A mobile greenhouse rooted in charity grows a following in Greater Boston

Gardening News
Transplanted Boston's Roaming Greenhouse hit the streets about a month ago.
Transplanted Boston's Roaming Greenhouse hit the streets about a month ago. Samantha Goodman and Mike Rivers

Stuffed with succulents, ferns, and charitable intentions, Transplanted Boston’s Roaming Greenhouse has been cruising through the Northeast for about a month.

The truck is a philanthropic offshoot of Cityscapes, a company focused on transforming office spaces and more through living walls and columns and other greenery.

Transplanted sells carefully curated plants — the kind taking over social media — and teams up with companies to donate its proceeds to charity.

Businesses that want the greenhouse parked in front of their offices just need to provide a place for the 14-foot truck to park.

“It’s never been about the money,” cofounder Janice Goodman said. “It’s always been about the meaning.”

Goodman founded Transplanted with her 19-year-old daughter, Samantha, and her sister-in-law Jenn Cauldfield. She said the truck has raised more than $2,500 for various charities.

Founders Janice Goodman, Samantha Goodman, and Jenn Caulfield on the truck. —Samantha Goodman and Mike Rivers

The truck — named “Sprout” — is going to stick to a couple of stops a week for now, but e-mails requesting it for events and festivals are pouring in. “Everyone wants the truck,” Janice Goodman said. “It’s getting a little crazy.”

The plants are priced from $3 to more than $150, and each one comes with a tag on how to care for it. Samantha Goodman said at least 60 percent of the sticker price goes to charity.

Janice Goodman said Transplanted sells plants for everyone — even those worried they might have a black thumb. She’s even working on developing an app that would allow customers to scan a barcode on their plant for more information on how to help it thrive.

She said she stocks different plants depending on the area the mobile greenhouse will visit.

On the South Shore, “people want gardens, but in the city people want little plants they can keep in their apartments, on their desks,” she said.

Samantha Goodman said Transplanted’s mission has been clear from the beginning: to transform people’s lives through plants.

Children from Brookview House played near the truck on Thursday at Rowes Wharf as real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle hosted Transplanted to raise money for the shelter. The children colored stickers to put on customers’ bags.

Samantha Goodman said the exposure charities get from these events is huge. Transplanted writes the name of the charity on its blackboards and will also invite charity representatives to hand out brochures and talk to customers.

“It’s not just to raise money, but to raise awareness and support,” Samantha Goodman said. “We really want to combine people’s love for plants with also people’s love for giving back.”

Transplanted offers three ways companies can use it to raise money for the charity of their choice. Organizations can buy a permit for the truck to set up outside its building, throw a terrarium-building party for about $60 per person, or have a private company event where each employee is allotted a certain amount of money to spend on plants.

Customers peruse the truck. —Samantha Goodman and Mike Rivers

Janice Goodman has been working with plants for years, first in retail, then in a flower shop of her own, and now through Cityscapes and Transplanted. Recent studies show people are more productive and more content when they’re around plants, she said.

“Out DNA is wired to be in nature,” she said. “It’s a no-brainer.”

Those who don’t get a chance to see the truck this summer shouldn’t be worried. Transplanted will stay open, even in the winter, when it will pivot to holiday greenery. “Sprout’s not going to bed,” Janice Goodman said.

Companies interested in booking the mobile greenhouse can fill out the form at the bottom of its webpage.

The truck will be at Marina Bay in Quincy from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, as part of the “Sunday Funday” event. The theme of the day is “Cones and Bones,” with proceeds going to the Quincy Animal Shelter.

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