Just what does 22,000 square feet look like? This is about half an acre. A typical suburban lot. A cozy swathe.
Of course it’s what you do with 22,000 square feet that matters, and DIG IT Urban Gardens has some fertile plans: From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 3, the company will open its brand-new nursery, a peppy little plot at 3015 North 16th Street in Phoenix. Curious visitors can tour the grounds, check out the cacti and succulents, and learn about its five-acre farm in South Phoenix.
You might wonder what distinguishes DIG IT from, say, the plant section at Home Depot. First, it’s embedded in the city. Founders Tim Bishop and Ryan Jerrell wanted to replace Baker’s Nursery, a favorite vender that yielded to a developer in 2014. Bishop and Jerrell are both Arizona natives and have spent years raising plants. To finance the project, they turned to crowdsourcing and raised $150,000 on GoFundMe. Until recently, the DIG IT property was just a vacant lot. The pair broke ground only two months ago.
Master gardeners should enjoy picking up supplies, but DIG IT may also be a boon for urban dwellers who like the idea of plants but don’t necessarily know much about them. The nursery will sell potted cacti, desert blooms, and even plants potted in margarita glasses. (How about harvesting agave for tequila? Just throwing it out there.)
If all goes well, DIG IT won’t just be a plant store but a “centrally located neighborhood hangout.” Bishop and Jerrell want to host seminars and provide a venue for Phoenix artists. Instead of mass-produced pots and trellises from overseas, most of their gardening fixtures will be locally crafted.
“With our combined passion and love for plants, we had a vision to create a business to promotes green, healthy living,” Bishop said in a release. “We want to share our knowledge with others so they can achieve their garden goals at home and create a space where people want to shop, hang out while supporting a variety of local businesses.”
Grand opening takes place Sat., Oct. 3, For more information about DIG IT, visit digphx.com.