The event, started in 2002 by a group of URI Master Gardeners who volunteered at the farm, annually draws about 2,000 visitors to the 70-acre research facility. It is sponsored by the Master Gardener Association and the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences.
“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.
Workshops will be held all day long on such topics as water gardening, bee keeping, worm composting, managing home energy consumption, and sustainable landscape design.
Among the many exhibitors at the festival will be Rhode Island Resource Recovery, Nelumbo Water Gardens, Plastic Lumber of Rhode Island, the URI Energy Center, Jewels of the Garden, Smart Carts, WillyWaw, Renewal By Anderson, Save the Bay, the Toxics Information Project, Rhody Fresh, Great to Be Green, Green Irene Eco Consulting, and the URI Sustainable Agriculture Project.
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.
Food will be provided by The Burger Shack, the Alternative Food Co-op, and Rhode Illin Ice Cream, while Royal Jelly, a five piece rock/jazz/folk band will perform from 10 a.m. to noon and the jam quartet Freak Freelie will entertain from noon to 2 p.m. A raffle will offer such prizes as a “green home makeover,” a rain barrel, plastic lumber window boxes, a worm composting bin, flower and vegetable container gardens, and five-foot tall spruce trees.
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 http://www.uri.edu/cels/ceoc/east-farm-spring-festival.html or call 401-874-2900.