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Friday, May 13, 2016

Game encourages visits to local farms

URI, Fruit Growers to sponsor Farm Scavenger Hunt
Rhode Islanders looking for a unique way to explore the back roads of the state and learn about the region’s wide variety of working farms are encouraged to participate in the sixth annual Rhode Island Farm Scavenger Hunt, which runs from May through December.

The event, sponsored by the University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension and the Rhode Island Fruit Growers Association, is designed to educate residents about the importance of farming and provide an opportunity to visit up to 32 of the state’s more than 1,200 commercial farms.

“Based on the feedback we have received from past years, people just love the adventure of going on these back roads and finding treasured places that they didn’t know about,” said Heather Faubert, a URI researcher and advisor to the fruit growers who organizes the event. “They send us notes about how the scavenger hunt introduced them to all these areas that they didn’t know even existed in Rhode Island.”

To participate in the scavenger hunt, pick up a brochure at local libraries or farms or visit Fruit Growers Association and follow the map to any of the farms listed. Once there, correctly match a photo from the brochure to a location at the farm, and the farmer will place a stamp on the corresponding location on the brochure. 

Those who collect 20 stamps will receive a packet of coupons toward purchases at the farms, and those who collect all 32 stamps will be entered into a drawing to win an overnight “farm stay” at Sakonnet Farm in Little Compton.

“Most people participate as a fun summertime activity, but we already heard from one group who had already visited 20 farms by the end of the first week of May,” said Faubert. “That shocked me, but it’s great to know that people are excited about participating.”

The event began in 2011 based on an idea conceived by Kerri Stenovitch, president of the Fruit Growers Association. Initially all the participating farms were orchards. The next year it was opened to any kind of farm in the state, and this year it includes vegetable producers, nurseries, dairy farms, orchards, garden centers and meat producers of all sizes.

“When you arrive at a farm, just wander around and see if you can find something that matches one of the pictures in the brochure,” said Faubert. “You might have to hunt around a bit – some of them aren’t easy. If you need it, the farmer or the person behind the counter will give you clues.”

For more information about the Rhode Island Farm Scavenger Hunt, contact Faubert at 401-874-2967 or