URI East Farm open house to showcase gardening techniques, cooking demos

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KINGSTON, R.I. – August 4, 2014 – University of Rhode Island Master Gardeners will hold a free open house at their Demonstration Garden at East Farm on Aug. 16 to highlight new gardening techniques for growing produce and to showcase recipes for cooking them.

The biennial event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, the Ask A Master Gardener booth, soil testing and informal tours of the East Farm complex.

In the 5,000-square foot garden, Master Gardeners will demonstrate different growing techniques and new trends in growing vegetables and herbs. Information will be available on preventing plant diseases and pest damage. Irrigation experts will explain the garden’s unique drip irrigation system that saves water and helps prevent diseases.

The vegetable garden includes children’s stations where they can observe a rainbow garden, vegetables growing in a glass display, and enjoy garden related games.

Three professional chefs, Normand Leclair, founder of the Red Rooster Tavern, cookbook author, caterer and culinary instructor; Branden Read, chef and part-owner of The Celestial Café in Exeter; and John Sweeney, chef at the University Club on the URI Campus, will each give one-hour demonstrations that will include sample tastings.

Tours will also be available of a Giving Garden focused on producing high volume vegetables for local food pantries.

Unlike other gardening events at East Farm, there will be no plant sales. The only items to be on sale are URI Master Gardener cookbooks in a booth that will feature samples of foods prepared by Master Gardeners using the recipes in the book. The books, now in limited supply, will sell for $20.00