Sweet Berry Farm’s Summer Concert series took off in full swing Tuesday night with the Big Jump Band from Connecticut, a rhythm and blues neo-soul group that kept children to adults dancing barefoot on the grass throughout the evening right up until sunset.
Now in its third year, the free weekly Tuesday night concerts have become a favorite among Middletowners, as well as a cornerstone in Sweet Berry Farm's growing agritourism business. Tuesday’s highly anticipated return of the series brought out a crowd of about two hundred people, who spread out blankets and lawn chairs. Some picnicked while others dined on prepared meals from the Sweet Berry Farm Café or the optional outdoor cookout prepared by SBF Chefs Scott Amaral and Tim Emery. For $15.95 per person, Tuesday night's meal included salad, slider hamburgers and hot dogs, fresh corn on the cob, potato salad and an ice cream dessert from Susanna’s Ice Cream.
For Sweet Berry Farm owner Jan Eckhart, the weekly event falls on a perfect day for the farm — after busy weekends of steady customers, tourists and special private party events have wrapped up, and before a busy week of farming, picking and preparations for the next weekend ahead.
For regular visitors like Kim Canning of Middletown, the weekly event has become a nice pick-me-up early in the workweek. “It’s great. I can come right from work on my way home,” said Canning, who also met up with college-age daughter Nicole Canning at the event.
The evening also seems to make for a special treat for visitors and out-of-town guests.
Kathy Brasiskis, of High Point, N.C., joined a group of local friends from Portsmouth and Massachusetts for a relaxed picnic on the lawn.
“This is great! It’s such a wonderful way to spend an evening,” Brasiskis said.
The Summer Line-Up
The Sweet Berry Farm 2011 Summer Concert Series will continue through Aug. 30, rain or shine. Chef Scott has planned themed menus for each event. However, quantities are limited, so it’s recommended to call early to reserve meal tickets at 401-847-3912.
July 12: Los Sugar Kings
Southern Soul: Fresh corn & pork belly salad, fried chicken breast over mashed potato waffle with country gravy, braised greens, fresh fruit cobbler.
July 19: A Bluegrass Invitation Band
Classic Bluegrass & more
Night Out in Knightsville: Small salad, meatball OR sausage OR chicken Parmesan, penne with our own marinara sauce, garlic bread, tiramisu.
July 26: The Elderly Brothers
Music from the 50s & 60s
Fairground Midway Favorites: Cincinnati chili mac, sausage & pepper sandwich, gyro with all the fixin's in a pita pocket.
Aug. 2: Abbey Rhode
Beatles Tribute Band
Moonlight over the Mediterranean: Pita chips with hummus & spinach dip, grilled turkey breast, Moroccan tabbouleh, ratatouille, apple & fig tart.
Please note the concert time change for Aug. 9-30 shows:
Aug. 9: Back Eddy Bluegrass
Too Comfortable: Chicken noodle soup, meat loaf, shepherd’s pie, green bean casserole, key lime tart.
Aug. 16: Wellstrung
Breakfast All Day: Fresh fruit cup, sausage & ham frittata OR vegetable frittata, French toast, white & sweet potato hash, doughnut, coffee cabinet.
Aug. 23: The Lois Vaughan Quartet
Classic Jazz and Latin
New England Coast Dinner: New England clam chowder, clam cakes, baked scrod, stuffed tomatoes, fresh-roasted potatoes, peaches & cream pound cake.
Aug. 30: Big Cat Blues
Almost Autumn: Edamame & black bean salad, roast pork with apples, brown rice pilaf, end-of-summer slaw, apple crisp.
For more information:
- Visit the Sweet Berry Farm website.
- See more information about the summer concert series and the weekly menus in the PDF flyers in the image gallery above.