In This Issue
Feature: Seed Starting
Retailer of the Month
Fresh from the Forum
>From Our Customers
Please Write a Review!
Join Our Community
Among the many growing areas at the Exploration Gardens of Orange County/University of Florida IFAS Extension Education Center, there is a vibrant EarthBox garden. The "Home Vegetable & Small Farms Demonstration Garden" is dotted with EarthBoxes brimming with tomatoes, arugula, parsley, basil, dill, rosemary, eggplant, jalapeno peppers, snow peas, and kale.
Ed Thralls, Urban Horticulture Agent for this facility, started growing with just one EarthBox. Now it's ten and "growing."
The EarthBox harvest is used in several Extension classes, including "Alternatives to Traditional Vegetable Gardens"; "Edible Gardening"; "Container Gardening with Edibles"; and "Organic Gardening," which are all taught by Mr. Thralls.
The Center also offers a six-week series called "Dirt to Dinner," in which adults learn how to grow their own food in the Demonstration Garden, then harvest it and learn how to prepare or preserve it.
"Growing vegetables in Central Florida is possible throughout a nine-month season that starts in September. The EarthBox makes it enjoyable, and a positive gardening experience with every crop I've tried," notes Mr. Thralls.
To learn more about the many classes and programs offered by the Center, or to become acquainted with the growers on Facebook, visit these sites:
For information on starting your own EarthBox project, click here or contact our Education Department at 1-800-821-8838, ext. 8348 or 8369.
The Hydrofarm JSEF55 Smart Float Grow Tray is the seed starter's best friend. The well-designed system makes the process simple; the floating insert constantly delivers the ideal water-to-air ratio to the plants, encouraging speedy growth. The result is robust young plants with well-developed root systems when it comes time to transplant.
The product measures 21 inches long, 10 inches wide, and two inches thick; it consists of a floating insert with 55 growing cells that floats in a heavy-duty tray. The insert is reusable; all you need to do is add more Hydrofarm Ready-Gro plugs to raise another seedling crop!
2012 Educational Packages
We're pleased to announce that our 2012 Educational Packages are now available for purchase.
These STEM-based plans (for early learners up to elementary, middle, and high school students) are ideal for teaching the art and science of horticulture. They make it a snap to illustrate where food comes from and what it takes to produce it -- a process that's rather mysterious to many students these days. Click here to learn more!
We Have a Winner!
We've chosen the latest winner in our ongoing photo contest! Courtney Seely will receive a $25 EarthBox gift certificate for this wonderful photo of her vibrant EarthBox garden. Here's her entry:
Courtney tells us, "I just started gardening in EarthBoxes this past summer, and I've been meaning to send you this pic.
"I had two EarthBoxes and a self-made planter that I fitted to work with your watering system going well into fall this year. I'll be adding more EarthBoxes next spring."
Photo of the Month Contest
Want to win a $25 EarthBox gift certificate? Just send us your EarthBox success photos with the word "contest" in the subject line of your email, and you could be our next winner!
Please make sure your image is in .JPG format and at least 640×480 pixels or 5 x 7 inches at 72 dpi. We'll pick a new winner every month, and post the entry in an upcoming issue.
I hope you're enjoying this new year! Before you know it, it'll be warm again, and EarthBoxes will be blooming in gardens all over the country.
We want your EarthBoxes to be the talk of the town, so to that end we've developed a series of "How To" videos emphasizing subjects like planting, assembling EarthBox accessories, winterizing your EarthBox, and dealing with disease control. You'll find them on the video page of our website, under the Tuesday Tutorials category.
We've featured some of these "How To" videos in the past few newsletters, but we thought it would be helpful to give you a summary of the entire series here.
||New Things Are Growing at EarthBox!
In recent months, we've been posting a series of instructional videos we call Tutorial Tuesdays, in which our staff members show you how to prepare and plant in EarthBoxes, and assemble EarthBox accessory kits. Here's a quick overview of each of the 11 videos we've posted so far. We've listed them by general category for your convenience.
In our very first Tutorial Tuesday video, Customer Advocate Sarah shows us how to plant a single-row crop.
Once you know how to plant a single-row crop in your EarthBox, how about a double-row crop? Sarah returns to share the basics of this planting technique.
Have you ever considered growing multiple crops in one EarthBox? It's certainly possible, but not all crops work well together. In this video, General Manager Frank DiPaolo and Kathy Sponenberg, our National Sales Manager, show you which crops work best in combination boxes.
In the next video, Frank demonstrates how to replant your EarthBox.
Here's a quick introduction to our hot new product, EarthBox Junior. Junior offers the same great gardening technology as the original EarthBox, but in about half the space!
Need some guidance assembling your EarthBox Staking System? In this video, Frank takes you through the process step by step.
In our next Tuesday Tutorial, EarthBox Office Manager Jennifer Gallager shows you how to assemble the automatic watering system for your EarthBox Garden.
Next up: Frank demonstrates how to put together the handy EarthBox Garden Stand.
If your existing EarthBox staking system is insufficient for your vining crops, never fear! Frank demonstrates the process of assembling our staking extension kit in this follow-up.
In this video, we take a look at one of most common tomato and pepper diseases: blossom end rot. Frank and Kathy are on hand to discuss the causes and treatments.
Winterizing Your EarthBox
It's important to protect your EarthBox from cold weather if you want to maximize the number of growing seasons you can use it. But it's an easy process, as Frank demonstrates in this brief video.
We hope you find these visual demonstrations helpful as you grow your EarthBox garden. Keep an eye on our video page, and be sure to check Facebook and this forum thread periodically for future video announcements.
||WFD Sweepstakes Winners
Recently, we ran an EarthBox Education World Food Day Sweepstakes, in which educators were asked to discuss world hunger with their students, share a quote, and then ask students to write their own phrase about this universal issue. We announced the winners in our quarterly Education Newsletter, and we want to share them with you also.
We hope that the following winning quotes, their submitters, schools, and campaign plans will inspire YOU to support World Food Day! All you need to participate are The EarthBox for World Food Day School Kit and an EarthBox Ready-to-Grow Kit, both available at Carolina Biological (Items #664010 and 664004) and Nasco (Items # Z46452M and SB45589M).
If you're not a teacher but you want to advance the study of science, address hunger, and teach our kids to become responsible stewards of their personal health, the health of their world community, and the health of the planet, then consider making a donation of the above kits to a school in your community.
Here are our winners:
"Grow a Garden. Feed the world", submitted by Georgiana Salter, a home school mom in Navarre, Florida, will contrast and compare the quality and cost of growing lettuce in an EarthBox at home versus traditional agriculture.
"All kids should have food to grow and learn", was submitted by Geraldine Pierre, a Wellness Nutrition Consultant at Kidsfit Newark of Newark, New Jersey. She's excited to use the kits with students at George Washington Carver/Bruce Street School for the Deaf to incorporate the importance of local food in fighting hunger in our own communities and around the world.
"Everyone helping everyone" was submitted by Monica Badal of Red Deer, Canada, who will work with students in a small school, Benalto, where community and collaboration are the pillars of their educational philosophy.
||Retailer of the Month
This month we salute R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Garden in Clayton, California, at the foot of Mt. Diablo. This family-run enterprise, owned by Roy and Melanie Alarcon, has been serving Clayton since 1983.
Container growing is imperative in this area, as the soil is pure clay, so digging isn't an option. Notes Manager and daughter-in-law Nicole Hackett, "Customers use the EarthBoxes mostly for their spring and summer vegetable plantings. The EarthBox makes planting veggies super easy. Our customers have really taken to it, and are very satisfied. Clayton also experiences very dry, hot summers, and the direct root watering keeps veggies happy and stress-free."
There are vegetable gardens growing in the front of R&M's store, a concept developed by son David Hackett. "This is where we experiment with different soils, fertilizers, and vegetable varieties," says David. "Growing in the same climate as your customers is a great way to see what works, and advise accordingly."
R&M has used EarthBoxes for their demo gardens for two consecutive years now. The first year, they grew Roma tomatoes and Better Bell peppers. This past year, a spring crop of snap peas and Crenshaw melon thrived.
For information about R&M, call 925-672-0207, or visit them at 6780 Marsh Creek Road, Clayton, CA 94517.
If you're a retailer interested in carrying EarthBox products or have a favorite garden center that you would like to recommend for EarthBox products, please contact Kathy Sponenberg here.
||Fresh from the Forum
Do you expect a bumper crop of tomatoes this year? Here's a great tomato recipe from one of our growers!
If that's not enough, try this recipe for braised kale with cherry tomatoes or this one for tasty green tomato relish.
||From Our Customers
"Winter finally arrived this week (January 5), but it wasn't cold enough to do any damage. Here's a picture of broccoli from my garden."
West Central Florida
||Please Write a Review!
We appreciate your opinions about EarthBox products, and so do your peers. Because we recognize how helpful and valuable our customers' viewpoints can be, we would love to receive your comments -- whether positive or negative.
Here's the process: go to our website, click the category on the left column, and then click on the product name. Next, click on "Review this item," and start writing.
Thanks in advance for your help! We look forward to reading the reviews, and improving your EarthBox experience. So please, don't hesitate to post reviews on our product pages.
||Join Our Community
Join fellow EarthBox growers on Facebook for interesting gardening discussions, to find special EarthBox offers and resources, and to view photos from both us and our customers. While you're there, take a look at our new Education Department Facebook page.
And don't forget to check out our videos! This is a members only feature, so if you're not already a Facebook member, you'll need to sign up.
We also invite you to participate in our forum. We'd love for you to weigh in on any EarthBox matters that interest you, and show us how your EarthBox crops are faring this year. Don't hesitate to ask questions, because your fellow EarthBoxers are a wonderful source of information who will gladly help with any of your EarthBox issues!
To place an order, call us at 866-727-5532 (24/7) or visit our online store. We now accept PayPal!
The patented EarthBox was developed by commercial farmers, and proven in the lab and on the farm. Our maintenance-free, award-winning, high-tech growing system controls soil conditions, eliminates guesswork, and more than doubles the yield of a conventional garden -- with less fertilizer, less water and virtually no effort. It's used successfully on a daily basis by commercial farmers, educators, and consumers. Distributors are also finding it to be a popular growing system.
EarthBox is a remarkably easy-to-set-up system that can be used to grow produce virtually anywhere. EarthBox systems have been incorporated into community gardens all over the world, enabling families and neighbors to share fresh produce, while minimizing work and expenses.
EarthBoxes can even be found in classrooms. Our EarthBox Pre-K through 12th grade standards-based curriculum can bring science to life, with hands-on cross-curricula lessons that teach principles of growing and nutrition utilizing the scientific method in student-driven experiments.
To find out more, visit www.earthbox.com. To request a catalog, call 888-917-3908.