandes Produce on High St. Very reasonable, very fresh and a local Woonsocket business that we can support.
STEPHEN WEBER September 01, 2011 at 08:50 PM
I'll second that I was at Fernandes today ... outstanding quality, Fresh and great prices and they fit my "Frugal " budget .. The others I consider "Frivolous and the Frugal" association to Wrights Dairy farm totally Non sequitur

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