Planter Jeepney art recreates urban forest as tribute to frontliners

HSBC Philippines
Eco-friendly Jeepney art
The Planter Jeepney was created by Larry Gile as an eco-friendly art project. Photo from Planter Facebook.

The iconic Philippine jeepney that was turned into an eco-friendly art project that doubles as a micro food forest, is now again being presented by its creator Larry Gile as a tribute to frontliners in the fight against coronavirus disease.

It was in 2019 when permaculture entrepreneur Larry Gile transformed a carbon-emitting scrapped Philippine jeepney into a vessel that carries plant life-nourishing soil.

On May 28, 2020, Gile presented a video update on the Planter Jeepney saying it survived the COVID-19 pandemic and is now a reminder of the heroes who have died and risk their lives.

“Planter Jeepney paid tribute to all frontliner heroes who died and risks their life in the fight against Covid-19 by revisiting its intention to recreate urban microclimate thru a mobile jeepney installation,” wrote Planter social media.

“It is a wake-up call to a complacent and consumerist civilization that continually destroys biodiversity and disrupts the harmony of humanity and the natural world,” it added.

The Planter Jeepney is designed to mimic the 7 layers of the food forest:

  1. Shrub layer whose flowers attract wildlife and insects
  2. Canopy Layer of pioneering native trees that bear fruits and feed humans, animals, and insects
  3. Understory Layer that also functions like the canopy layer
  4. Herb Cover Layer that serves with special roles in the forest such as food nutrition
  5. Ground Cover Layer where grasses, creepers, and low-growing plants protect topsoil from erosion and drought, improving vegetation diversity, and creating new habitat
  6. Vertical Layer such as flowering vines
  7. Root Layer giving root crops for harvesting, such as turmeric that can be taken as tea drink to protect oneself from COVID 19 infection

“Exposure to elements of nature educates our immune system, helps our body cope better with flu and other sicknesses,” said the video.

It then made a case for upcycling used jeepneys and other vehicles as micro diversity platforms like the Planter Jeepney, that can be used in urban cities.

There has been renewed interest in urban gardening or farming as a result of the community quarantine that kept people at home.

UE-Caloocan joined the campaign to promote urban farming as a household food source after lockdown while Baguio residents were given vegetable seedlings for home-based urban gardens.

UP Los Baños also proposed its edible landscaping model as a healthy food source solution.

WATCH the video here and SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Larry Gile and the Planter Jeepney team for championing urban biodiversity!

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Aurora Quadra-Balibay
Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.