But this is not what I want to tell you all about today.
I want to tell you about Truck Farms because I just researched them for a Reading Plus narrative I finished writing today and I was blown away by what I learned. They are so darn cool. And smart. And do-able.
Ian Cheney created the first Truck Farm. He founded this "mobile garden education project" in Brooklyn, NY, where he moved after making his film King Corn, a film about "growing an acre of America's most subsidized commodity crop." He wanted to create a garden, but, as he said, he couldn't find a community garden to join and he didn't own any land. What he did have, though, was a 1986 Dodge pick-up truck that his grandfather had given him as a college graduation present. Maybe he could drive somewhere in the truck? To some place that had land? Or maybe...he could build a farm ON the truck? Yes, that.
And for one more reason too. To my mind, a Truck Farm is a lot like a story. It is this world, this living breathing changing world, in a tiny space. Each vegetable has an arc, the whole garden has a structure and an aesthetic, and there is a rhythm to its existence. You have to fill the truck bed as much as you can, it can't hold much after all, but you also have to make sure each plant has enough space. I mean check this out: when you plant carrots you plant a ton of them, then as they begin to grow you have to thin them, pull some out so that the remaining carrots can grow big and fat and full. If that isn't the process of revision---or my revision anyway (did I mention I am trying to create space in my stories??)---then I don't know what is.
Check out the trailer for Ian's film about his Truck Farm.
Happy writing. Happy planting. Happy revising. Happy harvesting.
All images from Ian's website.