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Posts Tagged ‘topsy turvy’

HOMEGROWN Life: My Topsy Turvy Tantrum

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011






First off, let me start this post with an apology to all of you reading right now.  What I write may offend you and be critical of something you very much enjoy.  For that, I’m sorry.  Though I don’t intend to alienate you from reading my posts, I need to get something off my chest or I’m going to explode…


I CANNOT STAND THOSE ABSURD TOPSY TURVY TOMATO CONTRAPTIONS!  And since it’s that time of year again where friends, relatives, neighbors, and complete strangers are dusting them off and letting those Topsy Turvy freak flags fly, I’m going absolutely berserk.

True, they’re terrific for getting people interested in gardening: They’re compact if you’re short on space; they hold water for days if you’re busy and away; and they’re conveniently sold at places like Walgreens so you can pick up your prescription drugs, the latest Us Weekly, a pack of smokes, and your Topsy Turvy all in one fell swoop.  It also eliminates all the struggle, hassle, and physical pain associated with conventional gardening.     Hooray!

So what’s my problem?

How about the fact that it’s a manufactured, mass-produced, plastic device shipped from overseas?  Probably plenty of people are attracted to the Topsy Turvy due to romantic delusions of being more sustainable and growing one’s own vegetables.  However, if you’re growing in something that traveled half the globe to get here, and it won’t ever biodegrade, is it still sustainable?

Why not just fashion your own DIY upside-down planter out of repurposed materials?  Upcycling, even if it’s a plastic milk jug, is wholly more sustainable than purchasing something from the As Seen On TV store.  It doesn’t take much effort, or even much skill, to figure out how to put together something similar to the Topsy Turvy.


Then there’s the issue of soil without toil…  The Topsy Turvy promotes itself on being a way for people to enjoy the fruits of gardening without the bothersome nuisance of having to actually garden.  There’s no need for a trowel, getting dirty, pesky bending up and down, or breaking a sweat thanks to this modern marvel.  While I can understand this being a benefit to folks that are disabled or elderly and want to enjoy fresh tomatoes, many of the people I witness hanging Topsy Turvys in their yards are physically capable of gardening and could likely gain from the fresh air and time spent outdoors.     You know who you are.

If you’re a Topsy Turvy enthusiast, great.  I’d rather you eat upside-down tomatoes than no tomatoes at all.  It’s just that our species’ relationship with food and agriculture is so perverse these days.  The Topsy Turvy seems to only further disconnect many of us from the growing process at a time when it’s so pivotal to feel truly connected to and involved with the food we eat.

Yellow Tree Farm’s web site is


Danielle Yellow Tree

“I’m half of YellowTree Farm, an urban homestead that I founded with my husband in late 2008.  Together, we grow vegetables and raise animals on less than 1/10 of an acre in St. Louis, Missouri.  I don’t have children.  I have animals, which is kind of the same thing as being a parent, except I eat my babies.”