Mobile Urban Gardens in Upcycled Parcels

June 28, 2010 by

Welcome the itinerant gardener, not the one who travels from plot to plot, but the one whose community gardens travel from spot to spot. We’ve written about mobile gardens before, but these self-contained gardens go beyond being simply plant-growing mobile allotments, they are often constructed using reclaimed and upcycled items like rail cars, buses, trucks, bikes, and even an airplane.

In addition to producing fresh produce and flowers, these portable spreads also cultivate communities, bringing residents together to sow and harvest where they would not normally have the space or opportunity to do so.

One of these gardeners on the move is Annechien Meier, a Dutch environmentalist, artist, and gardener from The Hague, whose energy-free community garden, made up of a wooden platform on rubber wheels can be towed manually and parked anywhere.

Meier hopes to stimulate curiosity, confront people about the environment and ultimately engage them in doing something constructive. She has employed an number of specially manufactured and reclaimed objects in her quest to bring awareness to people’s impact on the environment.

Housed in a pond at the Norbotten Museum during the northern Sweden Lulea Summer Biennial, Meier worked with the theme of technology and nature to create Mobile Allotment Garden II, upcycling a city bus which she outfitted with a rooftop community garden.

Meier’s vegetable garden was organized into squares and straight lines–in homage to limits imposed by Dutch neighborhood allotment laws.

For the Geumgang Nature Art Biennale in South Korea, Meier planted her garden on the wings of an airplane. The idea, she says, began literally as a dream: flying a vegetable garden on the most beautiful plane she could imagine. Visitors can sit in the cockpit.

Meier recounts that she found it almost impossible to locate a plane. The project took on a bit of political charge: in South Korea, aviation, she observed, is in the hands of the army, and there is still leftover fear from the war with North Korea. Meier’s art project attempted to portray the transformation of war into peace: a former battle vehicle turned into a peaceful vegetable garden.

Apart from the installations of artists and environmentalists, there are the gardens of the anonymous horticulturists, like this one spotted in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where a “bumper” crop of tomatoes and peppers were growing in a greenhouse on the back of his truck.

Now, if only they delivered!

Hat tip to dornob and cascoprojects.

20 Comments »

  1. Helen at Toronto Gardens said:

    What an inspiring post! Makes me want to run out and build a mobile garden and take it to schools, like the bookmobile, but with veggies.

    — June 28, 2010 @ 11:45

  2. Robin Plaskoff Horton said:

    Helen, that’s a fantastic idea!

    — June 28, 2010 @ 15:14

  3. Georgia said:

    Yeah! I’ve been having thoughts along the same lines. Blogged in May about “shovel-ready greenhouses (pushcart style and/or hitchable to a bicycle) being installed in other underused spaces throughout the city — for food, for wildlife habitat, for viewing.” Anyone interested in a collaboration?

    — June 28, 2010 @ 16:55

  4. Saturday Finds « An Artist's Journal Pingback said:

    […] wonderfully creative mobile gardens feed both my gardening and artistic fantasies. I love the suggestion in the blog’s comments […]

    — July 3, 2010 @ 23:56

  5. mary helen fernandez stewart said:

    What a wonderful creative solution for making fresh vegetables available everywhere on the planet. May the Gods bless and keep you! Art Saves Lives! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

    — July 4, 2010 @ 22:27

  6. Katie said:

    Mobile Gardening… #genius A whole new concept to buying fresh.

    — July 7, 2010 @ 21:24

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    — July 8, 2010 @ 08:05

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    […] shaping our lives, transforming our cities, and nourishing the environment, landscape architecture, as the film shows, is more than the “simple arrangement of  plants […]

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  11. Green Walls – Green Busses | Plantworks Inc Pingback said:

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  12. seo service said:

    In Berlin’s Kreuzberg district there is a luscious, self-sustained urban garden that is social, ecological and also mobile. Prinzessinnengarten is a not-for-profit open organic garden dedicated to engage people and exchange knowledge and work, while promoting sustainable living. The garden was started as a pilot project in the summer of 2009 by Nomadic Green, on a site that had been a wasteland for over half a century; now, it has been transformed into a paradise for growing vegetables within the multicultural German capital.

    — March 10, 2012 @ 02:45

  13. abercrombie paris said:

    La quasi-totalité de ce que vous pointez arrive à être étonnamment précis et qui me fait demander pourquoi je n’avais pas examiné cette question dans cette lumière précédemment. Cette pièce fait vraiment particulier allumer la lumière pour moi autant que ce sujet particulier va.

    — May 5, 2012 @ 02:13

  14. How to Make a Mobile Garden Planted in Shopping Carts | Urban Gardens Pingback said:

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  16. faria said:

    wat are the construction material required?? if wana start gardening on the roof of bus??

    — September 1, 2013 @ 13:37

  17. Robin Horton said:

    Faria, the post describes the materials Marc uses to build the rooftop garden. I’m sure he will be happy to share his knowledge with you as he hopes to spread the idea throughout the world.

    — September 21, 2013 @ 09:57

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