Think you don’t have the space, ability or time to garden – now there’s no excuse with this portable product. Justin Connell, a former basketball player founded LifeCycle Gardens after an injury. He talks to CSL about gardening and how he got started in the business.
Q. What prompted you to start Life Cycle Gardens?
A. After cracking a vertebrae and bulging two discs playing college basketball, I was forced into a back brace and was also forced to leave school for a semester to go home and recover. After initially battling depression, I quickly realized I need to do something productive with my time. So I began building Garden on Wheels in my garage.
What are the benefits of Garden on Wheelz as opposed to raised beds or wooden box style gardens?
Mobility, adjustable height and we have a system for recycling the run-off water that is full of nutrients. Plastic is actually better than wood for a container garden.Plastic retains moisture better, doesn’t deteriorate as quickly, does not rot, and is lighter. Our plastic is UV-resistant, BPA/PVC free, food grade plastic.
Tell us how this product helps those in small spaces or who live in apartments.
The mobility allows you to maximize sunlight and space. On a patio or balcony there is sunlight on one side in the morning and on the opposite side in the afternoon, mobility allows you to get the most our of the sun that you do get. Mobility also allows you to start your growing season two or more months early by starting seeds indoors either through indirect sunlight near a big window, or by bringing the garden outside during the hottest parts of the day and then back inside for the mornings and at night. Adjustable height allows you to pick the most ergonomic and comfortable position to garden in. It is wheelchair accessible, great for those with bad backs, knees, or physical disability. The recycling system is self-contained and allows you to save water which can be important especially in urban areas. Not to mention, it allows you to grow indoors or on a patio or balcony without water leaking. The small size makes it fit into even small apartments or on small outside patios or areas.
What has been your favourite moment with the company so far?
When an elderly woman at an assisted living facility hugged me and thanked me profusely for allowing her to garden again with my product. She hadn’t gardened in five years because of her age but with my product she was able to reconnect with her love of gardening and that interaction had a huge impact on me and my passion for this product!
LifeCycle Gardens Garden on Wheels, $299; Garden Wheelz Jr (pictured), $199.
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2014 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.