Cross Mills Farmer’s Market is Blossoming

Katie McAlister has been into food, community involvement and sustainable living her whole life. So when the opportunity to manage the Cross Mills Farmer’s Market in Charlestown came along this …

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Katie McAlister has been into food, community involvement and sustainable living her whole life. So when the opportunity to manage the Cross Mills Farmer’s Market in Charlestown came along this year, she jumped at it. There were urgent matters, of course, like enticing lots of new vendors to participate. But McAlister also managed to step back a little to see the big picture, and took a long, hard look at the community around the market.

Establishing a “supportive, creative, community environment” that would link the farmer’s market to the Charlestown community, appeal to tourists and speak creatively about sustainability, became her vision.

Possibly it was the time she spent in Europe, or maybe her training in nutrition, yoga, meditation and yoga therapy, or, who knows, maybe it was her URI college years making pizza and working the counter at Kingston Pizza. But somehow she evolved into a visionary, bringing “a lifestyle idea,” as she puts it, to work in a local farmer’s market.

“Charlestown has no Main Street,” McAlister says. Old Post Road is the token town center, but there’s no real Main Street atmosphere. She’d like to foster that atmosphere with Cross Mills Farmer’s Market at the center. People can experience sustainable living, exchange ideas and have a really good time there, then carry on down the street. She hopes she’s creating a model for other similar rural communities.

Go, experience alternatives to everyday living in a vibrant center for adults and children: Navigate among more than 20 local vendors’ and farmers’ goods, including vegetables, fruits, lotions, honey, meats, pastries and more.

Open Fridays from 4-7pm, Saturdays 9am-1pm and Sundays 10am-2pm, Cross Mills Farmer’s Market features special themes each day. Fridays bring local acoustic musicians to the market. Storytellers and other activities for kids take center stage on Saturday. On Sundays, food recipes, cooking demos and the like take place. Check their website for more details.