INSIDE LOOK: Installing a Garden on Top of Lulu’s Food Truck

2012-04-13T10:30:00Z 2014-09-15T12:53:31Z INSIDE LOOK: Installing a Garden on Top of Lulu’s Food TruckStory and photos by Brandon Chuang Feast Magazine | Inspired Local Food Culture/Midwest
April 13, 2012 10:30 am  • 

There’s a bit of an emergency here at the home base of Lulu’s Local Eatery. In an effort to build their garden-on-top-of-a-food-truck in a seemingly impossible two days, the group miscalculated the fact that they would need a 200-pound drill press to make the necessary holes for the garden’s aluminum cage. No drill press, no garden.

As the group begins to brainstorm on ways to get a hold of such a ridiculously massive and expensive piece of equipment, co-owner Lauren Loomis—Lulu to those close to her—speaks up, “I think I’ll go walk around.” And with that, she’s gone; lost in the brick and branches of Benton Park.

Twenty minutes later she returns. She’s found a drill press.

When we first heard that Loomis and her fiancé, Robbie Tucker, wanted to show St. Louis how accessible local and homegrown ingredients could be by creating a garden on top of their food truck, we were amazed. To our knowledge, something like this had only been done once before: an idea for Manhattan’s bus lines to be fitted with gardens on their roofs to, amongst other things, cut down on air pollution and promote greener thinking in design. Lauded by the press and design world, the concept was the brainchild of then NYU graduate student, Marco Castro Cosio.

Familiar with Cosio’s work, Loomis blindly reached out to him for help in Lulu’s build-out. Cosio liked the idea so much that he flew from his home in Brooklyn to help the mobile eatery realize their vision of being the first food truck in the country with a garden over its head.

“We still can’t believe that he’s here,” says Loomis during his visit this week. “We assumed he wouldn’t respond, but he did, and he was excited about what we wanted to do.”

Cosio explains it as the next natural step in his original design process. Food has such a strong and personal pull, why wouldn’t a food truck that focuses on local and organic food put a garden up there? However, their schedule is tight. Cosio is only in town for a little over two days, and Loomis and Tucker want to throw in a little play with all that work.

“He’s never been to the Arch,” Loomis says.

Check out the entire build-out here, or scroll through the images at left!

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