Weeding and harvesting on the pick-up

A garden is mostly private pleasure. Mobile flowerbeds exceed this limit and thus help children and adults to better understand the nature and our food.

450 km in eleven days. If Annechien Meier makes their art on the journey, then at a maximum speed of 25 km / h. From The Hague to Wiesbaden she went in the summer of 2014, forward a tractor behind a trailer: seven meters long, two twenty wide, on a bed of cucumbers, beans, rosemary, marigold, sage, chives, mint, endive, strawberries, radishes and parsley. The propelled garden, which is Annechien Meiers art.

mobile gardens

Mobile gardens on the pick-up

For ten years, the trained painter works with plants and soil rather than colors. For garden design they came through a journey. “When I years ago over Holland flew and saw this accurate location of each block from the top, I thought to myself that much more says about our culture than pictures.” In France and Belgium, she began to replant clearings in forests, sorted by strictly geometrical pattern typical Dutch. Meier wanted the contrast between the tamed by human nature and the  to show.

When she accidentally found those ancient followers six years ago, they built their first mobile garden and the concept became a phenomenon. “My garden can occupy spaces that are not actually planted as sidewalks and highways. So I play with the boundaries between private and public space.” After the trailer they planted an old bus before Norbottom Museum in the Swedish Lulea and a decommissioned aircraft of the South Korean city Gonju. When the invitation to a garden art exhibition came in Wiesbaden, Meier had the idea to simply take the garden.

At the border it was tight for the artist. The German police thought she’d need a truck drivers license for their vehicle and a license plate. In the Netherlands did not need them both. A German friend had to take the helm and bring a flag equal. Fruits and vegetables traveling without problems for people, apples from New Zealand, tomatoes from Israel,oranges from Spain. “Eating comes over every inch, but with a whole garden gets you trouble,” says Meier and laughs. “So you learn the boundless freedom of Europe to know.”

Where come from our food, what happens on this trip where it ends up? These issues are also Armin Werner busy. He is director of the Institute of Land Use Systems of the Leibniz Centre in Müncheberg. Together with the Humboldt University in Berlin, he has the campaign “Urban Gardening 2.0” started. He knows mobile gardens, but in another form.The Prinzessinnengarten in Berlin, for example, is designed so that it could move, should the lease for the brownfield site in Kreuzberg not be extended.

“Such garden projects ask how we want to live and how we should do business for this lifestyle,” says Werner. The social and environmental contexts of our food supply are now only difficult to understand, says Werner. Although you know how much greenhouse gas is expelled when we fruit from South America to import, but the effects that arise in local production are hardly discussed. “We want to promote the city gardeners critical thinking about sustainability.” For this purpose, according to Werner also includes the social factor. Working together inpublic gardens, whether fixed or mobile, teaches participation, promotes the sense of community and the sense of the individual to be able to his life circumstances change anything.

The “Truck Farm” movement

But what if there simply is no room for gardens in a city? In New York,for example, is missing in many districts. They also noted the documentary filmmaker Ian Cheney, when he moved to the metropolis. He had made ​​a film about the American corn industry and wanted to even grow his vegetables. When he could not find suitable for green space, he built himself a – on the back of his pick-up trucks. Thus arose the “Truck Farm” movement. There are now more than two dozen of these mobile fields. The Truck Farmer want educate about healthy eating, their traveling vegetable gardens should show city children how their food actually arises.mobile gardens

“The children often cringe when they test our vegetables. They know no food without flavor enhancers, sugar and fat,” says Sydney Weydemeyer. She works for Truck Farms in Chicago. Weydemeyer Truck’s Petunia, runs on biodiesel, and the compost on which the vegetables grow, comes from the leftover food from the Chicago school canteens. Last year Weydemeyer has visited 47 schools with Petunia and talked with more than 2,700 children, she has to make her fingers dirty and can try greens.

Around one third of children in Chicago are overweight, the city has quarters that as “food deserts” are referred to, food deserts, because it is hardly possible to arrive at raw vegetables and fresh fruit and that is why raw veggies are so important. Everything people eat there was already processed: fried chicken, fried potatoes, tomatoes. “The children do not know that from a seed a plant growing where a tomato ripens, the then ketchup,” says Weydemeyer. With its Truck Farm Weydemeyer brings the children back to the roots. Next, he wants to find a way to reach the parents of the children, so that creates small vegetable gardens on the windowsills of Chicago.