In a quest for winter veggies and other treats, a recent afternoon in Providence brought us to the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market located in the core of the Hope Artiste Village, a unique complex “offering small scale artisan manufacturing space, incubator office space, artistic and individualist retail space, live/work studios, bar/restaurants and music venues”, and an excellent repurposing of the remains of the former Hope Webbing Company, a mill complex erected between 1890 and 1930.
The farmers’ market sets up in the wide corridor between the permanent Hope Village residents’ retail shops and studios, creating a surprisingly fluid experience between scrutinizing root vegetables and ogling exquisitely hand-crafted violins, violas, cellos, and ukeleles. After a tasty (but messy) lunch of Mijo’s Taco’s sweet potato quesadilla, we filled our bags with sunchokes, Olga’s cornmeal pizza crusts, Farmstead’s hickory smoked mozzarella, a jar of Harvest Kitchen‘s cranberry-apple sauce, and Schartner Farm’s dried corn on the cob (for popcorn!) before we were on our way.
(clockwise from top left) 1. Ackpack Basket Studio – a basket in progress by Gail Connolly, and a lovely stack of Nantucket basket molds 2. winter gourds 3. Matanuck Oyster Farm – fresh mussels on ice 4. pretty as a picture kohlrabi, German for “cabbage turnip” (we’re told it tastes like a cross between a cucumber and a broccoli stalk and is an undeservedly neglected vegetable)
(clockwise from top left) 1. McCarten Violins – Denis McCarten’s handcrafted violins 2. cut your own sunflower sprouts! 3. the curious Spanish black radishes 4. Applesauce from Harvest Kitchen , a Farm Fresh Rhode Island culinary and job-readiness training program for at-risk youth in which the teens create a line of high-quality preserved foods using ingredients sourced from local farmers at a certified kitchen in Providence to be sold at local stores, farmers markets and to wholesale customers.
photo credits: Alexis Fleisig & Margie Lavender