In 2009, filmmaker Ian Cheney (King Corn) decided to try planting his own garden.
But where to do it? He lived in Brooklyn, didn’t own any land, and couldn’t get a place in a community garden. He decided to use the back of his 1986 Dodge pickup truck, given to him by his grandfather as a college graduation gift.
Using the same principles involved in building a green roof, Cheney put his truck farm together for a few hundred bucks (the most expensive equipment is the truck itself) and set out to make a film about it, and also about other inventive growing schemes in and around New York. In the film he visits a vertical window farm, a rooftop farm and a sustainable floating barge. The film makes for light viewing, punctuated with whimsical (if slightly irritating) songs in place of a voiceover.
Cheney wants to spread the word about truck farming, and has created a downloadable farmer toolkit, as well as a how-to video for anyone interested in replicating the idea.
To make a truck farm, all it takes is:
- a root barrier
- a drainage mat and erosion blanket
- lightweight subsoil
- compost and/or topsoil
Download the toolkit here.