You may think you’re at the top of experimental ideas in the garden because you’ve tucked in some lettuce greens amongst your annual pots, but that doesn’t even come close to the weird places to grow vegetables. Sometimes, people choose odd spots for vegetable gardens out of necessity, and sometimes unusual places to grow food are chosen for the sake of art. Whatever the reason for growing produce in unconventional spots, it’s always a pleasant surprise to see people thinking outside of the box.
Growing Vegetables in Strange Places
Let me preface before I dive into growing vegetables in strange places. One person’s strange is another’s normal. Take the Mansfield Farm in Anglesey, North Wales, for example. This Welsh couple grows strawberries in drainpipes. It may seem strange but, as they explain it, not a new concept. If you’ve ever looked at a drainpipe, there is every likelihood that something is growing in it, so why not strawberries?
In Australia, people have been growing exotic mushrooms in disused railway tunnels for over 20 years. Again, it might seem like an unusual spot to grow food at first, but when given some thought, it makes perfect sense. Mushrooms such as enoki, oyster, shiitake, and wood ear naturally grow in cool, dim, humid forests of Asia. The empty rail tunnels mimic these conditions.
It’s getting more and more common to see urban gardens sprouting atop buildings, in empty lots, parking strips, etc., so much, in fact, that none of these places are considered weird places to grow vegetables anymore. How about in an underground bank vault, though?
Beneath the busy streets of Tokyo, there is a real working farm. Not only does it actually grow food, but the farm provides jobs and training for unemployed youth. Growing food in abandoned buildings or railways, however, doesn’t even come close to some of the more unusual places to grow food.
More Unusual Places to Grow Food
Another odd choice for a vegetable garden spot is at the ballpark. At the AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, you will find a 4,320 square foot (400 sq. m.) coffee ground fertilized garden that uses 95% less water than traditional irrigation methods. It supplies the concession stands with healthier options such as kumquats, tomatoes, and kale.
Vehicles can also be unique places to grow produce. Bus rooftops have become veggie gardens as have the backs of pickup trucks.
A really unusual place to grow food is in your clothes. That gives a whole new meaning to take out. There is a designer, Egle Cekanaviciute, who has created a series of garments with pockets that are filled with soil and fertilizer in order for one to grow plants of your choosing right on your person!
Another intrepid designer, Stevie Famulari, who is actually an assistant professor at NDSU’s landscape architecture department, created five garments that are seeded with living plants. The clothes are lined with waterproof material and are wearable. Just think, you’ll never have to remember to pack a lunch!
Never let it be said that you cannot grow a garden due to a lack of space. You can grow plants just about anywhere with a little ingenuity. The only thing lacking is imagination.