Farm on the Run
Two filmmakers teach an old Dodge new tricks
In 2007, Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney raised 10,000 pounds of corn (and filmed the process) in an effort to increase awareness about the industrial-food industry.
This time around, the filmmakers, whose King Corn won numerous awards, are scaling down and going mobile: Their latest project, Truck Farm, is a small garden they planted in the back of Cheney's 1986 Dodge pickup.
The idea was born out of their frustration with the lack of farmable land in their Brooklyn neighborhoods. The next thing they knew, they were filling the truck's bed with tidy rows of arugula, herbs and heirloom tomatoes.
So far, the plot has yielded a small bounty of produce that the duo and a small group of CSA subscribers have consumed. Of course, they've been filming their adventure (partly using a solar-powered, time-lapse camera mounted on the roof of the truck) and posting excerpts online.
The final film, which will be released this winter, will also document other NYC farming experiments--from a 6,000-square-foot rooftop plot in Greenpoint to Added Value's Red Hook farm to a group of artists who are growing hydroponic plants in bottles suspended from their windows. "[The film] is partly about bringing locally grown fruits and vegetables into all neighborhoods," says Ellis, "but it's also a wild-and-wooly romp through this new world of the urban farmer."
You can catch up with the truck--and pick up some urban gardening tips--at Wednesday's Good Beer bash at BAM (buy tickets here). If you can't make it, don't worry; the truck will be making cameo appearances at food events throughout the summer and is a regular on the streets of Red Hook.
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