Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Classic New England Roadside Farm Stand

Article and photo by Eric H.

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Contrary to popular belief, not all quintessential New England roadside farm stands are located in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Even more amazing is that Rhode Island has its share of these popular destinations -- yes, the state where you go swimming at the ocean, savor some Rhode Island clam chowder by the coast, tour famous mansions in Newport, and take in the amazing and diverse city life in historical Providence.

Truth be told, Rhode Island features some beautiful countryside, whether it be close to the ocean or inland in regions like the Blackstone Valley. Country stores, and winding rural roads with farms, pretty lakes, roadside diners, and deep forest grace the limited but incredibly pleasant and scenic Rhode Island inland real estate.

One of our favorite classic roadside farm stands -- most notably in the fall -- is Pleasant View Orchards in Smithfield, R.I. Like Rhode Island, Pleasant View Orchards is tiny, but the colorful exterior display of bright orange pumpkins, brightly hued flowers, cornstalks -- and handmade signs placed all over the place stating virtually everything they sell -- make it awfully tempting to see what's inside.

The inside brings us back to a time where your small, local farm stand offered not a wasted space of merchandise -- and usually packed to the gills. Here, you'll find fresh-picked apples and other seasonal produce (some excellent beefsteak tomatoes), homemade cider and pies, more pumpkins, fudge, locally made cookies, and an impressive variety of plants. Customer service is, well, pleasant, as its name states, and reminiscent in personality to your local neighborhood store where everyone seemed to know each other.

Pleasant View Orchards has no resemblance to some of those larger 21st century "superstore" farm stands, but for some us us, this diminutive-sized roadside stand is certainly a super store! It is Rhode Island's impressive version of a New Hampshire or Vermont roadside farm stand that for us southern New Englanders natives doesn't require a whole lot of travel!

Pleasant View Orchards
141 Pleasant View Ave.
Smithfield R.I. 02917
Tel. (401) 231-4620

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