Spring festival at URI this weekend
The University of Rhode Island will host its fifth annual East Farm Spring Festival Saturday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The festival will include everything from weeds to ticks, from flowers to cuddly animals, from environmental dos to ecological don'ts.
It is sponsored by the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences, and is expected to draw up to 2,000 visitors who can find answers to their gardening problems, learn about some of the latest research developments at the college, provide entertainment for their children and make purchases to spruce up their yards.
This year the event will have composting and energy conservation as main themes to be addressed through a number of presentations from inside and outside the college.
The festival started five years ago as an open house to give the public an inside glimpse of East Farm and now has blossomed into one of the college's two big public events, the other being GreenShare in the fall.
A major attraction is the sale of vegetables, herbs, annual and perennial flowers all raised by the URI master gardeners in their two greenhouses on the property. The college will have a tent filled with numerous displays ranging from tick bite prevention to the geo-spatial extension programs. Bridget Reummele, a turf researcher will be available to identify weeds and give turf advice and master gardeners will analyze soil for pH plus answer garden and lawn problems.
Conservation issues will be addressed by the URI master composters, compost bin kits will be on sale for $25 by the state Division of Waste Management and home composting advice will be provided by master gardener Reinhard Sidor in the Master Gardener Demonstration Vegetable Garden at 10:45 a.m.
Other activities include:
10:30 a.m., A tour of the East Farm trial gardens by Brian Maynard, horticulturist (10:30 a.m.).
11 a.m., A talk on preventing tick-borne diseases by Thomas Mather, entomologist,
11:15 a.m., A talk and tour on blueberries and apples by URI Research Associate Heather Faubert.
Noon-- A workshop on how to properly plant trees and shrubs by Master Gardener Rudi Hempe.
12:15 p.m., A native plant walk on the property given by Jenna Sicuranza, a graduate student.
12:30 p.m., A talk on rhododendrons by URI Research Associate Bill Johnson.
1 p.m., A talk on low maintenance planters using green roof techniques by URI Research Associate Nick Castrataro.
East Farm is located on Route 108 (Kingstown Road) about a half-mile south of the main traffic light in Kingston Village. There are no parking or admission fees. The festival will be held rain or shine.