Urban Truck Farm – Organic Raised Bed Gardening in a Pickup Truck


Alright! This is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com,
I have another exciting episode for you. As you can see I was actually just underneath
this structure here, and what this structure is, this is actually a hoop house shell. So
you know how they have camper shells to go on the back of your camper, this is a hoop
house shelf to actually go on the back of a pickup truck that’s growing food! So I
want to show you guys this cool truck here right behind me. They’re growing literally
food in the back of a back of a truck. Now if you have an old truck, you could definitely
do this or if you want to make a strong statement about growing food in your city, fill the
back of your truck up just like a raised bed with some soil, and start growing food in
it. So let’s head over to this cool F-250 and check out what’s growing on.
Now we’re sitting on the truck bar. As you can see this is a standard F-250, I think
this is maybe even a long bed here with a farmer growing food in the back. Literally
it’s just like a raised bed. To learn more about this truck farm actually you can visit
the website truckfarmchicago.org. And check it out if we pull down this tail, you can
see here it’s just a little raised bed built into the back of the truck, they got space
on the bottom, it’s made out of wood and it’s lined with a landscape fabric and they
got extra storage underneath here, because it doesn’t need to be the full depth of
the bed, it just needs to be about a good 12 inches. So in the back of this truck, they’re
growing a lot of different things. You can see in the back of this truck they got things
like basil growing, now we are here in October so the summer season’s coming to an end.
They had some tomatoes growing, a lot of tomatoes down over here. What’s still growing really
well of course is the dinosaur kale and some other kind of kales here, they also got some
beets growing here and some mint, I can definitely smell the mint here, and they’re even seeding
new things in the back of this truck you can see all the little lettuces just transplanted
into the back of the truck here, and on the other side they got some kohlrabi, and even
some Brussel’s sprouts and carrots. So over on this side of the truck you can
see they even got egg plants growing in here, once again that little dome hoop you saw,
the hoop that they actually sit on the top here is an ingenious idea. So if your truck
is going to be sitting for the winter, build a raised bed insert and grow some food in
it, and keep it warm. Plus you could move it in your garage when it gets too cold outside,
that’s a good idea. But you can see they got some eggplant here, here’s some nice
rich kale growing, and over here it looks like they’re seeding some new stuff, so
they literally just sprinkled some seeds in there, and they came up, maybe it looks like
some kind of Brassica sprouts, some broccoli sprouts, and here’s some radishes that are
growing, and here’s more broccoli sprouts, here’s some chives, here’s some spinach
they’re growing, I mean they’re growing so many different things in here, here’s
some peas, here’s some more peas, here’s a little carrot growing, and here’s this
kohlrabi, check it out, truck-grown kohlrabi. You can now grow food anywhere. Now the kohlrabi,
what it is is basically the stalk or stem of a Brassica plant, much like I like to eat
broccoli stems, you peel the outside of the broccoli [inaudible] the hard part, and the
center delicious core is so delicious. That’s what the kohlrabi is, it’s like eating a
core of a broccoli, but they’re so delicious. And don’t forget, you can also harvest the
kohlrabi leaves, just eat them like a kale or collard greens, actually I like to juice
them or blend them up. Another thing cool about the truck farm besides
all the things that are growing and as you just saw, they’re growing [inaudible] different
produce in there, and there’s still a lot of space they can fill up with more sprouts
and other greens. I mean to me this is not too densely planted, but nonetheless this
is a lot of real estate to be growing food in, especially if you’re growing the square
foot garden method where you can literally pack in and grow things really tightly, especially
in the winter time. Hey you could even actually rig up a system that uses the coolant out
of your radiator actually to run it through the bottom of the bed and you could drive
around in your truck and keep the bed warm because of all the coolants flowing that’s
also going to cool down your coolant and then send it back. Another cool thing about this
truck that’s eco-friendly is that this is a diesel truck and check it out, they’re
actually running it on biodiesel, it says “biodiesel only.” Biodiesel is a more
renewable resource that can be renewed more easily than the petroleum and the oil coming
out of the ground that’s going to be used up one day. So literally you could grow your
own crops in the back of your truck like corn, press out the oil, and then put it in your
car to burn it to keep you moving on down the highway.
Well I really hope you guys enjoyed this episode learning more about the truck farm, be sure
to visit their website, truckfarmchicago.org to learn more about this truck farm. What
specifically they’re doing, and hopefully you guys learned a few things too, if you’ve
got an empty truck in the back of your yard hanging out, fill it with some dirt, build
a raised bed, have it insertable or exertable so you can push it in or pull it out when
you need, build a cover for it so you could actually grow year round, pull it in your
garage when it gets too cold outside and have lights in your garage and pull it outside
in the daytime, use the coolant to heat up the bed, man there’s so many different ideas
you can use to grow more food today, and that’s why I make all these videos for you guys.
Whether you want to grow in a raised bed, in some containers, or now even in your truck,
you can do it, and I’m here to help. So hopefully you guys enjoyed this episode, I
was really surprised when I saw and walked by this truck farm here in Chicago and I hope
you guys learned some new stuff from this episode. Once again my name is John Kohler
with growingyourgreens.com. We’ll see you next time and remember keep on growing.

27 thoughts on “Urban Truck Farm – Organic Raised Bed Gardening in a Pickup Truck

  1. John, OAEC is now holding sales on the weekend for their perennial plants. But I don't think many people know about it because I drove up there from Sacramento on Sunday to pick up some perennials and there was nobody else there. That's a shame. They only have one more weekend this year, but I thought maybe you could help get the word out so they consider doing it again next year.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I'm continually amazed at all the creative ways people are growing food. More, more, more!

  3. I honestly think there is more oil in the ground then cam be used up and by the time they get to the last reserve there's probably a whole new round of fossil fuels to use again

  4. Consider the source of the report (Norton). Using an alternative antivirus software, not internet explorer and a simple web-search would indicated there is not threat from this site.

  5. That's so freakin' cool!! My husband used to have native wildflowers growing in his little Toyota Pick-up…People would comment on the flowers..he would dig some & plant them in their yard as a gift for them!! 🙂 494,000 miles…..miss you little pick-up!!

  6. Very cool way to teach people to grow food. I think everyone who gets foodstamps should be encouraged to grow some food!

  7. Hey there- did a little browsing around and found out there are several truck farms in different areas of the country and there was a documentary made about the NY Truck farm which I found to be very interesting and quirky with some really great ideas and tips on urban gardening. You can check it out on amazon in instant streaming for cheap.

  8. God damn hauling all that dirt and water must be killing the planet with the extra gas expense. But if it's meant for a statement to encourage people to grow, then i think it's worth it; as long as they don't place it in their truck too.

  9. Such a great idea to bring the farm to the people. Haha… How about a convertible bus? You can probably grow a lot of stuff on a bus. Good find John.

  10. that is the coolest thing I have seen lately!! although I could never fit a vehicle in my garage with all my good junk..lol

  11. All junk-yard owners should see this video. Instead of rusting eye sores they could have life sustaining, good for you produce. 😉

  12. i might do this! I live downtown where I don't need to drive that much and the people around here really need to learn more about being sustainable. (A lot of the families here work at chemical plants)

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