Truck Farm

So, you have the urge to garden but you have no plot of land to plant? No problem!

Grab your keys, fire up that old pickup truck, and get your own truck farm going.

Does King Corn ring a bell?

It was a big deal among organic foodies a couple of years ago. This groundbreaking film about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation gave voice—a big voice—to the state of our nation’s agriculture. In the wake of King Corn came the lesser known, but equally awesome, films, The Greening of Southie and The City Dark.

The genius behind those films, Ian Cheney, is also the driving force behind Truck Farm, a mobile garden education project that sprung from Cheney’s fertile mind when he moved to Brooklyn, New York. He wanted to grow something a little different than a documentary. It was high time, he decided, to plant a garden of his own.

But … where?

Surrounded by asphalt, Cheney knew he’d have to get creative. And seeing as how he couldn’t sow seeds in the sidewalk, he opted for a raised bed.

The bed of his 1986 Dodge pickup to be exact.

A truckload of soil, an order of heirloom seeds, and a sprinkle of ambition later, Cheney was on tour, seeking out neighborhood nursery schools and giving many youngsters their first glimpse of food crops growing in soil.

You gotta love it—a garden on wheels traveling down the road perking up the interests of little farm sprouts everywhere.

Earlier this year, Cheney and his Truck Farm crew even sponsored a contest to see who could plant some seeds in the most creative place possible. Folks all over the country showed their green-thumb gumption and entered their best ideas, and the contest judges were none other than Alice Waters, Marion Nestle, and Michael Pollan.

Wanna know who won?

Karlie Cole of Minnesota! Karlie doesn’t have a truck, but she does have a Prius—so she turned it into a greenhouse.

Steve Madewell of Maryland, who took second place, wanted to think of even more ways to encourage children to think about gardening, so he created a vertical Lego garden.

Cars and toys and gardens!? Oh my!

See photos of Karlie and Steve’s winning entries here.

I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely inspired. Now, where are the keys to that old farm truck …

What are your creative farming and planting ideas?

  1. Jean says:

    If you can plant seeds in your Prius, what’s the limit to urban agriculture!

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