Spring time is gardening time, and spring is just two short weeks away! If you’re gardening in the city – and your garden is of any size – chances are you need to schlep stuff. Some of the stuff you might need to schlep – compost, plants, planters – won’t fit in your arms, or your bike basket. What do you do, if you’re keen to green – without resorting to light, sweet crude?
That’s right – try a trike!
Some gardening materials are heavy (soil, compost, mulch, manure). Others are high-volume (planters, mulch, seedlings, hay bales, compost bins). Still others are just plain awkward (lumber, shovels, rakes, hoes). With a pick-up trike, you can haul large amounts of one or two of these items, or you can haul, at once, all the tools and supplies you need for the project you’re working on (professional landscapers seeking eco-transport, take note!). 2/3 of a cubic yard of compost would about max out the pick-up’s capacity, in terms of both weight and volume (and I don’t recommend hauling this load over a long distance, or up a hill!). The 3′ x 4′ pick-up bed gives you 12 square feet of surface area for flats of seedlings – with 18″ sides to protect your fragile cargo from the wind. Or, throw in a few bags of compost, a bale of hay, a spade shovel, a hard rake, a flat shovel, your tool belt, a couple flats of seedlings – and off you go to your next installation!
I’ve found that using a trike to transport garden materials (or any materials, for that matter) encourages both repurposing and local purchasing. If I’m going to be moving the goods myself, with my own muscle and sweat, I’m more likely to ask, “What’s on hand, or nearby, that might suit my needs?” – instead of, “What in the wide world might I order, and get delivered to my door by gas-guzzling truck?” For example: When we were installing Lincoln Tunnel Farm last spring, atop a container in RR’s parking lot, Gregg and I triked over to Wine Care Storage on West 28th Street to pick up a load of wine crates for use as planters. We were happy to be able to take such a short trip, and what might otherwise have gone to waste gained another life. (In case you were wondering: Some of the crates survived the winter; others split at the seams. This year we’ll be using larger, deeper planters so we won’t have to water so often.)
Work trikes are also great for facilitating the transformation of food scraps and other “waste” products (like leaves and sawdust) into fertilizer. The folks at the Fort Greene Compost Project have been hauling food waste by trike for years (they collect it at the Fort Greene Farmers’ Market, and then haul it to nearby community gardens for processing).
If you have the space, resources, and ambition to grow more food than you can eat, how better to distribute the bounty to friends/neighbors/customers than by trike? A fully enclosed cargo body affords protection from the elements, and 35 cubic feet of space. Local moves for local foods!