When you live in Brooklyn, chances are you don’t have your very own land on which to grow fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a garden – as proven by filmmakers Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney, who created one in the back of a 1986 Dodge pickup truck.
Ellis and Cheney, the duo behind award-winning documentary King Corn, knew that they needed to do more than just dump a bunch of dirt into the back of Cheney’s old gray Dodge. New York City-based green roof company Alive Structures showed them how to do it right, with a root barrier, erosion blanket, drainage mat and special lightweight soil made out of Styrofoam, clay and organic matter. Now, they’ve got a truck bed full of lettuce, broccoli and other veggies grown from heirloom seeds.
Naturally, Cheney and Ellis decided to film the project, using a solar-powered time-lapse camera mounted on the roof of the truck for some of the shots. The series of musical video shorts includes original songs by The Fishermen Three, with excerpts available for viewing on YouTube.
The truck farm even has its very own community supported agriculture (CSA) program, so if you’re a fellow Brooklynite without your own garden, subscribe to the farm for $20 and the truck will drive up to your home, allowing you to pluck your veggies right out of the soil. You’ll get a DVD of all the truck farm episodes, too.
The film will be released in its entirety this winter, and will also document other experiments with farming in the concrete jungle of New York City.
"[The film] is partly about bringing locally grown fruits and vegetables into all neighborhoods," Ellis told The Tasting Table, "but it's also a wild-and-wooly romp through this new world of the urban farmer."