A weekend for wildflowers and Harvestival

beach roses and daisiesIf you love wildflowers, this is the perfect time to saunter along southern New England’s coast. Inland in Massachusetts, Tower Hill Botanic Garden is celebrating Harvestival in its gardens and orchard.

beach rose croppedMontauk daisies, coastal goldenrod, and asters are among autumn’s wildflower display along the beaches of Cape Cod and Rhode Island this week. Some beach roses (pictured here) are still in blossom, and there is a bumper crop of rose hips to pick for vitamin-rich jelly. It may be a little late for beach plums, but Penny, my Brittany, and I are going to try to find some today.

One of the most beautiful displays of wild Montauk daisies is on the western side of the  Quonochontaug Breachway in Charlestown, RI.

Poison ivy, with leaves in every shade of red, is spectacular along the beaches and back roads now.

glasswort croppedIn the salt marshes, delicious glasswort (pictured at left) is changing from chartreuse to brilliant magenta now.

If cultivated gardens and orchards are more appealing to you, visit Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA during the three-day Columbus Day holiday. Harvestival, a family event, features kids activities, tours and more. Our favorite activity is the tour of the apple orchard which has the largest collection of heirloom apples in New England. There are opportunities to taste various varieties, and then purchase them.

Tower Hill will be open Saturday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admitance for non-member adults is $12, $9 for elders, and $7 for children between 6 and 18. Youngsters under 6 are admitted for free.

It’s Walktober in The Last Green Valley

Farmers Market at the Nathan Hale Homestead

Farmers Market at the Nathan Hale Homestead

It’s Walktober, a celebration of The Last Green Valley, in southern Massachusetts and eastern Connecticut, along the  Rhode Island border.

The 23rd edition of Walktober features scores of walks and paddle trips among natural wonders and important historical sites from Sturbridge, MA to Griswold, CT.

Sunday, we visited the Coventry CT Farmers Market at the Nathan Hale Homestead (pictured above), and walked around a bit through the rain. It was wet and muddy, but several children had a blast in the puddles. (And the farmers market was wonderful.)

Walktober includes 106 walks, hikes, paddles and bike rides as well as 36 events that highlight the cultural, historic or natural resources of The Last Green Valley.  The Walktober Calendar labels each walk as easy, moderate, or difficult. Many offerings are geared specifically for families with children. The family dog is welcome at pet-friendly walks. Adventurers will enjoy 13 paddles and three bike rides included in this year’s schedule. To download the schedule as a PDF file, click here.

Walktober is such a gift!

RI’s Giant Pumpkin Championship Oct. 12

The 20th annual Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Championship returns Saturday, Oct. 12 at Frerichs Farm in Warren, RI. Unloading of the biggest pumpkins grown in the area will begin at 9:30 a.m. The weigh-off will begin at 12 p.m., and the winning pumpkin will be weighed at approximately 3 p.m. In case of rain, the championship will take place on Sunday, Oct.13.

Refreshments will be available, a “pumpkin coach” will shuttle people around, and corn and hay bale mazes will challenge adults and children alike. The ever-popular “pumpkin drop” will highlight the start of the event. There will be pumpkin-painting booths for the kids and numerous tents with seasonal arts and crafts, gifts, and products available for purchase. It is recommended that the public bring lawn chairs or blankets on which to sit during the weigh-off.

The event is sponsored by the Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Growers Association, the Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Agriculture, and Frerichs Farm and Greenhouses to determine the largest pumpkin grown in the area each year and to crown an annual local champion. This is the 20th consecutive year that the contest has been held.

At last year’s contest, Ron Wallace of Greene, RI had the largest Rhode Island-grown pumpkin weighing in at 1,872 pounds. Ron also grew the world-record pumpkin in 2012 weighing in at 2,009 pounds; this pumpkin was shown at the Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts. Wallace’s world-record pumpkin was the first pumpkin every grown in the world that topped one ton.

Frerichs Farm charges a $5 parking fee for the event. Those interested in competing in this year’s event or receiving additional information should contact Barbara Frerichs at (401) 245-8245. In case of rain, please call Frerichs Farm to confirm the date of the event.

Directions to Frerichs Farm from Providence or Fall River: Take Route 195 to the Route 136, Warren/Newport Exit (this is Exit 2 in Massachusetts). Follow Route 136 South across Route 6 for two miles to Schoolhouse Road on the left. Take Schoolhouse Road for one mile to Kinnicutt Avenue (right at the fork) and proceed to Frerichs Farm on the right.

Directions to Frerichs Farm from the Mount Hope Bridge: Take Route 136 North to Route 103/Child Street on the right. Follow Child Street one mile to Kinnicutt Avenue on the left and follow to Frerichs Farm on the left.

Providence #RI gets playful again

???????????????????????????????The second annual Playful Providence Weekend is coming to Rhode Island’s capital city this weekend, Sept. 20 – 22 in dozens of city parks.

???????????????????????????????Playful Providence is a 5-month citywide celebration of play commemorating Providence’s status as a Playful City, a recognition that honors cities and towns that make play a priority. Playful Providence is planned by the Partnership for Providence Parks in collaboration with Providence Children’s Museum, the City of Providence (Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, Healthy Communities Office and Office of Sustainability), Providence parks groups, Kidoinfo and other partners.

Providence Parks 1Activities include swimming, boating, classic lawn games. pop-up play and many, many others throughout Providence RI.

Click here for a complete schedule of what’s happening.

 

ICYMI Fiddle n Folk Fest will return to Barrington #RI

Bay Spring Folk playing Star of the County Down in Haines State Park

In case you missed the news,  Local Brew Events presents the third annual Fiddle n Folk Fest, a free event in Haines State Park (near the marina) in Barrington RI tomorrow, Sept. 15, from noon to 6 p.m. Last year’s event drew many foot-tapping, hand-clapping music lovers from throughout southern New England. This year promises another great lineup of musicians including:

*Pendragon
*Bob Drouin & Rich Horwitz
*KC Moaners
*Janos Perge
*Bluegrass Invitation Band
*French Roast with Michelle, Alan, and Rachel
*Andy Grover
*Hollow Turtle
*Sunday Night Jammers
*Emmalee Holmes-Hicks with Rachel Panitch
*Bay Spring Folk and of course,
*Old Fiddlers Club of Rhode Island

Join the fiddle workshops from 10 to11 (Cajun Fiddle by Michelle Kaminsky) and 11- noon (Improvisation Games by Rachel Panitch). Sign up for these workshops at at sydney_mike@fullchannel.net. Craft vendors, food trucks, and kids activities will round out the day. The day’s events are free, thanks to generous sponsorship from RI State Council on the Arts, Wildflour Vegan Bakery, Barrington Public Library, The Bay Team, Bay Spring Community Center, Barrington Parks and Recreation, and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Galilee RI fishing tourney and seafood fest next week

galileeThe second annual Galilee Fishing for Hope Tournament and Seafood Festival is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7 and 8 in the Rhode Island port of Galilee.

Organized by the state Department of Environmental Management and the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association, RISSA the festival is sponsored by the Flood Auto Group.

The festival and fishing tournament celebrate and promote Rhode Island’s recreational and commercial fishing industries, locally-harvested seafood, and the Port of Galilee. Proceeds will be donated to the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Foundation, Narragansett Parks and Recreation Financial Aid Program, and the Point Judith Fishermen’s Scholarship Fund.

The festival will feature local seafood and food vendors, arts and craft vendors, music, and education exhibits. At last year’s festival, locally grown oysters and little neck clams were fantastic.

Festival goers will have an opportunity to tour a fishing trawler, a historic scallop boat, a fish processing plant, and a fish net manufacturing company as part of a self-guided tour around the Port. Other activities include a fish and critters touch tank, kids fishing off the pier of Galilee, a rock climbing wall, and a fishing survival suit contest.

The fishing tournament begins on Friday, September 6 at 5:00 p.m. Participants will be able to weigh in their catch on Saturday, Sept. 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The leader board will be present at the weigh-in station. The weigh-in station is accessible by boat and by car. Winners will be determined by fish category and weight, and awards will be presented at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Prizes include gift certificates for fishing charters and fishing equipment donated by local businesses. Juniors will receive trophies, too.

Tournament entry fees are $15 for adults and $5 for juniors (14 and under). Tournament entry is available on the Galilee Fishing Tournament and Seafood Festival website and at many local bait and tackle shops. Detailed entry information, official rules, and the list of prizes may by found on the website.