In This Issue
Feature: Seed Starting
Retailer of the Month
Fresh from the Forum
>From Our Customers
Please Write a Review!
Join Our Community
This month, we've got a direct report from a young man who combined his love of gardening with an EarthBox outreach effort. Enjoy Ross's story!
"My name is Ross Lively, and I'm 14. I live in Phoenix, Arizona and I've been in 4-H for my whole life. I attended 4-H meetings as a baby, and then joined myself at 5 years old.
"I garden a lot, and every time I slice into a ripe garden tomato right off the vine, I think about how I want to teach people how to grow vegetables. Homegrown vegetables are grown with more care and nurtured with better soil combinations. In fact, one of my 4-H projects every year since I started has been "Gardening."
I love feeling the soil, digging, planting, and watching the plants grow. Most of all, I like to teach people how to garden.
"This past year, I taught gardening at an afterschool program. Many of the children I taught did not know about where healthy food comes from. They were delighted to plant their own EarthBox gardens and slosh the manure around in the buckets.
The second time we met, the vegetables had flourished, and the students ate their own home-grown zucchini. We also showed them how beneficial worms were for gardens, and they squealed when they put them into their new worm bin. After I told them about bugs that can be good for gardens, we had a bug hunt.
"I'm satisfied with the amount of community service and number of demonstrations that I took part in this past year, and hope I can do as much during 2012!"
For information on starting your own EarthBox project, click here or contact our Education Department at 1-800-821-8838, ext. 8348 or 8369.
If you're looking for a product to help get your seeds started, you can't do better than Hydrofarm's AccelaROOT starting tray.
This item has 50 individual cells and comes with pre-moistened, pH-balanced peat plugs, which are engineered to deter damping off, prevent overwatering, and maximize root growth and size. When you're ready, just detach each plug and plant it directly in a container or in the ground.
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!
If you're a science, social studies, consumer science, after school, environmental, service learning or community service instructor who wants to do something about world hunger, you can! Enter the EarthBox for World Food Day School Sweepstakes, for a chance to win a set of instructional tools that support World Food Day and teach science with a cross-content curriculum.
To prepare for the contest, just tell your students that one billion of the seven billion people in the world go hungry each day -- and that 14 million of them are fellow school-age children in the USA!
Then use a quote from Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, "I ask no more than the justice of eating," to inspire your students to write their own phrases about food security and world hunger.
On behalf of your students, submit as many phrases as you like to the EarthBox for World Food Day Sweepstakes. An EarthBox team of judges will select three winners, who will receive an EarthBox for World Food Day School Kit as well as an EarthBox Ready to Grow Kit. The deadline for entries is January 15, 2012.
Hunger -- let's grow out of it!
We Have a Winner!
We've chosen the latest winner in our ongoing photo contest! Gary R. Lee of Callahan, Florida will receive a $25 EarthBox gift certificate for this wonderful photo of his tomato plants. Here's his entry:
"Love your EarthBoxes," says Gary. "I have 53 of them, and will be ordering 50 more before the end of the year!"
Now, that's one heck of an EarthBox garden!
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.
Greetings for the New Year! We hope it's a fruitful one for you -- quite literally.
Some of you living in warmer climates or growing in greenhouses may be enjoying a winter harvest this month, but this is about the time when the rest of us begin sharpening our pencils and planning our spring gardens. Whether you intend to get a jump on the season by starting some seeds indoors, or you just want to be ready when the last frost clears, we can help with the perfect products. We will soon be offering a great line of seeds and plants, so keep an eye on our website.
And more great news: EarthBox Junior (featured in last month's issue) is now available for purchase. The Junior offers all the features and benefits of the standard EarthBox Growing System, in about half the size!
P.S. Remember to enter our EarthBox for World Food Day Sweepstakes for a chance to win a set of instructional tools supporting World Food Day. Check the "Contest Reminder!" section on the left side of this newsletter for more details!
||Let EarthBox Jump Start Your Seed Starting
If you're sick of waiting for the winter to end so you can get started with your planting, we don't blame you. But you can do an end-run around the cold weather by starting your seeds indoors now, so you're ready with healthy seedlings the instant the last frost passes and it starts to warm up.
Junior, Seeds, Seedlings, and Supplies
One great option for experimenting with seed starting is our brand new half-sized EarthBox system, EarthBox Junior, which is now available online. It's smaller and more portable than a full-sized EarthBox, which also makes it the ideal solution for those with limited spaces, or those growing on small decks and patios.
We're also offering high-quality Harris seeds this spring: basil, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, melon, parsley, pepper, radish, squash, Swiss chard, and (of course!) a variety of tomato cultivars. Our seeds will be available starting in January, and we'll sell them until April.
If you'd prefer not to start your own, our seedlings will ship in an April-May time frame. Among other things, you'll be able to choose from several varieties of tomatoes, such as Better Boy, Celebrity, and Supersweet 100, as well as Lady Bell Sweet Pepper plants. In addition, we'll feature four special plant collections: a basil collection, an heirloom tomato sampler, a colored sweet pepper collection, and an eggplant lover's collection. Seedlings are sold in bundles of five.
We also carry seed starting supplies to help you through the process, from Jiffy products to Hydrofarm starters and grow lights. To learn more, click here.
The seed and plant listings are coming soon, so keep an eye on our website!
A Few More Tips on Seeding
Many vegetables can be started from seed in containers. We recommend that you consult with a nursery or your local County Extension Agent to determine those that do best in your climate. Once you receive your seed packets, you may want to organize them by number of days to harvest; that way, you'll know exactly when to start your seeds. And be sure that you retain the packages so that you can refer back to them for special germination and growing requirements, too.
Seed starting is easy, given the right seeds and the proper tools. Plus, it puts you ahead of the game once growing season starts. We urge you to give it a whirl!
We hope you've been enjoying our Tutorial Tuesday videos, in which our staff members show you how to prepare and plant in EarthBoxes.
In a recent video, our General Manager, Frank, demonstrates how to replant your EarthBox. Click here to see the video. In our latest tutorial (as of January 10), Frank shows you how to assemble the handy EarthBox Garden Stand.
We'll keep posting a new video every Tuesday until February. So mark your calendars and be sure to check Facebook and our website's Videos page every Tuesday to view our newest tutorial. We'll cover just about everything, AND you'll be able to meet some of our staff "face-to-face"!
In addition to keeping an eye on our video pages, be sure to check this forum thread periodically for future video announcements.
||Retailer of the Month
This month, we salute Two Dog Organic Nursery in Los Angeles, California.
Jo Anne and Alejandro Trigo actually have their two dogs to thank for the inception of their organic nursery! Jake and Lalo, rescues from the South Los Angeles Shelter, enjoyed exploring and digging in their backyard from the moment they moved in. This prompted Jo Anne and Alejandro to grow their plants up on tables in EarthBoxes, away from frisky paws.
When the number of EarthBoxes grew to 14, the Trigos obtained their nursery license, joined the Organics Program of the State of California, and officially opened Two Dog Organic Nursery at their home. In 2010, they became Certified Organic with CCOF, in accordance with the National Organic
Vegetables grown from non-genetically modified organic seeds, edible flowers, and year-round herbs are some of the many plants grown in their EarthBoxes. Visitors can purchase these seedlings at the home nursery by appointment, or find them at two farmers' markets on weekends.
Two Dog also sells several gardening items on their website and at the markets, including complete Organic EarthBox kits, stands, and EarthBox Replant and Mulch kits, in addition to organic planting mixes, composts, organic fertilizers, worm castings and tea, pest control items, and gift certificates.
EarthBox planting classes held at the home nursery are very popular. The fee includes the complete Organic EarthBox kit, organic growing medium, worm castings, a hands-on instruction session, and refreshments. Growers book the classes for many different occasions, including children's birthday parties and other special events. Online planting guides are also available.
"We love the EarthBoxes," says Jo Anne, who now grows in 25 of them year-round. "They're clean, convenient, basically fool-proof, resource-saving, attractive -- and did I mention addictive?"
Check out this video on Two Dog's operations, and click here for their location and hours.
Two Dog's EarthBox plants are also available at the following Farmers' Markets:
La Canada Flintridge, Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Westlake Village, Sundays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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
Wondering how to post your EarthBox pictures on the forum? Click here for some excellent advice from fellow EarthBoxers.
And if you're curious about how to keep the water from freezing in your EarthBox in wintry weather, this page will tell you what to do to avoid that.
||From Our Customers
"Just started with four EarthBoxes this fall -- three planted with patio tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper plants (mini bells), zucchini, and yellow squash.
"The fourth will be a big salad with lettuces, spinach, carrots, and green onions. I have them on deck in mini peat pots starting from seeds. I also have Texas sweet onions in a regular container, and parsley, chives, basil, and rosemary in regular pots. And a lime and lemon tree."
||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.