A group called the North Coast Food Web is planting mobile gardens in shopping carts – a crafty way for people without garden space or sunlight at home to grow their own food.
Kristin Albrecht, who works with the North Coast Food Web and Oregon State University’s Extension Service said the mobile garden project has loaned out shopping carts to 30 families and is looking to expand the program to Clatsop County schools this fall.
By lining the carts and filling them with soil, the group has created gardens that can go anywhere, fit into small spaces and accompany their gardeners on walks around town. Some of the gardens rolled right down Commercial Street in Astoria for the Regatta Parade this summer.
What happens to these gardens in the winter? You can see in the Daily Astorian video above that some of them have greenhouse-like covers.
“It will be an experiment to see what we can grow this winter,” said Albrecht.
Astoria High School has offered up some of its greenhouse space to shelter the mobile gardens, which might still produce leafy greens in the colder weather. Albrecht said her group has been getting lots of inquiries from people in cities about how they can build their own mobile gardens in shopping carts.
“For people in urban areas, this really is an answer for people who want to grow food,” Albrecht said. “You can take them up an elevator. People with disabilities have access to it really easily.”
Albrecht came up with the idea as she was contemplating growing 100 potatoes in garbage bags. She decided to try grocery carts instead, and then North Coast Food Web lucked into 22 shopping carts from a Joanne’s Fabric store that was closing its doors.
The group has also gotten donations of shopping carts from New Seasons and raised a couple thousand dollars on Kickstarter to expand the program