When Fayette Plumb gave his grandson the keys to the old pickup, he wasn’t expecting the half-ton to drive back home––as a farm. But last spring, using green-roof technology, lightweight soil and heirloom seeds, filmmakers Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis transformed granddad’s ’86 Dodge into a traveling 20-member CSA. They planted between the wheel wells with arugula and tomatoes, parked the truck on a Brooklyn street, and waited for sun and rain to work their charms. When the first sprouts came up, Truck Farm was born. Subscribers received deliveries of produce, arriving via the mobile farm itself.
The friends behind Truck Farm, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis are also filmmakers––the Peabody Award-winning co-creators of King Corn, Big River and The Greening of Southie. Now, with your help, Ian and Curt are turning Truck Farm’s story into the centerpiece of a new 40-minute documentary about the urban farms taking root in America’s biggest city. The Truck Farm film will carry viewers from a self-sustaining Staten Island barge to a 6,000-square-foot market garden atop a Brooklyn roof to the elaborate Window Farms of two Manhattan artists. Along the way, we’ll see how far today’s city-dwellers are willing to go to grow food on whatever land they’ve got. According to the National Garden Association, 7 million new gardens were planted in 2009, everywhere from White Houses to schoolhouses. Truck Farm is the story of how these gardens are breathing new life into old cities––and helping one old pickup find meaning in its last years on the road.
Finally, a real reason to have a car in NYC.