Get ready to slip on some gloves and dig into the dirt.
This week, Vols Educating about Growing Gardens and Inspiring Environmentalism will be hosting a Sustainability Service Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participants can come and go as they please.
Neil Brown, president of Project V.E.G.G.I.E. and a senior in chemical engineering, said he encourages any and all students to attend the event, even those not currently members of the organization.
"We want other groups to come to the garden to learn about us," Brown said. "We are still trying to build members since day one, a year and a half ago."
Visitors will be able to put their green thumbs to work in the garden plot next to the outdoor tennis courts on 20th Street.
Valentino Constantinou, faculty liaison for Project V.E.G.G.I.E., said, "Our goal of Sustainability Service Day is to educate people about sustainable urban farming practices while simultaneously engaging in some of those practices."
Those who attend the event will care for the various plants, including pumpkin, okra, peppers and corn, and provide a more sustainable environment. Recently, Project V.E.G.G.I.E. won "Organization of the Year" at the University of Tennessee Dean of Students award ceremony.
Brown advises students to come prepared with sunscreen, older clothes and gardening tools. The organization will provide seeds and extra necessary tools. Students are also encouraged to bring old shirts, which will be repurposed into reusable harvesting bags.
The event on Saturday will also focus on restoring the soil in preparation for the upcoming winter season.
"Specifically, we will be transplanting our pepper plants from soil to pots for winter, removing our corn stalks and preparing the site for winter greens, and planting some garlic and other plants as well," Constantinou said.
Going forward, Project V.E.G.G.I.E. has a few upcoming side projects.
"The tennis court material extends past the boundary of the tennis stadium so we are going to paint on top of that a giant mural," Brown said. "We are also going to build 700 square feet of planter boxes and a 2,000-gallon worm composting bin."
Project V.E.G.G.I.E. members believe farming and gardening are essential in making the world a cleaner and healthier place.
"Remember that you do not have to become a member of Project V.E.G.G.I.E. to practice sustainable urban farming," Constantinou said. "Anyone can do it, provided they have a small plot of land they wish to dedicate to farming.
"The best way to make a difference is to be active about it."
To sign up for the event, click here and find the registration link under the "calendar" tab or like "Project V.E.G.G.I.E." on Facebook for more information.