This past Wednesday a garden on wheels visited the kids at the Somerville Arts Council’s Art in the Garden program, held at the Community Growing Center just outside of Union Square. This charmingly ramshackle truck, planted with vegetables by Charlie Radoslovich of Rad Urban Farmers, is part of a larger fleet called Truck Farm. The mission of Truck Farm is to promote urban gardening (to learn more about the project, check out this video featuring Brooklyn-based Truck Farm co-founder Ian Cheney).
It was Danny Lewis and Erin Taylor of the Boston chapter of Truck Farm who drove the truck over to the growing center and introduced the Truck Farm concept to the Art in the Garden children. “The mobile aspect of this project is so awesome,” says Lewis, who reports that these truck farms are sprouting up all over the country. He continues, “The truck shows the possibility and potential of urban farming. You can plant a garden almost any where.”
The Art in the Garden gaggle of children proved this point well. After checking out the lettuces and peppers on wheels, the kids planted radish and green bean seeds in unexpected containers they had brought in, including egg cartons, cut-off soda bottles and a lone canvas shoe. Then, they sat down with Erin Taylor who explained how to take care of plants and led a discussion on the vast possibilities of urban gardening.
We reckon that in a place like Somerville, one of the most densely populated cities in New England, taking advantage of overlooked urban nooks to create greenery and provide crops makes darn good sense. We thank our ingenious Art in the Garden lead educator Kate Jorgenson for arranging the truck farm visit. Kate has laid out an impressive curriculum for this year’s Art in the Garden, a program for youth ages 6-11 that explores art and environmental issues. For the first time ever, the garden gang will be taking field trips to places like the Museum of Fine Arts. Every field trip is built into the Art in the Garden curriculum.
We are both happy and sorry to report that Art in the Garden is full for this season and we can’t accept any more children. If you’d like to have your child be part of the program next year, we suggest you join the SAC list serve by signing up at the bottom of our SAC home page. This way, you’ll get an announcement regarding registration next year. Until then, we hope truck farm has provided inspiration. Happy planting Somerville.
Oh yes, one more thing, while checking out the truck farm this past Wednesday, we had the pleasure of meeting Rachel Greenberger, a sustainable agriculture journalist. Check out her excellent Examiner.com blog, which explores “fair, humane and real” food.