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Monday, May 2, 2016

For the best stuff, get there early

URI to host 15th annual East Farm Spring Festival, May 14

The University of Rhode Island’s 15th annual East Farm Spring Festival, featuring plant sales, workshops and a wide variety of vendors, educational displays and exhibits, will be held Saturday, May 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 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 thousands of visitors to the 79-acre research facility. It is sponsored by the URI Extension Outreach Center and the URI Master Gardener Program.

“The gardening community really looks forward to this event each spring,” said Vanessa Venturini, statewide coordinator of the URI Master Gardener Program. “In addition to the plant sale, people come for science-based gardening advice and inspiration, family activities and plenty of food and entertainment.” 

Workshops and demonstrations on a wide variety of topics, from composting to container gardening, will be held all day long, and free seeds will be distributed. The URI Master Gardeners will showcase their community projects, and the URI Energy Fellows will host a free light bulb giveaway. 

Electronics recycling company Indie Cycle will be available to recycle used computers, televisions, monitors and other electronics, and the South Kingstown Farmers Market will be in operation during the event as well.

Children’s activities will be provided by the URI Energy Fellows and the URI Youth STEAM Education Team, and live entertainment and raffles will add to the fun. Gardening advice can be obtained from numerous Ask a Master Gardener booths, while free pH soil testing will be available for those who bring soil samples from home.

“The event is happening rain or shine, so be prepared,” said festival organizer Vanessa Garcia, an intern at the URI Extension Outreach Center. “And we encourage folks to bring a wagon to transport their purchases to the parking lot.”

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.

Pictured above: Crowds of people enjoy the East Farm Spring Festival every year. This year’s event is May 14. (Photo courtesy of the URI Extension Outreach Center.)