Do you usually water the top of your car? Sol Food does!
In Goes the Bedrooms & Up Goes the Green Roof
Through the month of March, we watched as Sol Food Mobile Farm crew converted the back or their bus into a fully functional greenhouse and tour attraction. Now, in the last three weeks alone, the bus is not only outfitted with happy vegetable seedlings indoors, but it also has a new kitchen area, bedroom quarters and a living green roof! The green roof has been the most recent addition and was donated by the wonderful folks at Xero Flor on E. Geer Street in Durham, NC. We are so grateful to have another attraction to offer on board this sustainable bus classroom!
Construction has been done solely by the bus crew and has been underway day and night. Long hours have been sent reconfiguring the living space where the crew will both live and work for the six months of their national tour. There are now four twin beds on board the bus, a “dining room” table, counter tops for food preparation and seating for extra passengers. The bus is also getting a second round of interior paint for the bedrooms and exterior paint for the veggie mural.
The next step to be taken on the bus is to install a waste water collection system, a composting toilet, and drip irrigation for the greenhouse. Peel and Stick solar panels are also being ordered this week to mount next to the green roof. All of the energy stored through the solar panels will go to auxiliary power on board to charge lights, phones, and computers for the long trek across the country!
Crossing North Carolina
Over the last two weeks, the crew from Sol Food Mobile Farm has been criss-crossing the western part of the state getting their bus into new communities! On April 14th, the bus was hosted at the North Carolina Arboretum as part of the “Beakers to Backyard” event at the Mountain Science Expo
. The day was packed with families and students on board the Sol Food bus, learning about the groups national tour, the green roof, the greenhouse, and their waste vegetable oil engine. Dozens of other local organizations, such as the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy
and Muddy Sneakers
were on site presenting on a variety of topics concerning environmental education, sustainability and land conservation. It was a great opportunity for the crew to network with visitors of all ages!
As an added bonus, the crew got to make a visit to Pisgah National Forrest where they spent two days hiking the Appalachian Trail and testing out their field equipment. Along their six month national tour, the Sol Food bus will be hosting Expos in over ten different National and State Parks teaching about the importance of outdoor living and strong environmental ethics. This two day trip was a great preview for the crew into their life for the next half a year and wonderful practice of Leave No Trace Ethics
Following their trip to Asheville, the Sol Food bus spent five days at the Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival
in Chatham County, NC outside of Pittsboro. The week was full of wonderful Expos at the festival’s Sustainability Fair, including Piedmont Bio Fuels
and other great nonprofits from across the state. The green roof was a huge attraction for visitors as well as the mobile greenhouse.
The crew also visited Durham School of the Arts
last week to work with the new DSA Urban Farm Club that the team has founded. The meeting was spent learning how to save seed from arugula and how to care for seedlings in a greenhouse environment. This coming Saturday, DSA will build their first installation of their organic farm with the Sol Food crew. With eighty two members currently in the student club, Sol Food is excited for the urban farm to take root and flourish this season!
The Sol Food crew is also in the process of arranging a bus visit to the Growing Power farm in Milwaukee, WI. Will Allen, the founder of Growing Power LLC, came and spoke at Duke University earlier this spring and some of the crew was able to attend. The lecture was part of the Local Food Symposium event hosted by UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University to engage students and community members in the local food movement here in the North Carolina Piedmont area. For anyone interested in adding innovative systems to your local garden, such as aquaculture or hoop house composting, Growing Power provides a wonderful example for all of us to follow. The Sol Food bus hopes to meet Will Allen during their national tour in late July and gather new ideas to bring back to the Durham area!
Category: Communities, For Kids, Kids & Food, Piedmont NC, Sol Food Mobile Farm, Sol Food Mobile Farm