Did you know plants can grow on thick piles of paper (apparently, resourceful gardeners have been doing it forever)? I had no idea, so I was pleasantly surprised to see what Tokyo-based Koshi Kawachi did with his Manga Farming art project, which involves literally planting radish sprouts on a potted garden of old Japanese comic books.
We're not sure how it's supposed to work, but he apparently uses old, wet paper as both the pot and soil to grow the fleshy root vegetable. He uses all sorts of manga books for the job too, from ones with panels that look like they're a bundle of laughs to ones with action sequences to ones with nothing but pictures of girls with chests bursting out of their blouses. The latter, by the way, should be my instant favorite.
Koshi grows strictly radish sprouts for the exhibit, although I'm guessing it may be possible to grow other types of plants too. Why buy pots and sacks of soil for our home gardens when we could have been doing this all along? Even if you don't collect manga, similarly thick volumes should play the part too. If you don't have thick books (since, let's face it, reading hasn't been the cool kids' pastime since...ever), you should be able to descend on a garage sale, pick up the sacks of books everyone's trying to get rid of and you'll be all set.
The Manga Farming art exhibit is currently being shown in an installation at the Matsuzakaya department store in Nagoya, Japan. Very, very cool.