By T.C. Brown
A little over four years ago an idea started to grow. The first seeds were planted in July of 2018 at the Oracle Community Learning Garden. With the help of volunteers those first seeds have grown and prospered for the surrounding community. A pollinator garden and food forest are just part of the garden strives to complete the mission “Provide opportunities for education, food production and growing a strong community by cultivating common ground.”
For the Community
Willow trees grown at the garden were planted along the San Pedro River to help revegetate the site of the Margo fire near Dudleyville. Friends and neighbors have planted seeds, installed fences, won grant proposals, built the kids’ railroad, installed irrigation systems, built raised garden beds, built hoop houses, started a food forest, taught workshops and so much more.
Community members can rent-a-bed for 6 months or 1-year increments. The garden has an “Ask a Master Gardener” program to answer questions and help community members with their own garden. They offer a great deal of information on mulching, gardening, composting, water use, pollinating and more. Resources and newsletters are available on their webpage. There are also plenty of chairs, tables and benches to sit and relax while enjoying your surroundings.
For the Kids
The Oracle Community Learning Garden sponsors a kids’ program for Mountain Vista students who will learn about gardening and participate in growing their own food in weekly garden visits during the school year. There is also a Kids’ Railroad available at the garden. Craig Anderson can be contacted to set up a time to run the G Scale train for free at 602-657-4535.
The garden will have an Open House on Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. to noon. All are welcome to tour the garden while learning about pollinating, composting, and gardening. The Kids’ Railroad will be operating as well.
The garden will have its Fall Plant Sale the weekend of Oct. 14. Come out and purchase plants and trees. Compost and worm compost will also be available. All sales help support the garden.
The garden is located at 1040 Mt Lemmon Hwy, Oracle, AZ, 85632. The garden is always seeking volunteers to join in the fun of getting your hands dirty and working with the earth. The idea may grow on you. Additional information and resources can be found on the garden webpage at https://www.oraclegardening.com. The garden can also be contacted via email at email@example.com. Come out and explore the garden. More ideas are sure to grow and flourish in the future with the help of the community.