The Food Map Container leaves both blizzards and droughts green with envy
Produced, written and styled by Brian Patrick Flynn with photography by Sarah Dorio
Is your green thumb more Toxic Avenger than Jolly Green Giant? Under your supervision are plants more likely to become six feet under than six feet tall? Me too! Mother nature will take no more excuses since the design of the Food Map Container. Chief designer Jon L. Wilson (Assoc. AIA, LEED AP) heads up California-based Food Map design, a young multi-disciplinary firm committed to residential food cultivation. Wilson’s industrial-chic containers arm green-space-lacking urbanites with a tool to grow their own food.
Locally grown food is no challenge for me since my house is a short distance from the farmer’s market. What is the challenge? Greenery + harsh weather = dead. Giving houseplants their dose of frigid winter morning sunlight out on the patio takes back seat to an extra five minutes with Cap’n Crunch. Summertime showers are a great chance to naturally revive my snake grass; however, watching Tamra and Gretchen attack each other like snakes on The Real Housewives of Orange County takes precedence. If the Food Map Container can be a mobile food source, why can’t it also be an easy-care indoor/outdoor free-standing garden? I tried it out myself. The result? My greenery is still a bold grassy hue, the Cap’n Crunch box is nearly empty AND Tamra and Gretchen are still fighting.
The toxic avenger
Known for multiple counts of horticultural homicide, I assigned myself to this project. Do I like having my photo taken outside in 32 degree weather? No. Would I like to go on the Interwebs and pretend to look like an expert on gardening? Maybe.
There’s a hole in the bucket
Food Map Containers come fully assembled with pre-drilled holes for drainage. The DIY-challenged haven’t a leg to stand on when it comes to planting this four-wheeled wonder.
It’s okay to be plastic [when filling planters]. Reduce, reuse and recycle with empty 2-liter bottles used as filler. Why? This saves on the amount of soil you’ll need AND it will make the overall load lighter. This works in regular planters as well.
Things only got messy when it came to adding potting soil. It clumps up inside the bag so it’s necessary to be sure and mix it up before adding to the container. While my plants were thankful for the healthy soil, my hands were thankful for my $1.99 gardening glove investment.
How does your garden grow?
As far as plant selection was concerned, I opted for liriope which thrives both in shaded spaces and partial sunlight — excellent for adding some green to my studio or against my patio’s black-brown brick exterior. For a pop of bold color, I opted for annuals and chose magenta and pink pansies. Since the liriope is super easy to care for, it made sense to stick with a green palette year round, then change up the color accordingly with seasonal flowers.
Health on wheels
It’s easy being green thanks to the Food Map Container’s lockable wheels. No need to take plants out of planters for doses of sunlight or visits with the hose — just lock/unlock the wheels and push.
The winter guest
After an hour-long trial run playing gardener, my mobile mini-landscape brought the outdoors in. My green friends get their daily dose of sunlight with a simple push from the studio to the great room. When thirsty, they simply stroll out the front door to the hose. Come spring, they’ll play outside nicely with my faux grass.