My how fast mini-farms planted in pickup truck beds grow …
When I last sat down with Ian Cheney to talk about his acclaimed LEED-demystifying documentary, The Greening of Southie, the greenthumbed 29-year-old director’s latest venture, Truck Farm, was still in its infancy.
You see, Cheney — one half of the production company/advocacy project Wicked Delicate along with Curt Ellis (his friend and co-star in King Corn) — and the 1986 gray Dodge Ram pickup bequeathed to him by his grandfather, Fayette Rumsey Plumb II, live down the street from me in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The ordinary looking truck — ordinary aside from the bed filled with soil (using green roof technology) and heirloom veggies — parked on Van Brunt Street had been turning heads in the neighborhood for a while but no one knew quite what to make of it.
Two months (and an appearance on MNN’s “40 Farmers Under 40” round-up) later, Cheney’s mobile garden/CSA-on-wheels/four-wheeled farm is literally all over the place. It’s gotten a fair amount of press and many of the veggies growing in the back of the truck — arugula, lettuces, tomatoes, herbs, and more — have been harvested and delivered to folks like Food Politics author Marion Nestle (yes, CSA subscriptions are really available).
Best of all, since I last chatted with Ian, Truck Farm the film has started to emerge as a series of short videos driven by superb musical narration by the Fisherman Three. After watching first two Truck Farm videos, I remember that Ian is an accomplished filmmaker, not just some dude in my neighborhood with a vegetable garden in the back of his truck. They’re truly well done and tell the Truck Farm story so much better than I can … so take a look.