EarthBox in Our Schools:
SMARTies Love the EarthBox!
This summer, a group of SMARTies -- that is, members of the Science and Mathematics Association of Rural Teachers -- are working to enhance their content knowledge in science and mathematics at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
SMART's biology instructor, Dr. Robbie V. McCarty, is working in conjunction with a group of pre-K through grade 12 SMARTies in investigating the effects of gravity on germinating seeds by making "sunflower clocks" grown in EarthBoxes.
This allows them to observe cohesive forces, as well as capillary action of water as it moves through the EarthBox system. They're also comparing the germination of pea seeds in dark and sunlit environments.
These are just a few of the activities developed by Dr. McCarty and EarthBox Education Director Molly Philbin to maximize the teaching potential of the EarthBox growing system.
Excitement about learning is evident in the following teacher comments:
"Awesome! Look at how the plants have turned fully toward the windows."
"Wow! I can see how the water cycle works as water moves through the EarthBox."
"I never thought about plants growing taller and stronger when germination occurs in the dark. My students will love this!"
SMART is funded through the Oklahoma State Department of Education, and is co-directed by Dr. McCarty and Dr. Brian D. Campbell.
|Monthly Drawing For A Free
EarthBox Ready To Grow Kit!
Educators, we want to support you in every way we can. One way we show our appreciation for you is with our monthly drawing for a FREE EarthBox Ready To Grow Kit.
To be eligible for this random drawing, just enter the Source Code EDUDISC when placing an order. We'll announce each monthly winner in an upcoming education newsletter.
Good Luck!This month our winner is Brooke Minkel, the Community Youth Leader of the Creative Living Church of Greeley, CO.
Here's what Brooke had to say about her project:
"We love EarthBoxes! Our church youth were looking for a good community garden to plant in the spring. Everywhere we turned, we were disappointed. One of our parishioners emailed us the EarthBox video, and we were all so excited!
"These boxes have enabled each interested family to grow their own plants for less water and fewer weed issues than we would have at a community garden.
Brooke's adorable daughter Korynn, posing with one of her church group's EarthBoxes.
"After harvest, the kids are enthusiastically planning to set up a veggie stand to raise money for summer camp.
"The lessons we're learning are invaluable. Thanks to EarthBox for allowing our kids and grown-ups the opportunity to become interested in the environment and nutrition in a very hands-on way!"
Send Us Your Photos and|
To place an order, call
or visit our online store.
Educators, please mention the Source Code EDUDISC when ordering your EarthBox to be eligible for a free EarthBox Ready to Grow Kit! Winners will be selected from our customer base and announced in each newsletter.
School may be out for the kiddies, but most teachers are busy planning lessons and ordering supplies for the fall semester. We'd like to encourage educators to consider making EarthBoxes and our standards-based curriculum guides a part of your lesson plans for the upcoming school year.
The EarthBox growing system offers a unique and fascinating way to teach kids about where produce comes from, the role of light in stimulating plant growth, how water and nutrients circulate through a biosystem, how to maintain sustainable agricultural practices, and a whole lot more. And the best part is, at the end of the growing season, they can eat what they've grown!
Curriculum support packages are available for pre-K right on through to 12th grade. So why not give our hands-on gardening method a try? It's a lot of fun, and the kids might just learn something.
Click here to get started!
Enjoy your summer,
||EarthBox in Our Communities
Fundraising for Families
In January 2009, community members in Clemson, SC started raising funds to purchase EarthBoxes for financially-challenged local families. Donations have been coming in from individuals, churches and community organizations. One EarthBox has been purchased for each of 23 families identified by local agencies as in need of assistance. An additional 12 more EarthBoxes were purchased in June 2009 as the fundraising efforts continued.
Most of the recipient families have a mentor (a community volunteer) who helps them plant and will keep in touch with them about their progress. Some families are helping each other, while others are growing their produce on their own. The South Carolina Botanical Garden supplied the transplants (mostly tomatoes) for the EarthBox gardens.
We salute the people of Clemson for their efforts to help their fellow citizens help themselves. As they say, give someone produce, and they'll eat for a day; teach them to grow produce, and they'll eat for a lifetime!
||EarthBox Around the World
Thanks to the generosity of supporters, The Growing Connection will
expand its activities in India this year, beginning with horticultural trials
TGC's local partner will study various local and
low-cost planting media, including coco-peat, to find the best option for
growing in EarthBoxes in India. This is a crucial step in making the EarthBox an
accessible tool for everyone.
TGC is also active in Cuddapah in the state of
Andhra Pradesh, which is the fifth largest state in
India, with an estimated population of 80 million. Increases in extreme
weather (droughts in some areas, excess rain in others) have caused many farming
families in Andhra Pradesh to lose crops and income. With the help of TGC and its partners, farmers will
be able to grow food and receive the agricultural support they need, breaking
the cycle of debt, poverty and hunger for those involved.
|Fresh from the Forum
|Forum Member Lhynd, of Evanston,
Illinois, recently posted this missive:
"EarthBox gardens are sprouting throughout our
school district. In 2006, Keep Evanston Beautiful, Inc. (an affiliate of Keep
America Beautiful) in Evanston, IL, hosted a community seminar along with
Slow Food Chicago and the Healthy Schools Campaign to promote school gardens.
"By the spring of 2008, we had placed EarthBoxes
in more than half of the schools in our district using funding provided by the Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency (IL-EPA). Plans are now in place to
host our third annual workshop for teachers in 2009, and to grow a community of
volunteers to assist teachers with EarthBox activities."
To find out more about how "Keep Evanston Beautiful"
has grown from a vision to a successful community endeavor,
This month's entry isn't precisely a funding opportunity, but it's a great way to get seeds for no more than the cost of the postage.
Operation Green Plant is an organization that collects surplus seeds and flower bulbs from seed companies, material that would otherwise be thrown away. They distribute them to more than 20,000 organizations across the country. Since 1980 the Operation Green Plant Program has:
Now we invite you to join in the America the Beautiful Fund® dream by making your own community more beautiful! To request a grant of vegetable, flower and/or herb seeds, just do the following:
- Saved more than 800 tons of seeds and 7 million flower bulbs from going to waste.
- Grown 1.75 billion pounds of food for the hungry.
- Planted 650,000 pounds of flower seeds to beautify roadways, parks and neighborhoods in 20,000 communities in all 50 states.
- Write a short letter describing your project.
- Fill out the application, which you can download here.
- Enclose a check to cover shipping and handling.
- Mail your letter, application and check to the address below.
America the Beautiful Fund
725 15th St. NW, Suite 605
Washington, D.C. 20005
Operation Green Plant invites you to plant the seeds that grow hope -- and harvest compassion!
Good luck, everyone!
Lead: An Unseen Hazard
Young children are very vulnerable to
lead poisoning -- and unfortunately, due to unrestricted industrial processes
and the extensive use of lead paint in the past, many areas of the country have
unusually high levels of lead in the soil. This situation is especially
problematic in areas where lead mining was or is common, in many brown fields
in urban settings, and also around older structures that were once protected
with lead paint.
Once contaminated with lead, the soil is never safe to
use, because lead never breaks down. As they dig in the ground, children can
inhale small particles of lead-laden dust, which can severely compromise their
delicate nervous systems.
If you suspect or know that your local
soil is contaminated with lead, you can eliminate the risk by planting an
EarthBox Container Garden System with your students. Not only will the potting
material and produce be lead-free, they'll learn valuable lessons about plant
development, the watering cycle, where their food really comes from, and more!
|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. Our 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 also make excellent additions to the classroom. Our Pre-K through 12th grade standards-based curriculum support packages can bring science to life, with hands-on lessons that teach principles of growing and nutrition utilizing the scientific method in student-driven experiments.
To find out more about EarthBox's education programs, visit www.earthbox.com/education.