URI to host ninth East Farm Spring Festival, May 8

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KINGSTON, R.I. – April 28, 2010 — The ninth annual East Farm Spring Festival featuring plant sales, workshops and a host of displays by faculty and staff at the University of Rhode Island will be held Saturday, May 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at URI’s East Farm.

The event, started in 2002 by a group of URI Master Gardeners who volunteered at the farm, annually draws nearly 3,000 visitors to the 70-acre research facility. It is sponsored by the Master Gardeners and the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences.

The URI Farmers Market will be in operation during the event as well.

“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 Sejal Lanterman, who is coordinating the event for the URI Mallon Outreach Center.

Lanterman notes that those who intend to purchase plants should consider bringing a wagon to transport their purchases, as the plant sale booths are a considerable distance from the parking area.

Workshops will be held all day long on such topics as worm composting, drip irrigation, renewable energy, backyard birding, and more. Tours of the crabapple and blueberry demonstration plots will also be available.

Among the many exhibitors and vendors at the festival will be Rhode Island Resource Recovery, Rhode Island Wild Plant Society, Pots & Petals Native Plants, Mark Goodwin Wooden Bowls, the Rhode Island Water Lady, Rhody Fresh, Swiss Just Herbals, WillyWaw, and many more.

Children’s activities will be provided by the URI Learning Landscape Program, and gardening advice can be obtained from the Ask a Master Gardener or Ask a Master Composter booths. Free pH soil testing will be available for those who bring soil samples from home.

Entertainment will be provided by Royal Jelly, a rock/jazz/folk, and a raffle will offer such prizes as a rain barrel, free admission to gardening classes and the Master Composter program, and plants donated by the Master Gardeners

The event will be held rain or shine.

East Farm is located on Route 108 in South Kingstown. The entrance is one-half mile south of the main traffic light in Kingston Village. Parking and admission are free. For additional information, visit www.uri.edu/cels/ceoc/east-farm-spring-festival.html or call 401-874-2900.