Westport

Festivals on the FarmCoast

Summer is a time to celebrate, and here on the FarmCoast there are plenty of chances to join in the festivities. FarmCoast festivals highlight the unique people, art, food, and landscape of our four towns and are happening here all summer long!

The Westport Fair July 16th– 20th

Here’s where you can experience a good old-fashioned summer fair right on the FarmCoast. Think local crafts, BBQ, 4H, carnivals, and music. In partnership with Lee’s Supermarket the fair grants scholarships each year to community recipients. The fair is located at 200 Pine Hill Road Westport, MA. For more information visit the fair website.

Arts and Artisan Festival July 19th

The 27th annual Arts and Artisan Festival is the longest standing art fest on the FarmCoast and is one of the many FarmCoast traditions that only gets brighter with age. The festival features over 75 New England artists showcasing everything from textiles to painting to photography and more. Live entertainment and amazing food by the Acacia Café food truck will be there all day long. The festival is held on lawn behind the behind The Mill Pond Shops in historic Tiverton Four Corners at 3998 Main Rd Tiverton, RI from 10-4pm. The rain date is Sunday, July 20th. To learn more about the festival and vendors, click here.

Padanaram Village Celebration July 26-27th

Explore Padanaram and the “Days of Yore” in this two-day celebration commemorating Dartmouth’s 350th anniversary. Saturday enjoy sidewalk sales, nature walks, a SEMAP culinary presentation, historic reenactments, concerts, tractor rides and more. Sunday brings more historic presentations, a baseball game, and family centered events. There will even be a birthday cake! For more information about this two-day event, click here.

SouthCoast Artists Tours July 19th & 20th AND August 16th and 17th

Now in their 11th year, the South Coast Artists are once again opening their doors during the Open Studio Tours this summer, providing visitors a glance at the life and work of established and unique area artists. Grab a tour map and wander through the FarmCoast towns on your choice of two weekends this summer to see live multi-media painting, sculpting and pottery, mosaic and more. The SouthCoast Artists are a non-profit organization working together to preserve and enrich the community through art. Click here for more information or to download a map.

Cultural Survival Bazaar July 26th and 27th

A traveling Bazaar of indigenous art and culture, this celebration of native people is the most colorful of the FarmCoast festivals. Here you will find tribal crafts, artwork, clothing, jewelry, carpets, and accessories, not to mention live music, Native American storytelling, cultural presentations, craft-making demonstrations, and short films all on the lawn of the Soule-Seabury House in Tiverton Four Corners from 10am to 5pm. Dedicated to the principals of fair trade the Bazaar facilitates the expansion and access to American markets. In the past seven years alone the bazaars have generated over $3 million for indigenous artisans, fair trade businesses, indigenous communities’ programs, and Cultural Survival’s work on behalf of indigenous peoples. For more information on the mission, the artists and performances click here.

Sing out Against Hunger  July 26th through October

A series of music performances by local musicians will once again take the stage on the FarmCoast to raise awareness and gather canned goods for the Tiverton Food Drive. In cooperation with local merchants, volunteer musicians, and civic-minded people, Singing Out Against Hunger raises thousands of dollars each year to help rid the community of hunger. Their main event at Evelyn’s Drive In will take place September 12-14th where you can find raffle prizes, a silent auction, and great local bands. Other concert locations and dates can be found here.

Hope to see you at one of the many Festivals this summer!

Summer Music on the FarmCoast

FarmCoast summers are here which means fresh eggs on the roadside, clam cakes on the beach, open shop doors, beautiful sunsets, and of course, live music. Many of our members are offering summer evening concerts and we hope you get out to join them!

Westport Rivers Sunset Concert Series

A gorgeous vineyard with a long family history is bringing back their much-loved Sunset Concert Series starting this Friday June 20th with a fabulous entertainment line-up. Bring your picnic blanket and food if you want, but you may want to save your appetite for the Cuttyhunk raw bar or catering by Compton Clambakes. Beer and wine are also available to purchase, but bring your own glasses! The outdoor concerts will be every Friday from 6-8pm and a few Saturday nights as well. The cost is $10 per carload. For more visit westportrivers.com



Apponagansett Summer Concert Series

Find your spot on the lawn of the Apponagansett park overlooking the Apponagansett Bay in Dartmouth every Wednesday from 5:30 to 8:30pm to enjoy  a lively line-up of local music.  “The Bucket” will be serving your favorite backyard cooks plus ice cream and cold drinks. The cost is $5 per person or $4 in advance; children under 12 are free. Rain date will be on Thursdays. Find details about the bands and series here.

LIVE at the Sail Loft

This Padanram hot-spot hosts live music Thrusdays and Sundays and just released a brand new menu. By the way, Padanaram is a must-see stop on the Farmcoast, so before dinner stroll the shops of this quaint and historic boating village. Discover the harmony of local music and local food together at the Sail Loft. To get updates on Sail Loft performances follow them here.

Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard Summer Concert Series

Surrounded by the beauty of Little Compton’s favorite vineyard, park your family and pets on the grounds of Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard for an evening of spirited music and superb local wine. Concerts will be held Thursday evenings from 6-8pm through Sept 18th and food and drink will be for sale at Carolyn’s Cafe. Dancing barefoot is encouraged. To see the full band line-up visit sakonnetwine.com.

Back Eddy

Long-time local favorite The Back Eddy has reserved Sunday nights for fresh seafood, spirited cocktails, and live music. Expect amazing performances like that of acclaimed singer-songwriter Rebecca Correia, in an entirely relaxed atmosphere. Stop by throughout the summer for waterfront seats, local food, amazing views, and great local music.

Tiverton Four Corners Arts Center Concert and Food Truck Festival

The Meeting House in Four Corners has made welcome hundreds of community festivals over the years and will be hosting this year’s not-to-be-missed Art Center Food Truck Concert Festival. Be there for one, or all three, concert dates June 29th, July 27th, and Auguest 17th and find delicious local creations from the Acacia Food Truck each time. The Concert line-up is as follows: Smith & Weeden on June 29th, Kate Grana & Friends on July 27th, and Abbey Rhode on August 20th; per ticket cost is $14 at the door. Alternatively, you can purchase a season pass for all three concerts for $30 which grants you discounts to 5 other concerts happening at the art center. This venue is an iconic stop for visitors and locals on the summer Farmcoast trail, we hope to see you there!

Community Supported Agriculture: Top 10 Reasons to get a Farmcoast CSA this Summer

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a big part of the FarmCoast heritage. The land in all it’s lush and fertile beauty is credit to the bountiful farms and farmers and their faithful integrity. If you haven’t signed up for a farm share this year, here are ten reasons why you should. Scroll down for a list of farms on the FarmCoast offering delicious summer produce.

10. Because we all know by now to SHOP LOCAL. 100% of your money spent on a farm share goes right to the farmer who picked those veggies allowing them to more efficiently sustain their business and crops.

9. Because in your market bag each week will be super FRESH, colorful, often ORGANIC produce that you’d pay more for in the grocery store.

8. Because the average COST of a couple’s farmshare is about $25 per week. For the same cost as a trip to the movies you can help to sustain and maintain the farms and open space on the FarmCoast for years to come and eat vegetables while you’re doing it.

7. Because summertime is a great time to get CREATIVE in the kitchen. Each week you’ll bring home an assortment of seasonal produce giving your dinner menu a chance to refresh. Not sure what to do with kohlrabi? Not to worry, many of the farms send home recipes to accompany their veggies.

6. Because you’ll get to know your farmer and other veggie-loving farmcoast FRIENDS. Anyone for a farmcoast CSA cook-out?

5. Because you’ll be in the know. Your trip to the farm each week will be like a crash course in eating by season, and even long after your CSA has expired you will continue to shop smarter and cook healthier.

4. Did we mention healthy eating?

3. Because food is culture, and part of the FarmCoast CULTURE is food. Join the wave of Farmcoast foodies!

2. Because getting it from the farm will minimize your carbon FOOTPRINT by decreasing how far your food travels.  Most food travels over 1500 miles before you eat it!

1. Tomatoes, corn, sugar snap peas, beets, blueberries, peppers, kale, cucumbers, peaches, squash, garlic, and happiness all summer long.


It’s not too late to get in on a CSA this summer. Below are a list of FarmCoast farms offering shares.Contact individual farms for details and share availability. Most begin in the next couple of weeks so don’t wait! Do you already have a share? Let us know what’s your favorite CSA take-home.

Tiverton

Roots Farm 

Mello’s Farm Stand

Little Compton

Wishing Stone Farm

Westport MA

Hilltop Farm

Skinny Dip Farm 

Dartmouth
Apponagansett Farm 

Brix Bounty Farm

Round the Bend Farm

Silverbrook Farm

Look Who’s New on the FarmCoast

A host of new members have jumped on the sustainably-minded bandwagon we call the FarmCoast, a beautiful stretch of land that sits on the coastal border of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Farmcoast, as the name implies, is a community graciously dependent on its land, but farms are not all you will find here. Food caught fresh and sustainably sourced, clothing hand-made and fair-trade, art in many accomplished forms, and people who appreciate these precious modern amenities are all scattered across the FarmCoast landscape. If you haven’t been to this region of New England yet, now’s the perfect time. Here are some of 2014’s newest members. Welcome aboard!

The Local Bouquet

The local bouquet is a full service “field to vase” floral design studio using domestic and locally grown flowers and offering gorgeous event assortments, flower subscriptions, and workshops. Visit their website to learn more about Mary-Kate and Maureen or to order your own FarmCoast blooms.

Simmons Cafe and Market

You will find some flowers from the local bouquet stocked in the new Simmons Cafe and Market, a historic, lively café and marketplace that features natural and organic foods, local products, healthy meals, art, music, and wifi. Simmons Cafe is located at 78A Crandall Rd in Little Compton, RI.

Shop-Isa

An artist gallery and artisan boutique overlooking the Sakonnet River, Shop-Isa features a blossoming assortment of fair-trade and handmade goods. You will find everything from soaps and jewelry, to photography and up-cycled home vintage accessories. Find Shop Isa at 1793 Main Rd. Tiverton,RI and online at shopisa.tumblr.com.

Katherine Lovell Studio and Gallery

Previously part of the Mill Pond Shops, Katherine Lovell will be joining the FarmCoast and the lively arts community in Tiverton Four Corners in a new location at 3895 Main Road in Tiverton. Don’t miss her grand opening on June 14th to see wonderful, nature-inspired works of art! To learn more about her paintings visit klovell.com.

Acacia Cafe-Food Truck

Acacia Cafe is the tastiest new FarmCoast member, a Food Truck, serving up a mouthwatering menu and traveling throughout Rhode Island and the southcoast of Massachusetts at regular locations and special events. All their ingredients are locally grown and sourced, all natural and organic whenever possible. They will be guests of honor at the Tiverton Four Corners Food Truck Concert Series this summer, don’t miss it! For more information on their food, locations, and menu visit them online at acaciacafe.com.

Sakonnet Collective

A new member with a new location in Tiverton Four Corners, this colorful art gallery and studio brings excitement and enthusiasm along with fine furniture, sculptures, mixed media art, ceramics, and jewelry crafted by local and resident artists as well as visiting artists. Stop by their new location at 3842 Main Rd, Tiverton, RI for their Grand Opening on June 14th or visit them online at thesakonnetcollective.com.


Tess & Carlos

 
An urban upscale boutique comes to the village of Four Corners! Tess and Carlos is well-known for their high-quality, European-style women’s clothing and accessories. They have stores in and around the Boston metropolitan area and now right here on the FarmCoast. Read all about their new boutique on the Discover Rhode Island Style Blog!

For a full listing of all FarmCoast Members, visit our website at www.farmcoast.com.

Wide Open Spaces on the FarmCoast

Spring has sprung! And if this warmer weather has got you searching for a trip to the outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. Our four coastal villages are filled with open spaces and gorgeous natural habitats just waiting for your visit. We invite you to bask in the warm sun and all the glory of being in the fresh outdoors. From open parks to nature trails, here are some stops you might want to explore this spring

In Tiverton 
Tiverton is known for it’s hidden treasures and certainly Emilie Ruecker Wildlife Refuge is one of these. Situated just minutes north of historic Tiverton Four Corners on Sepowet Ave, this preserve features 50 acres of accessible tree-lined trails welcoming to all levels of outdoor enthusiasts and encouraging to hopeful bird watchers; Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and Glossy Ibis are just some of the birds you might encounter on your peaceful walk through the trails. What to bring: your binoculars and sketch pad; this refuge will delight you with stunning views of salt marshes and the sparkling Sakonnet River.
Weetamoo Woods, part of Pardon Gray Reserve, is another option for hiking in Tiverton. While you can travel through Pardon Gray to get to the forest trails, many prefer the entrance on East Rd. which gives direct access to over 5 miles of mapped trails. This healthy trek is a paradise for budding botanists and historians alike. Here you’ll find a showcase of nature’s most resilient mosses, mushrooms, and wild plants, and remnence of Weetamoo’s original Wampanoag ownership with historic stone walls, cellar holes and even a village sawmill. What to bring: Your pup and a few dollars for ice cream. Wetamoo is right across from iconic Tiverton ice cream parlor, Gray’s!

In Little Compton
Although the entrance may be easy to pass by, don’t drive by Simmon’s Mill Pond in Little Compton, especially if you’ve brought your fishing gear. Over 400 acres of land sit under forest cover with wide hiking trails and at the pond, we hear, an abundance of trout in the spring. Hike about a 1/2 mile from the entrance on Colebrook Rd. and find a beautiful place to spread out your picnic blanket and enjoy the sounds of nature. What to bring: sturdy shoes and your fishing pole.

In Westport
If you find yourself in this summer beach town make your way over to Allen’s Pond Wildlife Sanctuary and explore the coastal wetlands. Two entrances give access to over 7 hiking routes, boasting 6 miles of trails and “first-class bird watching,” each with their own unique display of this rich New England habitat. Parking on Horseneck Rd. brings you to the Quansett Trail System including a breathtaking Beach Loop filled with gorgeous views of Buzzard’s Bay. Just up the street, parking on Allen’s Neck Road brings you to the Allen’s Neck Trail System through old pastures and grasslands to giant boulders and vernal pools.What to bring: a wind jacket and a bird dictionary; Over 300 species of birds have been spotted here!

In Dartmouth
Located on Barney’s Joy Rd., Demarest Lloyd State Park is rightfully called one of the best-kept secrets in southern Massachusetts. In a harmonious blending of farm and sea, hiking trails open onto a beautiful accessible beach. Visitors say traveling here feels like being a kid again, uncovering a secret treasure you’ll want to visit again and again. What to bring: sand shovels and buckets for collecting rocks and shells. Also in Dartmouth, managed jointly by the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust and Trustees of Reservations, Slocum River Reserve is a beautiful hike for those who appreciate a peek at the water featuring 2 miles of walking trails along the stunning Slocum River. To add to it’s appeal, over the passed year an art exhibit, The River Project, was installed inviting visitors to view large scale sculptures by local artists amidst the trails through May 18th 2013. What to Bring: your artistic side and a bit of bug spray.

Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust manages over ten popular trails in the area including the popular Daffodil fields in Parson’s Preserve, a springtime delight for all ages. The organization hosts events and guided walks throughout the year.Visit their website for specific trail information. Another great destination in Dartmouth is the Lloyd Center for the Environment with five family friendly trails over 55 acres of lush forest and wetlands. Colorful trail maps available at the education center guide you through the reserve but don’t forget to spend some time in the indoor aquaria room! The Lloyd Center is also a great spot for canoeing and kayaking. What to Bring: all your friends!

Happy Trails! 

Worth the Journey

A fresh cup of coffee and hot breakfast, like most other things in New Enlgand, come with a long history, especially if your griddle-compainion of choice are jonnycakes. These sweet little cakes are made from ground corn meal, a tradition that dates back to colonial New England when travelers would fill small knapsacks with the ground meal as food for a long journey. Some think a variation of spelling over time is what started the name jonnycakes, but others remain skeptical. Even Gray’s can’t say for sure where the namecomes from, but what they do know is that Rhode Island is (or should be) the only place to get the goods. Started over 300 years ago, Gray’s Grist Mill is still grinding this Rhode Island breakfast staple, celebrating a tradition that intrigues and delights rhody locals and neighbors alike.

Thorton Simmons and wife Mary now operate this historic mill/museum located on the thin line between Westport, MA and Adamsville, RI. Recently mentioned on the Today Show, the famous mill has gone through several owners since it’s first documented ownership in 1717, and each has been devoted to the outstanding preservation of this once-mainstream occupation. Long ago, (centuries really) grist mills were the thing. Each town had it’s own, and each mill provided livelihood to the growing populations. Today grist mills are as rare as people like Thorton and Mary who devote their time to the history and labor. However, with the help of a few modern accessories like an electric motor (mills were once powered by water), the work is little lighter. Despite some advances, the mill stands true to its roots; it makes good use of two 1 ½ ton stones to crush corn kernels for one thing.

Narragansett Indian Flint corn, is the corn of choice. This hard-to-grow variation of corn is best nurtured in Rhode Island soil; its uniquely sweet flavor makes for a sweet breakfast, and a proud crop of Rhode Islanders. Rhode Islanders are not the only ones who know a good thing when they see it; chefs and local cafes across the region stock Gray’s jonnycake mix for hungry customers.The best part: the mix ground fresh, is preservative-free making it one of the most all-natural, all-local foods you can get your hands on. The modern miller recommends keeping your mix in the fridge.

Whether your going to get some fresh breafast or to tour the history of the mill, a stop at Gray’s is worth the journey. Thorton even says there’s talk of a coffee shop in the Mill’s future, a chance to make this stop on the FarmCoast a little sweeter.

To get an insider’s perspective on the workings of the oldest New England Grist Mill, and a few delicious recipes, visit www.graysgristmill.com.

Ten Inspiring Gift Ideas, Off the Beaten Path

Gift shopping is upon us, and FarmCoast New England has unwrapped a few ideas to inspire you this season. If you’ve been searching for something different a little different this year, something memorable, creative, and full of New England cheer, read on; our gift ideas might be exactly what you’re looking for…

1. CSA or FarmShare to one of our local farms
Organic enthusiasts, experimental cooks, and environmentally friendly families will love this rewarding gift that will bring fresh veggies to their table long after the holidays are through…

2. Outdoor Adventure of a lifetime
-Based out of South Dartmouth, Balloon Adventures of New Bedford offers warm rides year round. Gifting a hot air balloon ride will surely cure the winter blues!
-On the flip side Osprey Sea Kayak and Adventure gift certificates offer an exciting and grounded option for a good time.

3. Edible Gift Baskets from Milk and Honey
You tell them what kind of cheese you like, and Kathi and Gerry will whip up a festive goodie basket. With over 100 varieties of cheese, and loads of local extras like honey, olive oil, crackers, and pasta, giving a gift basket is completely satisfying for everyone involved. www.milkandhoneybazaar.com

4. The beauty of something made by hand
FarmCoast is loaded with handmade gifts, a thoughtfulness that makes holiday gift-giving not just intimate, but unforgettable…
Some of our favorite picks: Ceramics at Salt Marsh Pottery, Charlie Barmonde, Gustin Ceramics, and Roseberry-Winn; Jewelry like one-of-a-kind wire earrings by Susan Freda, or colorful cocktail rings by Tiffany Peay. Silk and felt scarves from Gallery4, hand-printed bags and accessories from Nankeen, and luxurious lotions from Flora!

5. Coffee of the Month Club at Coastal Roasters.
Two fragrant bags of fair-trade and organic coffee will arrive on their doorstep every month,  a precious gift for all five senses. To find out more visit www.coastalroasters.com.

6. A relaxing winter getaway…or at least the makings of one
Package up a dinner gift certificate and a stay at one of our cozy b&bs!

7. JonnyCakes, Pancakes, and Syrup!
Gray’s Grist Mill is a historic New England must-see for visitors. But if you can’t get to the mill, they can still wrap up some of this local goodness for you with belly-warming gifts starting at just $15. www.graysgristmill.com.

8. Partner’s Village Store gifts from A to Z
Last Saturday Partners’ Open House featured autographed books, alpacas, chocolate tasting, and silhouette portraits. Known for unique and quality gifts, they carry everything from cookbooks and kids books to candles and kitchenware. There’s never a dull moment or present at this popular gift shop. www.partnersvillagestore.com

9. Wine Club Membership at Westport Rivers
A bottle of wine never fails, but pair it with a Wine Club Membership and your gift just got a little merrier.

10. Weave your Own
 If you’ve always wanted to make your own scarf for someone special around the holidays, there’s never been a better time or place. Amy Lund Handweaver offers no-experience necessary weaving instruction so you can offer up (wearable) handmade gifts. Lessons are offered throughout the year, and also make a great gift.

If you have a favorite gift idea to share with our readers, something we might have missed, comment below, we’d love to hear from you! 

Escape to the FarmCoast and Stay Awhile

Crackling hot breakfast, breath-taking water views, and rolling farmland as far as the eye can see… this is what travelers looking for a quiet get-away might call heaven, and what the inns along the FarmCoast call home. Tucked away amongst the lush forest-laden land of Tiverton, Little Compton, Westport, and Dartmouth are a variety of accommodations to host you during your visit to the area. Some are old, some are new, and all have something unique to offer. From large-scale historic elegance to small home-style rooms, peaceful lodging on the FarmCoast humbly awaits you. Beauty and solitude are among the many reasons to find one of these charming establishments, and hunker down for a relaxing stay.

The Henley House– Dartmouth
Derrick and Margret Jones from Oxfordshire, England brought a little of their English heritage to the FarmCoast when they decided to re-open The Henley House in South Dartmouth nine years ago. “We are a little oasis here,” says Margret, even though they sit steps away from the busy streets of Padanaram Village, known for history, shops, and views of the Apponagansett Bay. The house fits well alongside this seaside colonial village with remnants of old area houses, and pieces of “The Wanderer,” (the last known Whaling Ship) built into the walls. Outside, walkable gardens adorn the landscape, reflecting the gentle marriage of the home’s English and New England roots. The three guest rooms have private baths and are accompanied by a delightful homemade hot breakfast such as quiche or crepes each morning, along with fresh fruit, homemade granola and breads, coffee, and tea. The hosts are especially accommodating to guests’  special diets, and, you can rest assured, they know how to make an excellent cup of tea.

Paquachuck Inn– Westport
This 9-room, harbor-side inn overflows with area history and charisma. Popular, and predominantly positioned at the far end of Westport Point, The Paquachuck Inn is an authentic sailor’s lodge, a historic building that once a welcomed weary travelers, and now serves as a respite for guests from around New England. Each room grants a gorgeous view of the harbor, and sunny, large common rooms give a warm sense of home. The Paquachuck is minutes to Horseneck Beach and The Back Eddy, and also has a private dock for fishing.


The Edith Pearl– Little Compton
An established residence on the side of West Main Rd. in Little Compton, The Edith Pearl is central to all points on the FarmCoast and most importantly, it’s dog friendly. After all, dogs love free open space just as much as we do, and there’s plenty of that on the FarmCoast. The colonial home itself is surrounded by 200 acres of farmland. 3 comfortable guest rooms are lovingly cared for by Deborah LeLevier, and amenities including a guest-raved-about hot breakfast, wireless internet, and all the accouterments of your own home (beach chairs, books to read, and a pet if you didn’t bring yours) are on hand. The Edith Pearl was awarded Yankee Magazine’s Editor’s Choice for the Best of New England in 2010.

The Stone House– LittleCompton
Regal and rural, The Stone House sits atop a Gastby-esque estate overlooking a gorgeous and private view of Round Pond. The house was originally built as a private residence in 1854 and re-opened in 2009 after renovations were completed to reflect modern design and efficiency.  This is the largest and most luxurious accommodation along the FarmCoast boasting designer bathrooms, i-pod docks in each room, organic linens, and an onsite spa. The main house has 9 rooms and their “Wood Barn” has an additional 3 suites. The Stone House is the perfect size, and location, for hosting wedding parties, and family reunions.

Ferolbink Bed and Breakfast- Tiverton
Settled out in the country on the beautiful acres of Ferolbink Farm sits the old farm house decidedly planted right where it belongs. It’s a family-run establishment with a wrap around front porch where you can, if you’d like, sit in a rocking chair, close your eyes, and be transported to a simpler time. If you’re looking for a little more adventure, take a bike ride to Four Corners or short drive to one of the nearby shopping villages along the FarmCoast. The farm is fully operational and supplies a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables for their breakfast each morning.

 Wherever you end up, we hope you enjoy your stay! Be sure to let us know your favorite Bed and Breakfast experience, and please visit FarmCoast on Flicker for more images of FarmCoast lodging.

I Scream, You Scream

We all scream for local ice cream. While sitting on the couch with a pint of your favorite Ben and Jerry’s can be entirely satisfying, summer calls for something a little more fun. This summer, FarmCoast invites you to take a tour of our ice cream stands, road trip style, and the local businesses that make this delightful summer treat a beloved gathering for friends, family, and strangers alike. The stands along the rural South Coast boast awarding-winning, homegrown flavors and charming atmospheres, not to mention smiling small-town service. If standing in line for a sugar cone is your idea of an evening adventure, the four towns of FarmCoast welcome you to experience their unique, drippy summer treats…

We start the tour in Dartmouth, where Salvador’s Ice Cream has been serving up cones since the 1930’s and we think serving ice cream for over 70 years will make you an expert. Dartmouth locals recognize the giant milk urn-turned-small-business from miles away, and travel to hangout with the food, ice cream, and wooden game tables. Owned and operated by Len and Beth Gauvin and family since 2005, the building has a long history of ownership. Len and Beth restored the building to it’s original black and white appearance, and were meticulous enough to win a restoration award for their efforts. They now serve more than just ice cream (visitors love the lobster rolls and hearty burgers) but  strive to keep it simple. “This place has a lot of history,” says Len, “people have been bringing their children and grandchildren here for years.” Salvador’s is located next to Cornell Farm, so you can watch baby sheep graze against a picturesque landscape while you climb the trees, play checkers, or enjoy a cone on one of the picnic benches. Salvador’s is entirely family friendly.

Next, make your way to Handy Hill Creamery in Westport where locals swarm (usually from Horseneck Beach) for salty snacks like salt water taffy and oyster bellies. “People are usually lined up all the way to the street,” says a Handy Hill employee. Handy Hill is family owned and operated but employs dozens of happy faces for the summer to accommodate their enormous popularity. Each summer they feature specials, like this summer’s $1 soft serve cones. Handy Hill is on Hixbridge Road, a quick stop off the highway with tons of space to park, and plenty of room for a large crowd. Pets welcome!

 

Conveniently located across the street from Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures you’ll find the Head Town Landing Country Store, awaiting those customers seeking a refreshing break from the heat of the Westport sun. “We opened in the summer of 2008,” said local owners Rory and Kathy Couturier who quickly established a loyal and local customer following. The small shoppe features isles of mom-and-pop style service, proudly offering 40 flavors of Bliss Ice Cream year round, Del’s Lemonade, and the town’s largest selection of penny candy. After a long day of paddling, they also provide satisfying pick-me-ups like Coney Island hot dogs, Green Mountain Coffee,  and fresh baked pastries made right in store. Accessible by land or water, they invite you to sit and relax by the beautiful Westport River.

Next stop, Margaret’s Corner Cones in Little Compton. On the corner of Willow Ave. and Simmons Road this little shop is a perfect destination or pit-stop for bikers roaming the hills and backroads of the FarmCoast. The shop features a wide assortment of unique flavors including “Graham Central Station,” and “Purple Cow.” Margaret’s is a rare, peaceful and quiet outdoor place to relax while enjoying an ice cream. If you do make the stop, be sure to try the Black Rasberry Yogurt, otherwise known as a happiness on a cone.

Our last stop is in Tiverton Four Corners at Gray’s Homemade Ice Cream, now in the Rhode Island Monthly‘s Hall of Fame for Best Ice Cream. Not only has it been voted the best year after year, it’s one of the oldest too. For 88 years, the ice cream at Gray’s has been handmade in Tiverton, now featuring over 40 flavors. The historic establishment has been in the hands of Marilyn Bettencourt since 1981 but has never lost its authentic old town charm. Behind the outdoor ice cream stand, Gray’s  has a small general store where you can get everything you need to make a perfect sundae at home, including containers of Gray’s homemade flavors. We recommend one of the original four: Vanilla, Chocolate, Coffee, or Strawberry. Marilyn stays open 365 days a year.

After a hot day at the beach, pool, or office, stop by one of our ice cream stands and for a deliciously cool treat. After all, summer’s never complete without a melty cone and beautiful sunset. FarmCoast is proud to be a part of this timeless New England tradition: eating good ice cream.

Peace of Adventure at Osprey

Located at the head of the Westport River’s East Branch, Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures is a private and serene access for boating of all sorts. A small little shop on the corner of Old Country Rd. and Drift Road is where guests arrive, usually greeted by gentle sunshine, chirping birds, and a friendly staff member who will probably refer to you as “man.” But you won’t mind one bit.

The shop is owned and operated by adventure enthusiasts Carl and Samantha Ladd who both have years of outdoor education experience under their life jackets. Carl, a Little Compton native, and Samantha have been in Westport for 11 years, but adventuring for much longer than that. They’ve both spent most of their lifetimes training and teaching in various outdoor ed. schools and training programs and have now welcomed a small staff of ACA (American Canoe Association) certified tour guides and instructors to their small business. The whole group’s patient and personal instruction is what keeps all levels of boaters coming back. That, and of course the view.

Westport River stretches 9 and a half miles long and overflows with picturesque beaches, marshes, wildlife (a prime location for bird watching), and if you look closely enough, you’ll see a rope-swing on almost every bordering tree. Once you paddle out into the open, placid water, a sudden rush of silence allows your limbs to give into the grace of the tide. It’s a one-with-nature experience to be had.  If you decide to visit, you have plenty of choices depending on your interest and experience. Osprey has sunset and moonlit tours, rentals, basic instruction, and challenging assessments or training for the most advanced. They also welcome custom trips for large and small groups. This summer kids 9-14 have tons of opportunity to learn about this water sport through a host of exciting programs.



The newest trend in water sports–you can shout this if you want– is SUP! Which of course stands for Stand Up Paddling. Breaking new ground in the community, and at Osprey, SUP is a fresh and fun way to experience the water on your feet, and it’s great exercise too. Check out the website www.ospreyseakayak.com to learn more about SUP and to see a full list of their tour and rental information.

Adventures at Osprey make their overseas to the Bahamas, Greece, and other exotic destinations throughout the year . Stop by the Westport base through October for an uncomplicated good time. Of all the beautiful places along the FarmCoast, Carl Ladd admits, “We’re certainly the most fun.”

Right on Man.