A friend of mine that is much more involved in the evolution of downtown Mesa introduced me to the urban garden concept three years ago when the Mesa Urban Garden was started.The idea is to help create and foster sustainable urban living by providing a community-based garden site.
It was a cold and rainy day on the grand opening and I remember seeing many of the garden plots sitting empty waiting for planting. The steady, gentle rain was giving all of the plots a good soaking. There were some plots with growing plants, but most were ready for new planting. I was not convinced that the concept would work. I used myself as a guide. I would not be likely to have the persistence to care for my garden and I’m sure it would either wither and die or go to seed.
I revisited the garden on its third anniversary and I am pleased to announce that not everybody is a slacker like myself. The garden looks terrific with many vegetables, flowers and even fruit trees happily growing and providing fresh produce! Obviously, many city dwellers find the chance to have a personal garden that provides fresh veggies a very attractive opportunity.
My son is trying his hand at a backyard garden, taking the initiative to create an irrigation system and we’ll see if his attempt at urban gardening goes well. If you have the yard space, you may have a garden waiting to happen.
I envy those that are successful in finding the time and putting in the effort to get their hands dirty and work the earth in a direct way. It sounds very fulfilling. Maybe someday, I’ll have the time and inclination for such a venture. In the meantime, I try to buy local as often as possible.
All this goes to show that urban gardening is possible and very rewarding for those who participate. The plots do cost some dough to lease, but at $80 a year for a 4 foot by 6 foot garden space complete with quality soil in a raised bed, watered by an individual drip irrigation system with timer, it’s a good deal if you can grow. We are in Arizona, land of sunshine. If you give a plant water it will grow like crazy, so i would think you could easily come out ahead. Not to mention the great time spent outdoors, working the Earth, meeting neighbors, and harvesting your own food.