Wickford, Rhode Island - Wickford Farmer's Market, Clamming, and Much More
Historic Wickford Village
I have written about Wickford, and specifically Historic Wickford Village before, but I feel that one hub just does not do it justice. In my first Wickford Hub, I went in-depth about what Wickford has to offer, as far as eating, shopping, and recreation go. While I won’t be repeating what I wrote, I do have some things to add that will only further your appreciation of Wickford. In addition to all of Wickford’s shopping, restaurants, and harbor-side recreational activity, there are a number of seasonal activities for you to enjoy.
To be honest, it was not until last week that I found out how much there truly is to do in the summer. I have been visiting Wickford for quite some time now, and I am still amazed at what I find every time I go there. It would have been more than enough for me just to take in Wickford’s beauty, but alas, Wickford surprised me with much more.
Also, I just wanted to note that the photos of Wickford were taken during the supermoon (8/10).
From early June until late September, Wickford Village’s town parking lot plays host to a farmer’s market. While it is true that there are many farmer’s markets in Rhode Island, Wickford offers something extra. Not only do you get fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, herbs, and baked goods straight from the farm to you, but you get to enjoy Wickford’s harbor view. The farmer’s market is pushed up against the back of the parking lot, which means you are right on the harbor.
Here is the information that you need to know.
If you are using the GPS, set it to 63 Brown Street, North Kingstown, RI 02852. This is not the address for the parking lot, because well, there is no address for parking lots. This is, however, the address for the Rite Aid that is connected to the parking lot. If you know your way around North Kingstown, then you no to turn into the only parking lot in Wickford Village. You will find the farmer’s market at the back of the parking lot near the harbor. Park anywhere in the lot, and remember that the lot is a one way.
Date and Time
As I mentioned, the farmer’s market is there from early June until late September. It is open every Thursday from about 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
The website for Rhode Island’s farmer’s markets says that there will be roughly 13 vendors there. When I went last Thursday, I only saw about 8. Don’t get me wrong, there was no disappointment. The vendors that were there were selling great stuff. According to the site, you can expect to find fresh fruit and vegetables, baked goods, meat, dairy products, and there is a food truck on-site.
As far as I know, the vendors at the farmer’s market only accepts cash. This is important, at least to me. I rarely carry cash. If you are like me, the good news is that Rite Aid, which is at the beginning of the parking lot, has an ATM inside.
Wickford, Rhode Island
What's the best seasonal Wickford activity?
Clamming is a favorite summer activity of most Rhode Islanders. Every summer, and for some year-round, people take to the shallows to go digging for clams, or quahogs as they are called in Rhode Island. Wickford town beach is one of the sites in Rhode Island that is open for clamming.
As I mentioned in my first hub about Wickford, from Memorial Day until Labor Day you have to be a North Kingstown resident to go to the beach during normal operating hours, which are 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM. Before 9:00 AM or after 5:00 PM, anyone can come to the beach.
When to Go
Obviously, you have to go within the hours you are allowed to go (if you are going to Wickford town beach). Otherwise, you will want to go during low tide, or as close to it as possible. Going during low tide allows you to go deeper into the water. Also, it is far easier to grab the clams once you find some. If you go and the tide is too high, you will not be able to get out to where the clams are.
Where to Go
Once you are out in the water, you want to walk out until the ground feels slightly mushy/squishy or slimy. You do not have to go out too far, but you cannot be too close to the shore either. If you still are not sure once you get out there, look around at the other people clamming, or just ask someone.
How to Dig for Clams
I’m no pro, but digging for clams is easy enough. Some people go out there with special clam rakes and other tools, but I don’t find that necessary. All you need is your feet. Once you get into a good spot, you want to twist/dig your foot into the sand several inches. If you feel something hard, it could be a clam. Once you hit something with your foot, reach down into the water and dig it out of the ground. If it is a clam, make sure it is not open, cracked, or too small. If it is okay, then take it. If not, throw it back and try again.
Getting Them Home
To get the clams you catch home from the beach, take them back in some sort of container. The container should have some cold water or beach water in it. Alternatively, you could place the clams in a container with ice. You do not need to cover the clams in ice, however. As long as the clams are touching the ice, you will be okay.
Preparing and Storing
If you are going to cook the clams immediately upon bringing them home, then you will want to clean them in cold water. After they are cleaned, leave the clams in cool/cold water for 20-30 minutes. This allows the clams to clean themselves out. After the 20-30 minutes, you can remove the clams from the water. Ensure that all of the clams are still closed before cooking. If you are going to cook the clams, refer to that specific recipe to see how you should cook the clams.
If you are going to wait to cook the clams you have a couple of options. If you will be cooking them the next day, you can place them in a bowl or container in the fridge. Be sure to cover them with a wet towel so they do not dry out and die. If you do not plan on cooking them in a day or so, you can freeze them. You can freeze the clams as they are, or you can cook them, take out the meat, and freeze them. If you do freeze the whole clams, be sure to put them in airtight container.
Non-Summer Seasonal Activities
As I mentioned in my first hub about Wickford, there are other seasonal activities besides the summer ones. Most notably, there is the big Christmas tree lighting in the winter. Every winter the town lights a huge Christmas tree for the holiday season.
In the fall, the trees’ leaves will turn colors. Especially if you are not from Rhode Island or another New England state, this makes for an impressive site.
Wickford Any Time of Year
Even if you do not go to Wickford specifically for a seasonal activity such as the farmer's market or clamming, go anyways. Any time is a good time to enjoy a day in Wickford.