Clatsop County is known for its challenging growing conditions and limited access to land. It’s difficult to find a good sunny spot in a backyard or schoolyard to grow an edible garden. Additionally, the steps involved in building a strong school garden program–assembling a garden team, recruiting interested teachers and staff, and raising funds for construction and maintenance–was a barrier to bringing garden education into our local schools.
North Coast Food Web knew the importance of teaching children and families to eat better by helping them to grow their own food in ways that were inexpensive, made the most of our limited sunlight, didn’t require a lot of space and didn’t require a lot of summertime supervision by school staff.
How were we going to do this without any gardens?
Ideas began to germinate, wheels began to turn, connections were made, and the Mobile Garden Project was born!
We gathered donated or unwanted shopping carts from local thrift stores and regional food retailers like New Seasons Market in Portland. Then we lined them with landscape cloth and filled them with nutrient-rich potting soil.
Next, the carts were filled with edible plant starts and seeds–lettuce, kale, chard, strawberries and peas were a few favorites! We planted flowers like marigolds and pansies in the carts where seeds were sown to make them look pretty until the seeds germinated.
At schools, Mobile Gardens are used to help teach nutrition and gardening curriculum, providing students with a valuable and engaging hands-on learning experience.
Mobile Gardens have even taken part in the Cannon Beach Earth Day Parade, and the Astoria Regatta Parade!
The carts were a big hit (and none of them ran away from us, at least not too far…), inspiring people with how easy it can be to grow food in a small space.
North Coast Food Web would like to thank New Seasons Markets in Portland for their generous donations of used shopping carts, including the popular ‘Car Cart’!
Thanks to all who have helped to make the Mobile Gardens Project a success in our community. We can’t do it without you!
If you’d like to start making Mobile Gardens happen in your community, you can download North Coast Food Web’s How to Make a Mobile Garden brochure here:
Mobile Gardens Trifoldpdf