With morning temperatures below 80 degrees again, it’s time to get back outside. If you’re ready to do some gardening, be sure to stop by the Mesa Urban Garden Open House and Volunteer Fair on Sept. 30 from 9 to 11 a.m.
Mesa Urban Garden (MUG) is a nonprofit community garden located in the heart of Mesa’s downtown, 212 E. 1st Ave. Saturday’s fair is an opportunity to visit the garden to talk to members about gardening, or learn how to lease or sponsor a garden bed. Produce harvested from sponsored beds is donated to the United Food Bank.
To learn how you can contribute your time and talents by volunteering, MUG has invited experts to the event who will share their knowledge. Master Gardener volunteers from the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension will talk about gardening and composting. Catherine “The Herb Lady” will share ideas about gardening, herbs and seed saving. Fruit tree expert, Monty Palmer, from the Arizona Rare Fruit Growers will give basics on tropical and subtropical fruit you can grow, from citrus and beyond.
The garden offers nearly 100 individual beds that are “garden ready” to lease out to individuals, groups or sponsors in the community. MUG’s mission is to inspire sustainable urban living through education, community involvement and creative cooperation.
There are two additional events taking place at MUG:
- Sept. 27, 6 to 8 p.m., SEEDS Community Celebration: Featuring local artists, storytelling, native crafts, youth activities, and an open mic, this program, presented by Mesa Arts Center, is free and open to the public. Bring non-perishable food items to donate to United Food Bank and receive a free ticket to Dancing Earth at Mesa Arts Center the evening of Sept. 30.
- Oct. 7, 5 to 6:30 p.m., Garden Multi-Tasking: Edible Flowers and Seed Saving: Catherine, The Herb Lady, will explain how edible flowers and seed saving creates multiple benefits in your garden. She will also answer gardening questions and tell you what to plant now. Free.
The garden broke ground in 2012 when community members and volunteers approached the city of Mesa with an idea to build a garden on vacant parcels in the downtown area. Since that time, MUG has become an integral part of Mesa’s downtown, hosting events, meetings, music and entertainment and, most of all, impressive feats of gardening, classes and bringing people together.
If you can’t make the events, the garden is open to visitors daily. Stop by to take a stroll and enjoy the gardens, murals, butterflies, birds, and more. Learn about Community Gardens in Mesa at www.mesaaz.gov/sustainability.