Buy it fresh, pick your own at northern RI farms

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – In an open barn structure just across the road from North Smithfield Middle School, dozens of customers choose fresh seasonal produce out of bountiful bins at Goodwin Brothers Farms. 

It’s a warm day in August and tomatoes are in season; the farm offers 12 varieties today of the small tomatoes alone.

An institution in town for as long as anyone can remember, documents show the land that now holds the 80-acre Goodwin farmstead has been a working farm since at least the late 1600s. 

It’s a slow day, according to manager Josh Goodwin. 

Goodwin noted that the farm had already begun harvesting apples in late August. Pumpkin picking, he said, begins every year just after Labor Day.

“The apples look really good,” he said. “We have a great crop right now.”

Pumpkins, less so, due to the abundance of rain this year. Goodwin notes that anything that grows on the ground might be a little small in the 2021 season, but says the farm still expects to have a good batch.  

Around 10 or 12 years ago, Josh started creating a massive pyramid of the orange gourds in front of the Greenville Road business as soon as the pumpkins were ripe and ready.   

While the business offers “pick your own,” in strawberry and blueberry season, customers will have to grab their fall produce at the stand. But if past years are any indication, there will still be plenty of future jack-o-lanterns to choose from. 

For those who prefer to get it right from the plant, northern Rhode Island certainly has options.  

Knight Farm Orchard & Country Breakfast Restaurant in North Scituate offers pick your own apples from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from September through October 20, Stick around for a hayride on the Knight Farm Wagon.

Knight is just one of many farms in the neighboring town with the option this fall. 

Apple picking is also on the daily schedule at Jaswell’s Farm in Smithfield from 10 to 5 p.m., as weather and supply allows. Jaswell’s also offers pumpkin picking through October. 

And Wojick’s Farm in nearby Blackstone, Mass. allows pick-your-own pumpkin on weekends only from Labor Day to Columbus Day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Goodwin Brothers is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 458 Greenville Road. 

Editor’s note: This content is offered as part of our 2021 Guide to Fall, also available in print. View content from the guide under the “Fall 2021” tab above along with the complete, printable guide.

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