Mini-greenhouse on bike – a portable first aid kit

bike_greenhouse_oct2013Here is a photo of the aloe vera plant growing in a small container on my bicycle.  It’s been there for a few months and it seems quite happy there.  I am about to remove it as the weather here in Oxford has just got a lot colder.  Aloe Vera does not like the cold.  The sap from this plant is a very useful ointment to alleviate the pain from cuts, and grazes, so this mini-greenhouse is also a mobile first aid kit.

Last year I planted a tayberry in this bike-pot, my favourite berry, which is a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry.  But it did not live for long.  I neglected it.  The small pot runs dry quite soon.  Aloe vera does not mind getting dried out in between watering.

This plant is protected from the winds by two thin sheets of clear plastic attached to the bike frame with gaffer tape.  The plant’s pot is made from an upturned plastic milk carton, filled with some pebbles for drainage and soil and compost from my wormery.  The screw-cap of the milk-carton has a few small drain holes.  One side of the pot is coated with black gaffer (as shown) while the other is coated with white gaffer.  This allows me to choose how hot it can get when I have to leave my bike in a sunny spot.

I am reminded of the wonderful tunes of the Formidable Vegetable Sound System who is currently on a tour to promote his debut album of permaculture-related songs.  He calls his tour the “GROW FOOD EVERYWHERE TOUR”.

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