Pockets as Gardens

…No one should be without food in a world so richly provided with land, sun, and human ingenuity. No considerations of money, no demand for profit, should stand in the way of any hungry of malnourished child or adult in need…. This slogan requires no complicated analysis. Those three words say it all. They point unerringly to the double challenge: to feed immediately people are without adequate food, and to replace a system whose priorities are power and profit with one meeting the needs of all human beings.” – Howard Zinn, Food Not Bombs

To me food cannot be separated from politics.

After looking critically at my previous Food Security Suit, I have decided that the next step forward would be to create a vessel to actually grow food in our clothes and pockets! Things like sprouts, herbs, micro-greens, garlic, and some flowers that only need a little space to root and grow : ) mmmmm fresh mint tea…

I would like to create a simple “pocket- protector” that is able to hold water, and encourage plant growth within our everyday clothes.


–       To understand the work and love, and elements (sun and rain) required to design food to reconnect ourselves with the growing of plants for consumption

–       Provide food security, and GMO –free options “on the go”

–      We cant escape our bodies, and we cannot escape the basic human need to eat. Why not carry your food in its natural state the way you would a wallet, cell phone, toy poodle, purse, etc.

–       Productive,  useful, easily reproduced, using found materials.

–       Pro-Vegetarianism – More people can be fed from one acre of land on a vegetarian diet, than a meat-based one. How many people can be fed from a pocket?

–       Decentralize means of food production, and create democratic control over quality of food

–       Locally produce organic food!

–        Sustainable material  and food choices, so that the grow pocket can be “open source”, so you can do-it- yourself!

–         It is a spectacle. Sometimes its about the medium, not just the message.

Within the project it is extremely important to me that we can eat the items that are grown. The “pocket” could be used for flowers, or greenery, but right now I’m exploring only edible options. Im also interested in how the grow pocket would affect the way we treat our clothes. Would I leave it in the rain? In the sun? How is it watered?

Im also imagining someone having several pockets available, that they could have in different outfits, or transfer from one to the other (haha like a metropass).  Its interesting though that i have started comparing it to existing items we have such as a wallet. The size is similar, and we are all capable of remembering it when we leave the house so changing our behaviors slightly to accommodate a small pocket of soil.  Which in itself is interesting.

Coats should hang in your fridge.


Basic Concept

Scarf Pocket

Concept: Root Suit : )


Assuming the users will continue to treat clothes/coats the way they are kept now i think i would like to do some research on clothes that could encourage plant growth from within a closet! Lots of plants can grow with limited sunlight. I also want to source potential materials and prototype a bunch of sizes. Typical pocket sizes also need to be researched. Once I have some sizes assessed I will know what plants best suit the particular root depth.

However, with the short timeframe remaining for this project I think it will be best to focus on the sprouts that I grow at home, which are Speckled Pea Shoots. The turnover time is approx 3 weeks, and I have grown them in a variety of different sized dishes. They require little water, and sunlight, and are quite resilient- perfect for pocket growing!

I really want to focus on encouraging root growth, and healthy plant life, and look at the general interaction, and possibilities of areas on the body. I think a unique pocket would be a great, and a very specific starting place for material choices.

If i can work the piece well, and feel confident in moving it to the next step, in perhaps a purse, or flatter surface such as shoulders!


I have a general idea of what the piece will look like, but really want to focus on the perfect material choices. I would like to start making usable prototypes this weekend. And test out some of the samples next week! I have already started to prepare the seeds, and have soil ready to go! After the first tests, I will be able to play with shapes, and locations, as well as troubleshoot potential issues, and see which one works best… if any! And i’ll keep the blog updated!


Butler, C.T. and McHenry, Keith. Food Not Bombs. See Sharp Press. Tucson, Arizona. 2000

Tracey, David.  Guerrilla Gardening A Manualfesto. New Society Publishers. Gabriola Island, British Colombia. 2007

Shiva, Vandana.  Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed. South End Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 2007.

We Need to Eat Zine. Anti-copyright. 2003

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