Building The Midnight’s New Edible Wall Garden [Photo Story]

Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate The Midnight’s new edible wall garden. We had a great time and appreciate you all being there!

The Midnight garden is a canvas of “living art” powered by compost produced from the food waste of the Gainesville local restaurant community, including The Midnight’s fruit and vegetable scraps which we collect each week via bicycle.

The Midnight’s recycled beer bottle caps line the garden border, edible plants grow out of recycled wine bottles filled with a medium of Gainesville Compost, and a gravity drip irrigation system feeds water to the plants.

Originally, we intended to use recycled 2-liter plastic bottles as the planting containers, after reading an article about “great ideas for container gardening.”

The prototype:

The problem with plastic bottles is that a) they are not very attractive, and b) in the long term they were unlikely to hold up to the sun, rain and other elements like the occasional belligerent bar-goer.

So we delayed the garden project to experiment with cutting wine bottles to use as planters.

It was challenging to cut the bottles correctly, but we didn’t mind so much because it gave us an excuse to drink another wine bottle and try again. Now that’s perseverance!

We used some of The Midnight’s smaller — 750 milliliter — wine bottles, but we wanted to use some of the larger 1.5 liter bottles as well.

So we threw a wine and work party:

By the end of the night, my friend and I labored to consume the final bottle. After he called it quits and fell asleep on the couch, I dutifully drank the last glass, cut the bottle, and declared the mission accomplished.

Next, we began to drill drainage holes for the bottles.

After all the glass cutting and drilling, the labels needed to be removed.

Finally, we planted the veggies in the glass containers, in a medium of fresh and finely sifted Gainesville Compost…

…and mounted them to the canvas using wire, screws and hooks.

Ron, a regular patron of The Midnight, was kind enough to help us mount the garden using his masonry drilling equipment.

We encourage everyone to go visit The Midnight and have a drink or a veggie chili by the new garden!

Last but not least, thank you to The Midnight owners Jason and Bev, and to the Gainesville community, for supporting Gainesville Compost!

To learn more about bike-powered food waste diversion in Gainesville, FL, click here.

Thanks for reading,
Chris Cano

About the Author

Chris Cano is Compost Experience Officer (CEO) at Gainesville Compost, a Pedal Powered Community Compost Network founded in Gainesville, Florida in 2011. Gainesville Compost is a project of BikeCompost, which works to promote bicycle-powered community composting nationwide.