Last week, after a day of marathon business meetings, I headed to Soho to catch a talk hosted by Phaidon Press to promote a new book they published called, "Vegetables From an Italian Garden". The panel discussion was supposed to be based around the topic of "Growing Your Own Produce in Urban Environment", so I was pretty excited about it. The press release said the talk would include a panel discussion on urban farming and sustainable agricultural practices. I went to the discussion thinking that I would come away from the talk with some interesting tips and advice on growing produce in an urban environment like NYC.
Truck Farm" he created. I wouldn't call it a farm, it's more of a mobile garden. He created a garden in the bed of a pickup truck. He explained that he came up with this idea when he moved to Brooklyn and lacked any space to grow fresh produce, so he had this idea of converting an old truck given to him by his grandfather, into a garden plot. He retrofitted the back of the truck by drilling drainage holes and added a lightweight soil mixture to grow the plants.
Truck Farm became the subject of a documentary, and quickly became a traveling exhibition for educating urban youths about gardening and farming. The garden in the truck bed idea spread and now there are 25 fleets of mobile gardens around the country. What a cool idea for getting the word out about growing your own fresh produce! Ian admitted that growing produce this way isn't going to produce high yields, and isn't very practical for the everyday urban gardener. However, it's become a great learning tool to teach others about where your food comes from. As an educational tool for demonstrating the process of seed to edible plant to urban youth who don't normally have access to farms or gardens, it's pretty darn amazing.