Need some fresh lettuce for a salad while your driving home from work? Or a cuke or a tomatoe?
Look for fresh produce in a few weeks at the Sowams Elementary School farm stand on Sowams Road.
“I expect to open it around mid-July,” said first-grade teacher Christina Squatrito, who is working with an “enrichment cluster” of 12 first-, second- and third-grade pupils to set up Farm Stand Fresh.
Lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers will be among the vegetables offered at the farm stand. The produce will come from the First-Grade Gardens at the school, which took root about 12 years ago, Squatrito said.
Until this summer, she said, the vegetables were basically given away. Not anymore.
The farm stand will sit on Sowams Road “probably every Friday,” said Squatrito, who will monitor and keep it stocked along with parents over the summer.
Anyone driving by will be able to pull over and buy fresh produce and flowers. Everything will be sold on an honor system.
“We hope that when people realize it is school farm stand, they’ll respect the project,” Squatrito said.
The pupils have been meeting once a week for six weeks to brainstorm, design, build and paint the farm stand.
As one of about 20 “enrichment clusters” at the school, the farm stand is an attempt to “extend learning and apply skills from the classroom,” said Carroll Garland, enrichment teacher at Sowams School.
The pupils signed up for the farm stand off a list that included projects such as Around the World, Skywriter, Kitchen Science, Magnificent Mosaics, Songwriting, Yoga, Old School Toys, Helping Hands, Sowams Shutterbugs and Signs of Summer.
The pupils also thought about being earth-friendly, said Jenny Stern, a parent working with the cluster to market the farm stand.
The pupils picked green as the color to paint a donated 7-foot-long table that Squatrito cut down to about 4.5 feet long with a circular saw.
“They chose green paint to symbolize their green mindset,” Stern said.
The pupils also got recycled baskets from 4 Town Farm not far away on the Barrington/Swansea/Seekonk town lines to haul the veggies to the farm stand.
Profits from the farm stand will be donated to the Birthday Wishes cluster at the school. Those pupils provide birthday kits to families who might not be able to afford a celebration.