Clemson Dirt to Food Project: Building Healthy Communities from the Ground Up
This past April, eight EarthBoxes arrived at the Littlejohn Community Center (LJCC), a local non-profit organization in Clemson, South Carolina, as part of the new Clemson Dirt to Food project. Soon they were brimming with vegetables: tomatoes, peppers, corn, watermelon and zucchini, planted by Girl Scouts so that they could learn more about the planting and growth process.
Clemson Dirt to Food (CDF) is a partnership between Clemson University, Upstate Locavores, and LJCC. Approximately 40 children who participate in the LJCC after-school Girl Scout troop program assembled the EarthBoxes and planted the vegetables that CDF provided for them. "This effort represents one small step toward creating a thriving local food system," says Jennifer Goree, M.Ed., Director of Clemson University's Healthy Campus. "These portable gardens will serve as experiential learning laboratories as the children plant, care for, harvest and prepare the produce they've grown."
CDF brings together the passion, skills and knowledge of a diverse group of Clemson students, faculty, staff and community members. Their mission is to advance a culture of health and sustainability by connecting community members and creating opportunities to experience fresh, locally grown food. The goal is to create a vibrant, local food system that provides the structure needed for members of their community to make healthier and more sustainable food choices. Currently, 28 students, faculty and community members are involved with CDF.
"The Clemson Dirt to Food Project will continue to work to build the social capital needed to make lasting change to our food system," Ms. Goree says. "The project will focus on improving the policies, systems and environments that encourage and facilitate a healthy and sustainable community."
Since CDF started last year, the group has received a good deal of financial and volunteer help from the Upstate Locavores, and has benefited from University programs like the Healthy Campus Initiative and student groups like Students for Environmental Awareness (SEA).
"We want to make our community more resilient," said SEA President Gabe Fair. "We're decentralizing our food systems when we have local farming and gardening. Slow food, we call it. It keeps money in the community."
For information on starting an EarthBox project of your own, click here or contact our Education Department at 1-800-821-8838, ext. 8348 or 8369.
We Have a Winner!
We've chosen the latest winner in our ongoing photo contest!
Matt West of Washington, D.C. will receive a $25 EarthBox gift certificate for his wonderful photo of his tremendous tomato trees! Here's his winning entry:
"A gardening tip when using an EarthBox -- you're going to need a ladder and a wheelbarrow for your bounty!" Matt warns.
We'll be posting more winners as we choose them -- and we're still waiting to hear from you!
Photo of the Month Contest
to win a $25 EarthBox
gift certificate? Send us
your EarthBox success photos with the word "contest" in the subject
line of your email, and you could be a 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.
We hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving -- and along with it, some of the fruits of your EarthBox labor. Meanwhile, it's getting pretty darned cold out! We know that some of you may still be gardening outdoors, depending on your hardiness zone, but we expect that most are tending only to houseplants now that the weather has turned.
Even if you've retired your EarthBoxes for the season, we wanted to let you know that we sell more than just EarthBoxes and EarthBox supplies these days. We encourage you to take a look at all the helpful gardening tools we have to offer -- there just might be something there that's perfect for the holidays!
|The Right Tools for the Job|
When most people think EarthBox, they think of the container gardening system that made us famous -- and well they should! But lately, we've been expanding our inventory of general gardening items, so we thought we'd remind you that we've got you covered there, too. We offer several new categories of products in our online catalog, including general gardening tools, EarthBox-specific accessories, and natural plant treatments.
So go ahead, take a look: in addition to fulfilling your own needs, you might even find some great gift ideas here!
General Gardening Tools. We've got all kinds of accessories to make life easier for the gardener. For example, with our PotLifter, you can lift pots and move them around the garden without strain.
And speaking of pots, you can make your own seedling pots in a snap with our cool Potmaker kit. This is a great project for children to participate in! You can also find out how to determine shade and sun coverage with the Sun Analyzer, give someone a bulb planting kit as a gift, and more!
Container Protection. We've also added EarthBox protective items to aid against insects, cold and birds. When insect pests start bugging your crops, for example. you can try one of these insect nets, custom-made for your EarthBox.
Frost got you worried? No problem: our frost covers will extend the life of your crops if Jack Frost makes an appearance. And if birds are bedeviling your crops, there'll be no more of that if you install this nifty bird netting. To browse our other protective accessories, just click here.
Natural Plant Treatments. We carry a number of useful eco-friendly plant treatments of all types: not just repellents for insect eradication, but also disease treatments and even nutrient sprays for your produce. And don't forget the beneficial insects! Ladybugs, lacewings, and the like offer a great way to control nasty insect pests without poisoning the environment.
Ho Ho Ho. The holiday season is fast approaching, and it's a sure bet that the other EarthBox gardeners in your life could use some of these extras as much as you can! Well, this month we're making that easier with special holiday pricing and half-off ground shipping on many of our items. Look for it on the individual product pages, or learn more here.
The Bottom Line. At EarthBox, we're dedicated to helping you with every aspect of your gardening needs, and we believe our new product categories will go a long way toward doing that.
And don't forget the EarthBox system itself -- we still have plenty of those and all their accessories on hand, and you can never go wrong with a new EarthBox!
|Fresh from the Forum
What's at Stake
How strong is the EarthBox staking system? Strong enough to survive the high winds of a tornado, as you'll discover when you read this discussion in the EarthBox Forum!
|Retailer of the Month
Each month, we at EarthBox salute one of our valued retailers. This month, we highlight Clegg's Nursery of Baton Rouge and Denham Springs, Louisiana.
At Clegg's, gardeners have an extensive choice of flora, from camellias to cyclamen. Periodic visits to their website will also help customers find the best choices for their gardens, with features such as "Plant Profile of the Month" and "Season's Best."
Delivery service for Baton Rouge and the surrounding area is a plus for many customers. Those who have questions about their plants can also bring samples to the nursery for insect and disease identification, and Clegg's even has a loan system: broadcast and drop spreaders may be rented for applications of fertilizers and dry chemicals.
For those interested in gift-giving, the nursery has many items for the garden, and others that can be enjoyed in the yard or house, such as decorative pots, wind chimes, and bird houses. Clegg's Gift Cards are a great choice for any gardener!
In addition to the retail stores, Clegg's operates a huge production facility, established in 2003. Named Clegg's Color Division, it comprises over 40,000 square feet of greenhouses. The experienced staff nurtures some of the best locally-grown bedding plants and poinsettias for Clegg's retail outlets to offer the community.
Clegg's also offers a full selection of Louisiana Super Plants, a program established by Louisiana State University Agriculture Extension to ensure that nurseries throughout the state grow and sell plants that are best suited for Louisiana's growing conditions.
Stop by and visit at any of Clegg's four locations!
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sundays, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
|From Our Customers|
"Finally, a picture of my kale. My husband and I picked and ate one already!"
|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.
|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.