Fruit Hill Farmers Market Returns to RIC
Pat and Roger Phillips of White Oak Farms in Scituate with Jen Giroux, interim associate vice president of professional studies and continuing education, RIC president Nancy Carriuolo and Jim Murphy, sustainability coordinator.
The threat of rain couldn’t stop loyal shoppers of the Fruit Hill Farmers Market from enjoying opening day of the annual neighborhood market, which started its sixth season at Rhode Island College last week.
“The market really gives people the opportunity to get together and see each other,” said Maura Collins, an adjunct English professor at RIC and one of the market’s organizers. “It’s to socialize, but also getting all the fresh produce available here is wonderful. You just can’t get stuff like this anywhere else locally, without driving across the city.”
The Fruit Hill Farmers Market was established to unite the college and its neighboring community and to support local growers, crafters, bakers and other vendors. Fruit Hill neighborhood residents Jennifer Zolkos and Jennifer Quinn founded the farmers market in 2009 after approaching RIC President Nancy Carriuolo with the idea.
Carriuolo and several RIC staff attended the season’s opening market and shopped for locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as available locally made products including honey sticks from Fruit Hill Apiaries.
The market is one of RIC’s green initiatives, a focus of Carriuolo’s presidency.
Jim Murphy, RIC sustainability coordinator, said the evening was a great success and he anticipates a fruitful season. “The Fruit Hill Farmers Market at RIC is a wonderful opportunity for the college to interact with its neighbors and help support the local economy,” he said.
This season’s vendors include Presto Strangeo Coffee Truck, Oak Hill Farms, Revive the Roots, Proofed Artisan Bread, My Wicked Garden and Decadent Designs.
Jean Phillips, who owns Decadent Designs in Greenville, is back for the second year at the market. She said last year was so successful for her business, she had hoped ever since she would be invited back. The specialty dessert business only opens its store front a few days per week and the market gives Phillips a great chance to interact with customers.
“The people who run this market are like family,” Phillips said “We love our customers and this has been very good for us. Last year we had a fabulous time and we booked two weddings.”
The opening market featured music by Tony Carlino. Live music will continue throughout the market’s season, which runs through Oct. 3. The market is held every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on the lawn of the old Alumni House on the Fruit Hill Avenue side of campus.