Little free garden stands are sprouting up in Tucson

Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 6:39 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - There’s a growing trend in Arizona.

The Facebook page, Little Free Garden Stands of AZ has nearly six-thousand members.

The group helps to coordinate free plant stand exchanges across the state, including right here in southern Arizona.

“I know everybody in this neighborhood and everybody knows me,” said Tucsonan William Watts.

Watts planted his roots in his Tucson neighborhood 25 years ago.

“I help everybody out in the neighborhood so I’m the ambassador of the neighborhood you might call me,” Watts said.

Watts is retired, but that does not mean he stopped working.

He has poured his time and energy into his yard.

His backyard is filled with various plants and vegetable gardens.

His front yard boasts a large orange tree he planted with his wife 15 years ago.

“We’ve had some great fruit this year. They are juicy, they are pleasant on the eye. They are beautiful,” Watts said.

Watts has found a new place to share the fruits of his labor.

His neighbors set up a free plant stand in their front yard. They are encouraging community members to take a plant and “leaf” a plant.

People are also exchanging seeds, fruits, and vegetables.

“It has been attracting a lot of people, and it’s just a great idea,” Watts said.

Watts said he dropped off some of his oranges at his neighbor’s stand and picked up a few lemons for himself.

These little plant stands are sprouting up all over town.

“It was a little family project, it was definitely a lot of fun,” said Jessica Cozzetti.

Cozzetti said she set up her free plant stand about ten days ago and it has already grown in size.

On Wednesday, someone dropped off plastic Easter eggs filled with marigold seeds.

“I think they are so adorable,” Cozzetti said.

Cozzetti said the plant stands are an inexpensive way to get into gardening. More importantly, she hopes the idea behind the stand will plant seeds of generosity and a sense of community in her kids.

“I just hope they see, one, we can grow things, people put fruit here and they can take what they need, and just to see others be generous,” Cozzetti said.

As for Watts, he hopes this little corner continues to cultivate hope.

“Just make a better environment for some of these darker times we’ve been through,” Watts said.

Click to find a little free garden stand near you.

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