Kermit the Frog said it best: “It’s not easy being green.” Now that you’re feeling good and guilty about all those holiday wine bottles you just tossed because it was too cold to drag out the recycling bins, and about all the shiny wrapping paper you used instead of newspaper because it looked more festive under the tree, it’s time to make a change. Last year, you started turning the faucet off while you brush your teeth. This year, let’s try something a little more sustainable on the larger scale.
It’s green to eat in season, and at Persimmon, eating in season is exquisite. Located in Bristol, Persimmon serves up fresh, local when possible, cuisine in harmony with the seasons. The menu changes a little bit every night but sample menus are available online. Slow roasted Vermont lamb loin, shoulder rillette, sausage and braised belly with native cippolini onions, brussels sprouts and parsnips puree anyone? It’s a mouthful – pun intended.
The Boat House is a waterfront gem in Tiverton, allowing diners to enjoy breathtaking views of the Sakonnet while indulging in decadent mouthfuls of fresh local seafood and produce. Try their Native Fluke or Atlantic Swordfish next time you’re in the neighborhood.
Downtown Bristol is home to a bustling, cozy spot that’s known for serving up a seasonally changing, locally sourced menu. There’s a reason the Beehive Cafe is so well-loved. As an added green incentive, they offer a Beehive Barter program – trade your home grown produce for anything in the cafe.
Although the farmers market scene slows down quite a bit in the cold winter months, a few hold strong, including the Mount Hope Winter Market at Mount Hope Farm in Bristol. There’s nothing greener than patronizing small local businesses and farms in the dormant and lethargic winter months. Saturdays from 9-12pm until May, the market hosts vendors such as Portsmouth’s Aquidneck Farms grass-fed beef, Wholly Granola of Riverside, Wicked Natural Company of Bristol, and even Cranston’s The Cupcakerie.
Perhaps the most large-scale sustainable thing we can do this January is to educate our children (and ourselves) about where our food comes from. Even in the wintertime, New England farms are accessible, open spaces to explore. New England Farm Ways was established by the Rhode Island Center for Agricultural Promotion and Education to make our farms more visible to the public. They emphasize that in addition to producing food, farms also preserve wildlife, natural resources, woodlands and waterways. Included on the initiative’s site are local farms such as Chace Farm Forever and Frerichs Farm and Greenhouses in Warren, Coggeshall Farm in Bristol, and the SVF Foundation in Newport.