Growing food

Learn to grow your own veggies at a demonstration hosted by Mississippi Market during its plant sale. Co-op staff and horticulture experts will be available to discuss the basics of vegetable gardening, including which plants grow best from seeds, how far apart to space plants, and how to water and care for them until it’s time to harvest and eat. 1-3 p.m. May 19. Free. Mississippi Market, 1500 W. 7th St., St. Paul. msmarket.coop.

For a more comprehensive class on edible gardening, there’s Growing Food 101, covering everything from arugula to zucchini, including vegetables, herbs, fruits and edible flowers that you can grow in Minnesota. Learn growing tips and the best tools, as well as pest and weed-control strategies. The class is from 6:30-8 p.m. May 15, Minnesota State Horticultural Society, 2705 Lincoln Dr., Roseville. Cost is $15; $10 members. To register, go to northerngardener.org.

Garden help

Gardening is a great way for the family to spend quality time outdoors. Help out the farmhands at Gale Woods Farm during an afternoon of garden activities. Participants’ efforts will be rewarded with a few plants to take home. 2-4 p.m. May 19. $8, advance registration required by May 16 at 763-559-6700.

Plant sales

Realize your landscape dreams at the Hennepin County Master Gardener plant sale. A wide variety of plants, affordably priced, have been grown by Master Gardeners, who will be on hand to answer questions. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. May 19. Normandale Community College, 9700 France Av. S., Bloomington. hennepinmastergardeners.org.

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s Auxiliary Plant Sale has a new location, free admission and is tripled in size this year. The sale features more than 1,000 varieties, including sun and shade plants, grasses, heirloom vegetables, herbs, native Minnesota species and University of Minnesota introductions. Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions. The sale is from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 12 and 13 at the Red Barn Farm, next to the Tashjian Bee Center, 3210 W. 82nd St., Chanhassen. Go to arboretum.umn.edu or call 952-443-1400.

New iris garden

Irises in bloom are a sure sign of spring. And more than 300 varieties will be showing their colors at the new Northeast Minneapolis Municipal Iris Gardens at Columbia Park. This is the inaugural blooming season for the garden, which was planted by the Iris Society of Minnesota, in cooperation with the Minneapolis Park Board. Mayor Jacob Frey will speak and perform a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon May 20. A juried iris show also will be held inside the park manor. Anyone who grows a named iris can cut and bring their irises to the show between 8 and 10 a.m., when the judging will take place. The show will be open to the public at noon. Cake will be served, and there will be an iris coloring station set up. If you can’t make it to the official opening, the garden is open to the public, and has been designed so that irises will be blooming throughout May and Jane. Columbia Park is located at 3300 Central Av. NE., Mpls.

Art-A-Whirl time

Looking for one-of-a-kind art for your walls and spaces? During Art-A-Whirl, more than 650 artists will open their northeast Minneapolis private studios and galleries to display their wares in a wide range of media, including clay, photography, textiles, wood, glass, fiber, multimedia, paintings and sculpture. Tour more than 50 locations from the A-Mill Artist Lofts to the Solar Arts Building. It’s also a chance to meet the artists, who will answer questions, offer demonstrations and lead mini-workshops. The Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association-sponsored event is free. Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. May 18, noon to 8 p.m. May 19 and noon to 5 p.m. May 20. For a map and details, go to nemaa.org.

LYNN UNDERWOOD, MELISSA WALKER, KIM PALMER