The idea of growing potatoes vertically has been around for a long time. You plant your seed spuds, and when the top foliage gets to be 6 to 10 inches tall, you cover it over with more dirt. This encourages the plans to put out more roots (read: more taters) and continue upward growth.
I tried this method this year with the old tire stacking method. Plant the potatoes in the first tire, and as they grow, add more tires. At the end of the year, take the tires off and harvest the bounty.
It didn’t work so well, and not because of the tires themselves. I had to put them in an inconspicuous place in the yard – neighbors don’t like a big ol’ stack of tires too much – and that lessened the sun the plant received. I also experimented with using rabbit bedding mixed with top soil as a growing medium. It was far too loose for the roots to take hold, with far too much nitrogen. The plants grew and grew, but I harvested almost no spuds.
Back to this idea: it’s very similar to the tire concept, but it uses stacking wooden walls instead. It looks much nicer and, since it’s on a frame, can be stacked much higher. It also looks extremely simple to construct from reclaimed materials, and would be a great way for kids to help decorate the garden.