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Hundreds flock to Chick-A-Palooza

Jemir Aidyn, 1, played with his siblings in

Jemir Aidyn, 1, played with his siblings in one of several areas set up for children at the Garden of Eve organic farm. (April 21, 2012) Photo Credit: Nicole Bartoline

The Garden of Eve in Riverhead transports its visitors to a time and place that feels far away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Hundreds visited the farm Saturday for the Chick-A-Palooza Festival to get back in touch with nature -- learning about beekeeping, preparing and growing a garden and keeping chicken coops.

Maria Catania brought her sisters to the farm to do some spring plant shopping and perhaps learn about starting her own chicken coop.

“We grew up with chickens in our backyard, and I really just want to go back to the way it was,” said Catania, 49, of Bluepoint. “It would be great to just go into your backyard and get fresh eggs. There’s just too much processed stuff in the world.”

Owner Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht, 39, said she wanted to have an event in the spring because of increased interest in people growing their own organic vegetables.

“We wanted to give the public an opportunity for a free education on organic growing,” Kaplan-Walbrecht said. “We want to set them up for success.”

The festival also featured a variety of vendors from Long Island. Right next to where Kaplan-Walbrecht was shearing sheep, fiber artist Adele Michelsen of East Patchogue was spinning yarn.

“There are a lot of people who have an interest,” said Michelsen, 42. “That’s why I do these things" as well as spinning and knitting classes.

The Chick-A-Palooza festival continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Michele Romeo, a vendor at the festival selling Michele’s Goji Berry Granola, described the event as a success.

”Eve does a great job, the place is great,” said Romeo, 53, of St. James. “It’s a good place where the kids can come out and play and it was a good learning experience for those who came.”


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