"Green My School" Initiative
In the fall of 2008, CBS TV and EcoMedia, an environmental media company, joined forces to launch a "Green My School" contest -- and EarthBox helped sponsor the event. The contest was designed to create model green schools in participating regions. Original videos, pictures, collages, music and essays were prepared by students in response to the question, "What does it mean to be green?"
In February 2009, one winning school was chosen from each of three cities: Rosa Parks Elementary School in San Francisco, Everett M. Dirksen Middle School in Calumet City, Illinois, and Northwestern High School in Miami (pictured).
Each winning school has received a "green makeover," consisting of products and services ranging from $150,000 to $250,000. The makeovers included efforts such as installing energy efficient lighting, green roofs, and solar and greening projects. "The goal of the CBS/EcoZone 'Green My School Contest' is to educate and inspire children and adults to make simple, daily changes at home and at school that will help protect our environment." notes Sarah Douglis, Senior VP of Media Development at EcoMedia. "Our Sponsor/Partner EarthBox brings an educational value to planting and elevates growing to new heights. We're proud to highlight their product in these regions."
In addition to the makeover, sustainable "leave behind" materials including EarthBoxes, posters, DVDs, books, and an environmental education curriculum were provided. Mini-grants to fund environmental projects and energy conservation programs may also be awarded.
For more information, click here.
Grab Some Free Goodies!
Want to win an EarthBox gift certificate? Just send us your best EarthBox-related recipe, article, or photo, and you might find yourself a winner.
Here are the categories we'd like you to shoot for:
- A helpful story that provides EarthBox owners with information
- A story on your most successful crop
- A photo illustrating a successful EarthBox crop
- Your greatest number of EarthBoxes in use at once
- Your best disaster story, so everyone can learn from your mistakes
- Your quickest recipe using an EarthBox harvest
- Your spiciest recipe using an EarthBox harvest
- Articles on non-traditional uses of the EarthBox
Your entry should be brief and to the point. We'll pick a new winner every month, and we'll post each winner in an upcoming issue.
Send your contest entries to photos@Earthbox.com, with the word "contest" in the subject line, and we'll take a look!
We Have a Winner!
We've chosen the latest winner in our ongoing "Grab Some
Goodies" contest! Ruth Jansson will receive a $25 EarthBox gift
certificate for her photo. We'll be posting more winners as we choose
them -- and we're still waiting to hear from you!
Here's Ruth's winning entry:
"The plant on the left in this photo is a Better Bush; the
one on the right is a Celebrity Bush. They're both of the determinate
variety, since we're limited in space on the dock.
"We planted small plants on May 26 and picked our
first tomato August 14. To date (August 24), we have picked 59 tomatoes and
there are at least 30 more. Because they're determinate plants, they will
probably be spent in a couple of weeks, so this is probably our last photo for
"People who walk by are astounded at the production of tomatoes from this
little box, and we've 'sold' at least 4 EarthBoxes to fellow boaters for next
year's growing season.
"We learned about the EarthBox from Blake himself, who did a demo at the
little library on Anna Maria Island in Florida a couple of years ago. He
was just terrific. So far we've given 3 EarthBoxes as gifts, and the list
of EarthBox believers among our circle of friends and family and fellow boaters
Autumn's finally arrived -- but of course, that summons up different images for each of us, depending upon where in the country we reside.
For some of us, it means spectacular fall colors and cooler temperatures, marking the end of the growing season for your EarthBox. In some cases, the snow's already arrived (a bit ahead of schedule!), and temperatures near freezing have become common.
For others, it's still warm, and harvesting continues apace.
Whatever the case, in this issue, we offer a few tips for how to care for your autumn EarthBox and its bounty, no matter what climatic zone you're in.
Enjoy the season,
||Your Autumn EarthBox |
As the year fades toward 2010, your EarthBox production is likely to be falling off, unless of course you live in the extreme South or in a tropical location like Hawaii. If you are still growing fruits and vegetables, don't forget to remain vigilant about pest control; warm temperatures mean healthy, active bugs as well as healthy plants. And remember, if you can't use all of your harvest, consider drying or freezing it for later use; we'll discuss how to do that a bit later in the section.
Tips for Colder Climes
If Old Man Winter is already tightening his grip where you live, it's a good idea to finish harvesting as much of your produce as you can before it falls to frost or freezing. If some of your plants haven't finished producing and you'd like to get more fruit out of them, use covers to keep the frost off. In extreme cases, you can bring your EarthBoxes indoors briefly.
Tips for All Climes
The fall rains have once again gotten the slugs and snails moving through our gardens. If they seem especially bad in yours, try one of the remedies at this site to get rid of them.
One thing we should also mention is the widespread tomato blight that struck many home gardeners this season. For those affected, we have some tips on how to clean up and get your EarthBox sanitized and ready for the next growing season.
Blight Control. First of all, it's important to know that two types of blight struck this year, an early blight and a late blight.
Early blight can occur over a wide range of climatic
conditions. Part of prevention and control of this type of blight includes crop rotation, removal and destruction of crop debris from previous crops, staking, mulching, and timely application of fungicides.
Late blight is much fiercer, and it finds cool rainy weather ideal for its development. This year, it especially affected EarthBoxes in cooler areas, particularly in the Northeast. It moves rapidly and spreads easily, as its spores can be carried by the wind. Timing is crucial for using fungicides on late blight.
If either blight has occurred, sanitizing the entire EarthBox is advised. Empty out the soil and water, and discard them (DO NOT put them on your compost pile). Then clean the EarthBox thoroughly with a Clorox and water solution (1 to 10), rinse three times, and start over with fresh, sterile potting media. Furthermore, if the disease is known or expected to have occurred, the affected produce should not be consumed.
It's best to consult your County Extension Agent for advice for eradicating it and sanitizing your EarthBoxes before you start new plantings. You should also look to your extension agent for information on fungicides for blight control. Click here to find your local agricultural extension office.
There are several ways to preserve your EarthBox produce for later enjoyment. Following are two of the most common: drying and freezing.
Drying simply involves removing the moisture in the produce to deter spoilage. The modern way of doing this is to use a food dehydrator, though you can also use an oven set on low heat to dry your produce. But if you've got access to a space with temperatures in excess of 85°F, low humidity, and good pest control (not just insect, but birds, raccoons, and rodents, too!) you can also dry fruits in the sun.
For complete instructions on how to prepare your produce for drying, click here. For information on blanching and freezing specific vegetables, click here; for freezing instructions on specific fruits, try this page.
Freezing is often your best choice for produce preservation, as it can help you maintain the highest quantity of nutrients. Vegetables will stay healthy for 12-18 months if kept at 0°F or lower, though frozen fruit doesn't seem to do as well, peaking at 8-12 months if it's packed in sugar or sugar syrups. Unsweetened fruits deteriorate significantly faster.
We hope you've enjoyed this year's EarthBox experience, and that you're looking forward to the next!
|Fresh from the Forum
After the Blight
What are folks doing to clean
up after this year's unfortunate tomato blight? Find out here, in the Q&A section of the forum.
||Retailer of the Month
Every month we highlight one of our valued partners, so you can
learn more about them and their products. This month, we salute Green
Thumb Nursery in Canoga Park, California. From annuals to perennials, Green Thumb offers everything
for your indoor and outdoor gardening needs. Exotic houseplants are a specialty. |
Ornamental shrubs, trees, lawns, and sods are also available at
Green Thumb, in a number of varieties. Those looking for pottery, fountains,
birdbaths and water garden plants and supplies will also find a wide array of
If you're in the area, we urge you to stop by and visit Green Thumb, where you'll get expert
advice and service from their cadre of California-certified nursery professionals.
Green Thumb is open daily at:
21828 Sherman Way
Canoga Park, California
||From Our Customers
"Welcome to our suburban
garden! We've turned almost our entire backyard into a vegetable
garden. I have six EarthBoxes on a deck, three 12' x 4' orcaboard
(recycled plastic, like Trex) raised beds, and one raised bed in a hillside
supported with concrete block.
"In this photo are two EarthBoxes with 'Patio' tomatoes, Japanese eggplant, and 'Cherokee
Purple' tomatoes. The EarthBoxes are up on cinder blocks to thwart the slugs,
and also so I can better see when the overflow hole is running as I'm watering. All
three plants are healthy and producing heavily."
||Join Our Community|
EarthBox is on Facebook! Now you can become a fan of EarthBox, joining a community of fellow EarthBox users for conversations, advice and photo sharing -- or just to check out whatever new information EarthBox has to enhance your gardening experience!
To place an order, call us at 866-727-5532 (24/7) or visit our online store.
|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 support packages 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.