By ecoRI News staff
WARREN, R.I. — Hope & Main is launching “Schoolyard Market” on Sundays July 19 through Sept. 27 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., transforming a former playground at a 100-year-old school into a uniquely interactive food experience. The market will feature a variety of vendors such as local farmers, fishermen and culinary artisans. Workshops and how-to demonstrations for adults and children will be offered each week on nutrition, food preparation and urban gardening.
Schoolyard Market will provide a highly interactive experience, connecting eaters with farmers and makers, according to Hope & Main founder Lisa Raiola.
“Food is a relationship that goes so much deeper than reading a label in a supermarket,” Raiola said. “We want to share the fascinating story of the origin and production of the food we eat every day.”
The market will be dedicated to educating the community about cultivated, caught and crafted in Rhode Island — from growing to production to distribution — and enabling eaters to better understand and manage their personal relationship to local food.
Each week Schoolyard Market will offer free, themed workshops for adults and children on topics such as fermentation, raising backyard chickens, composting, home pickling, beekeeping and honey making, bread baking, and solar and renewable-energy demonstrations. The markets also will feature live music.
“We want to stir up important conversations about food and reconnect with our community, our food and our planet,” said Hope & Main community education and outreach director Bleu Grijalva.
Cooking demonstrations with some of the region’s pre-eminent chefs will also be offered. For example, chef Jonathan Cambra from Eating with the Ecosystem, a nonprofit that promotes a place-based approach to sustainable seafood, will demonstrate how to prepare some atypical fare featuring catch that is abundant in Rhode Island waters such as razor clams, scup and slipper limpets.
Schoolyard Market also will collect food scrap through a program managed by Leo Pollock, president of The Compost Plant. Market-goers can learn the basics of composting and will be given receptacles for at-home use that they can bring to Schoolyard Market on a weekly basis.
Schoolyard Market, 691 Main St., plans to accept WIC, SNAP and Senior Coupons.