PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announces that farmers’ markets at two state parks are now open with new procedures in place for the safety of patrons and vendors. From now through late October, farmers' markets in Goddard Memorial State Park and Fishermen’s Memorial State Park will offer consumers a wide assortment of freshly grown fruits and vegetables, meats and seafood. Among produce items currently in supply are vegetables and vegetable plant starters (tomatoes, rhubarb, lettuce, peppers, herbs, beets, bok choy and garlic) and a variety of flowers for planting and bouquets. Traditional offerings of baked goods, fudge, coffee, bedding plants, hanging plants, honey and maple syrup are also available for purchase at the markets.
“We are excited to invite Rhode Islanders to visit our DEM farmers’ markets and purchase delicious and freshly harvested local foods and products. This year, we’re asking customers to take additional steps to protect themselves and the people around them so everyone can enjoy a safe shopping experience,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “During this very difficult spring, many of us feel deeply appreciative of the simple pleasures that make life better. Surely, enjoying fresh, local food from our hard-working farmers is one of those special experiences. It is so great to welcome them back!”
The following farmers’ markets are open now through late October:
• Goddard Memorial State Park Farmers' Market in Warwick, Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Fishermen’s Memorial State Park Farmers' Market in Narragansett, Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Fishermen’s Memorial State Park
DEM understands that this is a unique season and the shopping experience will be different at outdoor farmers’ markets and on-farm markets. To maintain proper physical distancing, vendor stands/booths are located at least six feet apart from each other and one-way aisles have been established to guide customers through the market. A limited number of customers will be allowed within the market area at one time, and it may be necessary for customers to wait to enter the shopping area at certain times. While in the parking lot and at vendor booths and areas where lines may form, customers must follow social distancing guidelines and remain at least six feet from others outside their household.
Handwashing stations with soap and water and/or sanitizer will be provided for vendors, customers and staff use to ensure regular hand sanitation. Vendors will frequently disinfect surfaces and objects within their booths that are touched by customers.
All customers, vendors and staff should wear face coverings whenever they are within six feet of other people outside their household. A face covering needs to be worn in all public places where you are close to other people and cannot easily, continuously, and measurably maintain six feet of distance from people in other groups. For more information on wearing face coverings visit https://www.reopeningri.com/resource_pdfs/FAQ-outdoor-activities-05.22.20.pdf.
While enjoying outdoor spaces, residents must continue to follow the CDC and RI Department of Health guidelines for preventing the spread COVID-19:
- If you’re not feeling well, stay home! Signs and symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
- Practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet of distance between yourself and others, even when outdoors.
- For the safety of all visitors, please have a face covering with you and wear it in public areas and if you are within 6 feet of another person who is outside your household. The only exceptions from these rules are for people with disabilities, anyone whose health would be in jeopardy because of wearing a face covering or any children under 2 years old.
- Avoid close contact with others outside your household, such as shaking hands, hugging, or high-fives.
- Bring and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid unnecessary contact with surfaces that are often touched, such as doorknobs and handrails.
DEM encourages everyone to follow guidance about COVID-19 from Governor Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Health. More information about COVID-19 and Rhode Island’s response can be found here: https://health.ri.gov/diseases/ncov2019/
The farmers’ markets at Goddard and Fisherman’s are very popular, and people should expect that they may encounter traffic backups and filled lots at these markets. Please be patient and plan for delays.
Most vendors at every DEM farmers' market accept farmers' market checks from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) administered by RIDOH (to purchase fruits and vegetables). Purchases through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be available at the Goddard Park Farmers’ Market only beginning in early July. The successful Senior Farmers' Nutrition Program, administered by DEM for purchase of fruits and vegetables, will be available later in the season. The coupons will be available at senior centers in early July; to qualify for the program, persons 60 or older make a simple self-declaration of income based on household size.
DEM continues to work across many fronts to benefit and strengthen Rhode Island’s green economy and to assist local farmers and fishers in growing their businesses. There are more than 1,000 farms sprinkled across the state and Rhode Island is home to a thriving young farmer network. DEM continues to make investments in critical infrastructure as well as provide farm incubation space to new farmers through its Urban Edge Farm and Snake Den Farm properties.
The state’s food scene is often cited as an area of economic strength ripe for innovation and growth. Already, the local food industry supports 60,000 jobs, and the state’s green industries account for more than 15,000 jobs and contribute $2.5 billion to the economy annually.
For a list of farmers' markets operating throughout the state; visit http://www.dem.ri.gov/rhodygrown/.