Who says you need a pristine plot of land to grow your own food? When GreenStalk was created, we didn't have acres of land to test out our new product. We simply stepped outside our office and reclaimed our parking lot not only to test out how GreenStalk works, but also to grow food for our community. It's turned out to be one of our best decisions we've made! Read below to see how we did it.
We live and work in Knoxville, TN so there's not a lot of flat even land. Our parking lot has many slopes and cracks. But we setup our GreenStalk Vertical Gardens anyways. We started with random vegetable plantings like okra, tomatoes, beans, flowers and more just to see what would grow. We were pleasantly surprised that everything did really well. We even rigged up some pretty interesting stakes (as you can see in the photo above!).
Since the planters were so close to the building, it actually really helped with temperature control and wind. Plus the planters stayed warmer because of the black pavement that surrounded them. We had such great success with our small, urban, parking lot garden, we decided to expand it to the other side of the lot. We took it up a notch, and had around 75 GreenStalks planted with a variety of crops with different colors and sizes of vertical planters. We also added a wooden deck to ensure we were maximizing our space. It was so much fun! Imagine stepping outside your place of work to a garden filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. There's just nothing better.
You don't need much to start a parking lot garden. Even if you don't have much space, you can grow something. Not only will it be a beautiful addition to an otherwise bland area, but if you grow something edible, it can be a real asset to those around you. In 2017, we reached a point to where we were producing more fruit and vegetables than we could eat so we found a place to donate our produce to that could get it out quickly to those who need it. Today, we continue to use our parking lot as a test garden and a way to grow produce for our community. We have also extended our deck and are in the process of adding a greenhouse to increase our production.
It goes to show you that you don't need a huge budget or a bunch of resources to have a significant impact on those around you. Start where you are, grow where you are planted. It's so worth it.
Where's your "urban garden"? Let us know in the comments below!
Cody Catherine Thomas