In This Issue
EarthBox Education
Beneficial Insect Solutions
Fresh from the Forum
Retailer of the Month
From Our Customers
Join Our Community
About EarthBox
EarthBox Education:
Abess Center Students are Budding Gardeners!
Rowena Gerber knows gardening, having spent the past 15 years as director at the Abess Center for Environmental Studies (ACES). In addition to growing fruits and vegetables in 30 EarthBoxes, she and her students, ranging from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade, are tending to fruit trees, and raising vegetable and herb beds in a busy greenhouse. 


The EarthBoxes, which the students assemble and maintain with very little supervision, have been in use for five years, providing an abundance of produce. "Blessed by our Florida semitropical climate, we garden throughout the school year," notes Ms. Gerber."We grow a variety of crops, and the children raise funds for our solar cooking projects by selling our plants and small container gardens."

But, as she has to admit, it hasn't always been easy. We are SO thankful for the recent cold snaps," Ms. Gerber says, "because it killed all the iguanas. For the last three years it seemed that we were just running an iguana restaurant in our gardens!  It's wonderful to plant lettuce and actually get to eat it ourselves!"

We Have a Winner!
We've chosen the latest winner in our ongoing "Grab Some Free Goodies" contest! George and Debbie Trudeau of State College, Pennsylvania will receive a $25 EarthBox gift certificate for their wonderful photo.

We'll be posting more winners as we choose them -- and we're still waiting to hear from you! Here's the Trudeaus' winning entry:


Says Debbie, "The EarthBox contains two tomato plants, one large fruit and one cherry tomato. The plant in the clay pot was started at the same time in late April 2009."

The picture was taken in mid July. It's easy to see the EarthBox difference, isn't it?

Send your contest entries to, with the word "contest" in the subject line, and we'll take a look!

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 of Inside the Box.

Send your contest entries to, with the word "contest" in the subject line, and we'll take a look!

Quick Links

MGA Logo
Home Gardening Seal

Pests are just a part of nature that we have to deal with, and sure, they can be terribly annoying. But before you swat an unidentified bug or spray insecticides willy-nilly, keep this in mind: only about 2% of the insects in your yard or garden are inimical to your plants. Most are neutral, at worst, and there are plenty of beneficial insects out there as well. 

It's important to know which bugs are which, and to keep only the bad ones at bay. In this issue, we'll provide some handy info on how to avail yourselves of the good bugs that will act as sentries for your plants.

By the way -- last month, we polled you folks about which USDA growing zone you live in.  So far we've received over 1,200 replies, with the majority of you in Zones 5 through 9. We appreciate the wonderful response! This information will help us to provide you with climate-related information, so you can optimize your yields.

Keep an eye on those insects,

Frank's Signature
Frank DiPaolo
logo small Beneficial Insect Solutions

Before the "Green Revolution," farmers and horticulturalists had to use what tools they had to battle insect pests, and were forced to accept some losses every year in order to get their crops in at all. Some years, sadly, they lost everything...which made the use of chemical pesticides extremely attractive when they became available. Once they were put into use, decades of bumper crops resulted -- but at a terrible cost to their posterity.

Overkill. Chemical pesticides have a tendency to kill the 98% of harmless and beneficial bugs along with the pests, with the added result of poisoning the soil and nearby waterways. Worse, the surviving pests develop resistance to the traditional poisons, breeding superbugs, thus forcing farmers to use a greater variety of pesticides at higher concentrations. The result is expensive in both economic and ecological terms.

Today, insect management is undergoing significant changes. Not only are stricter regulations on the use of chemicals and pesticides in place, consumers are more purposeful about taking care of the environment. Some of the new, softer chemistries can help maintain beneficial insect populations, but the most environmentally sound method for keeping pests at bay is enlisting Mother Nature's help by bringing in beneficial organisms.

Careful, Now. Beneficial insects include both pollinators (bees and their ilk) and the natural enemies of insect pests (ladybugs, mantises, lacewings, etc.). Destroying the pollinators through the use of broad spectrum insecticides affects yields at harvest time. Killing the predators not only lets any subsequent wave of the pests proceed unmolested, but it also can encourage opportunistic, secondary pest populations. Ironically, that may result in greater damage than the original infestation.

Microbes to the Rescue. Field research shows that the use of the naturally-occurring soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) can make any pesticide program more effective at killing the pests while maintaining beneficial insect populations.

There are several types of Bt, all specific to certain types of insect pests.

Bt var. kurstaki (Bt-k), for example, is used to control caterpillar-type larvae, like cabbage loopers and tomato hornworms. One of the chief characteristics of any Bt variety is that they're safe for use around humans, pets, fish, and wildlife, including beneficial insects.

Bacillus popilliae, milky spore disease, was the first commercially-developed microbial insecticide. It's specific to the Japanese beetle, and remains dormant in the soil once it wipes out an infestation, waiting for the next one.

Take it Easy. Rather than use harsh chemicals, which are ecologically dangerous and less and less effective, we urge you to use biological insect controls like these with your EarthBoxes. If you're willing to accept some minor losses and trust Mother Nature, in the best traditions of Integrated Pest Management, you'll help the Earth and yourself.

Fresh from the Forum
How's Your Fertilizer Working?

fresh from forum 1Generally, one reads a Q&A to obtain an answer to a question. However, this time we're going to ask you a question and provide you with answers from other growers, so it's a win-win situation! You get information, and so do we. 

We'd like to know: what fertilizers have you used in your EarthBoxes, and what were the results?  Visit the Tips and Tricks section of the forum and see "Fertilizer Test Results" to post your answer and find other answers that may be helpful to you.

Retailer of the Month
Calloway's Nurseries, Inc.

consumerEvery month, we highlight one of our valued partners, so you can learn more about them and their products. This month, we salute Calloway's and Cornelius Nursery Garden Centers, which serve gardeners in the Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston, Texas metroplexes respectively. The folks at Calloway's have been supporters of the EarthBox system for years, even featuring our products on their busy and popular YouTube site!

Founded in 1987 by local nurserymen, Calloway's is dedicated to providing a wide variety of products and services for Texas gardeners. Among the items offered at their stores are bedding plants, nursery stock, seeds and bulbs, soil amendments and fertilizers, home décor items, and seasonal offerings. Those who choose to garden exclusively indoors will also find a wealth of plants and supplies to choose from.

Weekly gardening clinics and a garden community website keep both novice and master gardeners apprised of helpful tips, successful methods and valuable products. Plus, in-store displays and concise instructions from certified nursery professionals aid gardeners with design and color development. 

With 17 locations in the Dallas/Ft. Worth markets, two stores in Houston, and an online store, Calloway's is poised to keep the Texas gardener busy! Be sure to visit their website

From Our Customers
 Eleven EarthBoxes and Growing

Fraiser-Martin"Just wanted to say hi to everybody, and let you see our hobby! It's always changing, and we just love the challenge. This is going to be the fifth season for us, with no end in sight! Eleven boxes and growing.

"We live in Bradenton, Florida and consider ourselves lucky to get so much grow time. The fruit and veggies we grow are a true Godsend! Please tell us what you think; every year we try to make it better. We are truly blessed to be a part of this group!"

Seth & Tiff
Zone 9B
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.

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 to view the videos.

To place an order, call us at 866-727-5532 (24/7) or visit our online store.

About EarthBox 
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  
EarthBox® 1350 Von Storch Avenue · Scranton, PA 18509 · 1-866-727-5532