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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Green thumbs, families invited to 11th Spring Festival, May 12

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URIís East Farm hosts visitors for gardening demos, plant sales, crafts, activities

KINGSTON, R.I. ó May 7, 2012 ó The University of Rhode Island expects approximately 3,000 visitors to once again attend the 2012 East Farm Spring Festival, an annual event for the URI Master Gardeners to educate the public on sound environmental practices.

The 11th annual festival will feature workshops, demonstrations, plants and crafts for sale, farm animals to encounter and educational events, Saturday, May 12, 2012, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and parking and admittance are free. The Rhode Island Blood Center will also be on hand to conduct a blood drive.

Annuals, perennials, vegetables and herbs grown by the URI Master Gardeners will be sold, and the South Kingstown Farmerís Market will also offer diverse fare at the 79-acre research facility located on Route 108 in South Kingstown.

The family tent will host educational activities and crafts, along with farm animals from Peckham Farm for children to visit. An educational tent will showcase URI research and outreach programs, environmental exhibitors and non-profits.

The URI Master Gardeners will offer edible growing tips all day in the demonstration garden. There will also be family activities and informational sessions held in the Fisheries Building.

Gardeners who wish to know the pH in their soil can bring a cup of soil to be tested for free, and Rhode Island Water Lady will be on hand to sell rain barrels, used to collect rainwater from downspouts for use in the garden.

Visitors can also have gardening, golf or hiking shoes treated with permethrin tick repellent, which will keep the pests at bay for up to a month. Plan to drop off the shoes and pick them up when leaving.

Indie Cycle will be on hand to collect old and unused electronics to be recycled. Items such as home computers, cell phones, monitors, televisions and small appliances will all be accepted. For a complete list of electronics Indie Cycle will accept, visit uri.edu/cels/ceoc/events.html.

Several free workshops and demonstrations will take place as follows:

10:30 a.m. - Compost 101
11 a.m. - Drip Irrigation: Conservation Starts in Your Garden
Fish Filleting Demonstration
11:30 a.m. - Container Gardening 101
Noon - Gardening with Rhody Natives
1 p.m. - How to Make Creative Planters Using Hypertufa
Barnyard Storytime (in the family tent)
Fish Filleting Demonstration

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. For more information on the URI East Farm Spring Festival, contact the URI Outreach Center by calling (401) 874-2900 or by emailing outreach@uri.edu. Stay connected to festival updates on Facebook: URI Outreach Center.