The event, started in 2002 by a group of URI Master Gardeners who volunteered at the farm, annually draws thousands of visitors to the 79-acre research facility. It is sponsored by the URI Outreach Center and the URI Master Gardeners.
“The sale of plants and other spring gardening products is what usually attracts most people to the event, but once they get there they also find lots of other useful products and information and plenty of food and entertainment,” said Kim Downes, the festival coordinator at the Outreach Center and a URI Master Gardener.
Workshops and demonstrations will be held all day long on such topics as pruning, garden tools, container gardening, beneficial insects, and “raising chickens 101.” Rhode Island Resource Recovery will be on hand selling compost bins, the Rhode Island Water Lady will sell rain barrels, and electronics recycling company Indie Cycle will be available to recycle used computers, televisions, monitors and other electronics. The Rhode Island Blood Center will host a blood drive and the South Kingstown Farmers Market will be in operation during the event as well.
Children’s activities will be provided by the URI Learning Landscape Program and the 4H Program, and live entertainment and raffles will add to the fun. Gardening advice can be obtained from the Ask a Master Gardener booth, while free pH soil testing will be available for those who bring soil samples from home.
“The event is happening rain or shine, and we encourage folks to bring a wagon to transport their purchases to the parking lot,” said Downes. “It’s always a perfect opportunity to get a last minute Mother’s Day gift or to get plants and groceries at the same time.”
East Farm is located on Route 108 in South Kingstown, a half mile south of the intersection with Route 138. Parking and admission are free. For additional information, visit Spring Festival or call 401-874-2900.