I am not the inventor of the recycled pop bottle planters but am arguably the web's leading booster. Anyone who regularly follows this blog knows that I'm a big supporter of sub-irrigation (aka self-watering) and pop bottle planters (prior posts). Sub-irrigation has proven to be the best way to water plants in containers, be they box, bed, bucket or other type of water tight planters.
I've called them the "rosetta stone" of sub-irrigation. Click on the photo and it will take you to my Flickr (Greenscaper) account. The set of instruction have been viewed over 12,000 times. It was gratifying to discover recently that a group of MIT students used planters like these to create a vertical garden on the side of a former FEMA trailer now named the Armadillo.
The Armadillo was formerly a FEMA trailer used in New Orleans. MIT students converted it into a rolling community garden. Sub-irrigated (aka self-watering) recycled pop bottle planters line the side walls as you can see in the diagram above. This trailer was then offered in a competition won by the Side Street Projects in Pasadena, California. What a great idea.
MIT turned a FEMA Trailer into a garden.
Side Street Projects is gonna go get it.
On June 12th, Side Street Projects is embarking on an exciting 6,500 mile cross-country road trip from Pasadena, to Boston, and back to retrieve The Armadillo — an actual FEMA trailer deployed after Hurricane Katrina that MIT students and faculty transformed into a vertical (and mobile) community garden.
MIT awarded The Armadillo to Side Street Projects after a nation-wide search. A companion for our renowned Woodworking Buses, The Armadillo is the newest addition to our fleet of mobile art education classrooms for kids in LA County.
Side Street Projects, an artist-run nonprofit in California, was selected by MIT to receive the FEMA trailer, based on their years of experience at mobile art projects.
The trailer, dubbed the Armadillo because of its retractable ribbed rear section, will be used to bring arts education and horticulture project to neighborhoods with little other access to such endeavors.
The Armadillo grows vegetables and herbs in vertically arranged planters made of recycled materials. The self-watering planters are made from plastic bottles. “On our tour, we’re showing people how to make hanging and vertical planters,” Lapointe said. “It’s easy enough that kids can do it, but grownups love making them just as much as the kids do.”