In This Issue
Your Autumn EarthBox
Retailer of the Month
Fresh from the Forum
>From Our Customers
Share Your EarthBox Experience
Join Our Online Community
EarthBox gardeners are as diverse as the produce they grow. In Washington County, Virginia, growers include people who are wheelchair-bound, families for whom vegetables are an unaffordable luxury, trailer park residents, and elderly folks who have stopped in-ground gardening.
"We believe everyone has a right to fresh, healthy food, yet it's often out of reach for those with limited space, income or compromised health," notes Jo Ann Detta, program coordinator at Healthy Families-Family Farms (HFFF). HFFF is a program of the non-profit Appalachian Sustainable Development, serving counties in southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee. Ms. Detta and Ms. Marty Huber helped initiate this EarthBox project through a generous grant from a community of Catholic Sisters.
EarthBox training workshops were held for volunteers, who then worked one-on-one with growers to provide support and insure success. Indeed, the results have been so prolific that some folks are freezing peppers and herbs for winter meals. Growers' bounty also includes cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and Swiss chard.
"The level of joy that this EarthBox garden project has brought to users amazed us. The enthusiasm and excitement have been beautiful," says Ms. Detta. "We hope we'll be able to secure funding for next year, so we can grow again in spring 2013."
For more 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've got an EarthBox garden you'd like to start earlier in the year or continue growing well past the end of the summer, we've got the perfect solution: our line of sturdy, attractive Snap and Grow greenhouses, which can easily house up to 10 EarthBoxes.
Our greenhouses come in two sizes, 6 by 8 feet and 8 by 12 feet, and both are available in silver and green. They're all great for extending the season for vegetables, flowers, and herbs, simply by raising the interior temperature by as much as 10-15 degrees during cooler weather. In milder climates, that may be enough to grow some plants year-round!
Help Spread the Word
On October 16, World Food Day (WFD), hundreds of organizations around the globe will collaborate to increase awareness of and spur action to alleviate world hunger. Oxfam America, a fellow member of the WFD network, recently approached Google to see if they would be willing to do a customized Doodle on this important world-wide event.
Google Doodles are clever, artistic reworkings of the Google logo, posted on the main page of their famous search engine to commemorate a specific event. The response to customizing a WFD Google Doodle was very positive. We think it would be even more positive if they received requests from all of you!
So please email Google Doodle at email@example.com. Ask them to do a Google Doodle for World Food Day on October 16, and let them know what you're planning for the day. When they see how much will be happening around the country (and indeed the globe) on that day, they're much more likely to do a Doodle for it!
There's still time to plant fall EarthBoxes! If you haven't already done so, you can still order some EarthBox Educational Packages for fall planting with your students.
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!
Special World Food Day Promo
To support WFD, EarthBox is running a special 20% off web promotion on the
EarthBox for World Food Day Kit and the EarthBox Ready to Grow Kit from now through October 16. The discount code for the EarthBox for WFD promo is EDUWFD. Be sure to enter it in the discount field when you check out!
We Have a Winner!
We've chosen the latest winner in our ongoing photo contest! This month, our winner is A.E. Siebert, with this beautiful photo of these outrageously tall Cape Cod tomatoes.
"Four plants in two EarthBoxes," says A.E. "I have added extensions to the staking kits, but the plants are towering at eight feet or so for the Early Girls!"
We're always impressed by the enormous veggies EarthBox gardeners are capable of growing -- and this is certainly no exception!
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.
September tends to be a transition month, marking a change of season or weather depending on where you live. Fall is almost here, and can be an excellent time to grow vegetables and herbs, even for EarthBox growers in cooler climates.
Read on to find out how September planting can yield an autumn cornucopia of fresh produce in as little as two or three weeks!
||Your Autumn EarthBox
September usually brings cooler temperatures and fewer bugs, both of which make gardening easier -- much to everyone's relief. Now that summer's just about over, you may be ready to spend more time outdoors.
Two keys to successful autumn EarthBox gardening are choosing both cold-hardy and fast-maturing vegetables. With a little care, you can soon be enjoying veggies such as beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, kale, spinach, and turnips, and herbs like arugula, chives, cilantro, parsley and watercress.
Like every gardening adventure, it all begins with planning. So before you plant your broccoli or beans, take a look at these preparation tips.
Your Growing Zone and Fall Frost Dates
You can find your growing zone easily by entering your zip code on this zone chart. That way, you'll know which vegetables will thrive in your area, and whether you should plant seeds or seedlings. A working list of the plants you want to grow is helpful; you can modify it as you gather information.
Some plants will tolerate frost and even light freezes; but for the rest, determine your planting date by getting the days of maturity and counting back from your first frost date. For example, some arugula cultivars can mature in as little as 21 days. So if you want to grow some arugula in Savannah, Georgia, where the average first frost date is November 25, plant your seeds no later than November 3 or 4.
Fast Maturing Plants Are Best
You can enjoy fresh vegetables and herbs from your autumn EarthBox surprisingly quickly. It's best to choose fast maturing produce, so you can harvest before the temperatures drop too low. If you plant seeds now, you can have arugula, chives, cilantro, watercress, turnip greens, and early beans on the table in just a few weeks, in some cases less than a month.
Seedlings (starter plants) reach maturity more quickly than plants grown from seed, so we recommend those for any slower-growing cool weather crops like broccoli, spinach, and kale that you'd like to serve up soon. The slowest-growing plants you can harvest for your Thanksgiving Bounty!
Your county extension agent or local nursery are also available to answer questions or review your plant list with you, to confirm that you have the prime plants for fall flourishing in your area.
Growing Under Cover
Even those plants that are too tender for frost can still be grown, given the right protection -- so there's no need to retire your EarthBox just because there's a chill in the air. In fact, you can grow through winter if you keep your EarthBoxes sufficiently warm with the right greenhouse.
If a greenhouse isn't your style, you can use frost covers to get your autumn crops through to harvest. Check out this quick video for help in installing your frost covers -- or your bird/bug netting, for that matter!
If you have space restrictions this fall or would simply prefer to reduce the volume of your crops, don't forget about our recently introduced EarthBox Junior. It offers all the top-notch EarthBox features you know and love in about half the space!
Prepare the EarthBox for Replanting
A second planting requires you to add new dolomite and fertilizer to your EarthBox for the new crops. This is easy enough. Just follow these instructions, and take a look at this video on the subject.
Winterizing Your EarthBox
Some of you may choose to forgo fall planting, and retire your EarthBoxes until spring. If you do, here's how to winterize.
- Remove and discard your old cover.
- Remove your dead plants. Either cut them off at the base and leave the roots to decompose, or else pull the whole plant out.
- Scoop out what's left of the fertilizer strip.
- EMPTY the water reservoir by tipping the box over and draining it.
- Place a new cover on the EarthBox to keep out rain and snow (if you live in an area with acid rain problems, a six-month period of rain and snow can make your potting mix unfavorable for growing plants).
After that, you can let the EarthBox sit outside for the winter if you'd like, or else store it in a shed. For more info, view this brief video.
September Planting For Fall Bounty
The cool weather is on its way, but that doesn't mean you have to give up on your EarthBox growing for the year. September and the rest of the fall season can be a great time to grow cool season and fast-maturing crops to grace your table for months to come!
||Retailer of the Month
This month we salute Stew Leonard's Garden Centers, serving Connecticut and Yonkers, New York.
Stew Leonard's began as a small dairy store founded in 1969, with just seven employees. Today, it is still family-owned and operated, but has four locations and more than 2,000 employees. Dubbed the "Disneyland of Dairy Stores" by the New York Times, Stew Leonard's is known for its farm fresh foods, as well as for entertaining shoppers with costumed characters, singing animatronic animals and produce, and an outdoor petting zoo.
Each Stew Leonard's store carries only 2,200 items, to insure freshness, quality, and value. Their garden centers offer locally-grown flowers, vegetables and herbs, as well as shrubs, trees, and everything needed for plant and lawn care, including soil, tools, and of course, EarthBoxes.
Garden Specialist and Designer Jeannie Mortensen at Stew Leonard's, Norwalk (pictured here) notes, "In Norwalk, we have sold the EarthBox and Replant Kits for several years now in our Garden Shop. Each year we display an EarthBox with fresh vegetables, so customers can see it planted. The staking system makes it easy to grow vegetables that climb, or even annuals. EarthBoxes are great for those who don't have garden space, or live in apartments, but want fresh tomatoes and home-grown veggies. I personally like the EarthBoxes because they are easily planted, and they have feet to keep them raised off the ground for good air circulation."
Free gardening workshops are offered at Stew Leonard's on topics such as organic gardening, vegetables and herbs, lawn care, and insects and diseases. There are also gardening FAQs on the website, for easy reference.
In addition to the headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut, Stew Leonard's has stores in Danbury and Newington, Connecticut and Yonkers, New York. For more information, visit www.stewleonards.com.
||Fresh from the Forum
Our Forum is a great place for acquiring information, sharing ideas, and finding resources. You'll find it even more helpful if your fellow Forum members know what your location and growing zone are. Not sure how to add that information to your posts? It's quick and easy! Find out how here.
||From Our Customers
Thanks to my Kitty on Duty, I haven't had that pesky bird stealing my blueberries! Salem always picks the same spot. There is actually new growth coming up, and I just hope Salem doesn't snap them off. He's very good at that! He pounced on the plants the other day...bad kitty!
"I'm thinking of taking off the black covers and replacing them with white
ones... I've also decided to do a good amount of pruning this year, even if it means sacrificing some fruit for next year. I'm just going to wait until all the fruit has been picked off those "bye bye" branches and start pruning away. Hopefully that will
promote more growth, or stronger growth at least!"
||Share Your EarthBox Experience
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 Online 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 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 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.