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Urban farmer keeps trucking

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People who have spotted that eight-foot tall, Plexiglas-walled greenhouse-looking thingy attached to the bed of an old Mazda pickup truck have speculated that it’s everything from an art project to a mobile organic vegan commune.

But Austin Shull just wanted to do some gardening.

“I wanted to be able to grow my own food nearby, but I didn’t have the ground to do it on,” Shull told The Brooklyn Paper. “So the greenhouse was a practical solution to that. Everything is extremely fresh because it’s straight off the vine and into your mouth. And it’s fun to go out and pick some tomatoes, peppers and herbs and then go home and cook my dinner.”

But it’s more than just a road-ready organic garden. The 29-year-old pickup peasant says it’s also a bit of living, breathing social commentary, a statement that’s as much about agriculture as it is about oil.

Shull admits he’s no expert on the ins-and-outs of greenhouse construction. There was no guarantee the plants would grow or thrive while he bounced around from town to town.

“I was afraid we might be building a mobile oven,” he said.

But it did work. Better than he ever could have hoped for.

“I think driving around actually made them grow stronger,” he said.

It also helps with pollination. Good greenhouse gardeners know to shake their tomato and pepper plants to increase their yield. Shull just drives around the block.

And he’s taken some longer trips, too. When Shull took a road trip to Chicago in August, the greenhouse made a guest appearance at an art show.

Shull says he’s still tinkering with his rolling garden. Now he’s trying different plants and working on a solar-powered irrigation system.

“It’s an experiment really,” Shull said. “When I started, I didn’t know anything about greenhouses or growing and I don’t really know much now. I’m learning as I go along.”

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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Reasonable discourse

Nick Tamble from Twin Cities says:
Marvelous idea...find me on FB Adam...unless I find you first :)
March 10, 2013, 9:26 am

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