EarthBox in Our Communities:
Girl Scouts to Grow EarthBoxes
to Earn Merit Badges
The Girl Scouts have a long history of combining innovation and community service through the projects that they develop to earn badges. Here's yet another fine example.
The "EarthBox To Food Pantry Project" has been established by Girl Scout Troop Leader Denise Jablonowski with her Oceanside, Long Island troop. Her imagination was sparked by the Girl Scout guide Sow What, now mandatory reading for Gold Award aspirants.
This informative book provides guidelines for innovative solutions that will help ensure that everyone has access to healthful, affordable and sustainably grown food, produced with respect for the planet. Ms. Jablonowski and her troop became enthusiastic about growing in EarthBoxes after reviewing the chapter entitled "Solutions Near and Far."
Members of Girl Scout Troop 2164 and Leader Denise
Jablonowski, with a photo of a planted EarthBox and a ready-to-plant EarthBox.
The designated Scout garden will be alongside a Catholic church, so the harvest can be supplied to the community church food pantry this spring. Tending to this garden will help the Girl Scouts earn badges; five are eligible for the highest, the Gold Award.
Donating their harvest will fulfill the group's goal of improving their community. The EarthBoxes will take up permanent residence at the pantry, so that the next "crop" of Oceanside Girl Scouts can plant a new harvest and continue the provisioning of fresh food.
Ms. Jablonowski's troop plans to raise funds to purchase 10 EarthBoxes through donations at their cookie booth sales, a possible scholarship, and an EarthBox raffle.
"Oceanside Girl Scouts are tremendously dedicated to serving their community, so this is a fabulous project for our troops," says Ms. Jablonowski. "Our hope is that this project will expand; that would be an ideal outcome.
"In fact, it's very likely that growing in EarthBoxes will become a standard Gold Award project, since there are many needy families, and other food pantries that would welcome the fresh produce."
For more information on this or any other EarthBox/Girl Scout projects, please contact us.
Monthly Drawing For A FreeEarthBox 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.
This issue's winner comes to us from the Clarks Summit State Hospital in Clarks Summit, PA.
"The Clarks Summit State Hospital Greenhouse is a vocational program for the inpatient psychiatric population," says Janelle Zigon, OTR/L, HTR. "For the last three years, we've been using EarthBoxes to grow produce, which is used in cooking groups, food preserving activities, and sales to our staff.
"After many disappointing vegetable gardening attempts which failed due to pests and weeds, the Earthboxes have allowed us to successfully harvest abundant vegetables and herbs!"
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 By the Box newsletter.
||Are You in the STEM Directory?|
The National Directory of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) can help promote your after-school program, which in turn can lead to increased membership, funding, and partnership opportunities.
The Coalition for Science After School has partnered with Time Warner Cable to create this on-line national directory, and participation is absolutely free. Time Warner Cable, to support children and families, will promote STEM with Public Service Announcements throughout a five-year campaign.
EarthBox Education wants to collectively upload information to the site. To do this, we need to hear from you.
Please email your contact information and program description to firstname.lastname@example.org for loading. When the information is uploaded, you will receive an email with a login and password information, and you're in!
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.
Webster's Third New International Dictionary defines the word educate this way: "To develop by fostering to varying degrees the growth or expansion of knowledge, wisdom, desirable qualities of mind or character, physical health, or general competence, especially by a course of formal study or instruction."
EarthBox Garden Programs in schools, in communities, and around the world educate on many levels. They're organized to allow educators to customize a program to meet individual guidelines and needs, so that instructors can select stand-alone activities for 4, 6, 8, 12-week, or year-long garden programs.
For example, a typical four-week program looks like this:
Week 1: How to Set up an EarthBox, and the Science Behind It
Participants will learn how to set up an EarthBox Container Garden System and how it uses capillary action, diffusion, and the gradient system to conserve natural resources and prevent fertilizer runoff.
Week 2: Development of a Mission Statement
Participants will develop a mission statement that suits the time-line of instruction, resulting in a "hand-off" of their garden to another facility or group, such as a temporary or permanent donation to a local Veteran's Hospital or VFW, who will nurture and harvest the crops that have been planted and set up by the group.
Week 3: Germination, Harvest and Nutrition Activities
Participants will select crops to plant and seeds to purchase, based on the season, the germination and harvest times of the crops, their nutritional value, and the location of the proposed garden.
Week 4: By the Box Seasonal Data Collection
Participants will plant out the remaining EarthBox Ready to Grow Kits and complete the Data Collection Sheets for each box. Each planted EarthBox and its respective data sheet will be delivered to the designated community organization. That group will then tend to the crop and may collect additional data. The final activity can also take place there.
Participants who complete the short term, four-week course learn science, work force, and horticultural skills that culminate in a Service Learning Project that enhances their community. Education doesn't get much better than that!
On another note, we recently introduced The Snow Pea Activity Kit, written to introduce youths from 5-11 years of age to horticulture and nutrition in a fun way. We think it's a blast! Click here for more information.
For more information on EarthBox Education programs, visit us here. And always remember when ordering: include the source code EDUDISC for a chance to win a free EarthBox Ready To Grow Kit!
||EarthBox Around the World
The Crisis in Haiti
Haiti is still struggling to come to grips with the devastating consequences of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck near Port-au-Prince, the country's capital, on January 12. Tens of thousands of Haitians lost their lives as a result of this tragic disaster, and tens of thousands more are homeless.
Since 2008, The Growing Connection
(TGC) has worked with Project Medishare
, a group that provides health care for more than 75,000 Haitians, to develop EarthBox vegetable gardens for children and the vulnerable (elders, sick, disabled) in Haiti's central plateau, one of the country's poorest areas. The goal is to improve nutrition and income by increasing production and consumption of fresh, nutritious vegetables.
Project Medishare has been at the forefront of critical medical relief efforts in the wake of the earthquake, and was among the first to send doctors and medical supplies. Dr. Barth Green, Project Medishare co-founder, is now helping coordinate international medical relief, and will oversee a new field hospital that was set up on vacant land in the northwest corner of Port-au-Prince's international airport. The new hospital location will house a medical staff of 100 and assist more than 300 patients.
Over the last two years, Project Medishare and TGC have worked together to install a trial garden to explore which locally-grown vegetables would flourish in the EarthBox, and to develop local planting methods. Following the success of these trials, EarthBox vegetable gardens were set up in five elementary schools in the villages of Thomonde and Marmont and a local clinic in Marmont. A group of poor, at-risk adolescents called IDEJEN (Young Idea) has also been involved in the project, receiving hands-on training in growing produce in sugarcane bagass, a local medium, using the EarthBox system.
The TGC-Project Medishare partnership is ideal because sustainable agriculture and access to nutritious food are key components to providing and improving community health care. Once the immediate relief efforts have been completed, TGC and Project Medishare will work together to revitalize urban and rural agriculture in Haiti. If you would like to help us achieve this goal, please visit ProjectMedishare.org
||EarthBox In Our Schools
Family Introduces EarthBox to School
We've all heard the expression "One good turn deserves another." Well, EarthBox Education has its own take on that age-old adage.
Jimmie Davis's family has been growing an EarthBox garden since his mother introduced him to our products in 2004. Over the years, Jimmie and his children have enjoyed growing and eating their produce, and they've come to appreciate the science behind the EarthBox.
Jimmie recently shared his children's appreciation of the EarthBox with the administrators and teachers of their school, Holy Comforter in Tallahassee, Florida. The idea was to give the faculty an opportunity to bring EarthBox Education to their students -- and they responded with great enthusiasm. Brenda Hagen, the Director of the Lower School, realized that EarthBox Education would make a great addition to an existing robust science program, and the teachers expressed an interest in growing out an EarthBox for each of their classrooms.
With this buy-in, the school purchased an EarthBox for every classroom in the K-5 division, along with a Youth Garden Guide and Elementary School Curriculum. The teachers then engaged their students in lesson selection to incorporate EarthBox Education into their curricula. One class compared and contrasted the effect that planting by seed or seedling has on economic and labor factors, while another observed the effect on yield when growing different crops in one EarthBox. A third compared and contrasted the difference in the taste of the crops grown in the EarthBox as compared to those purchased at the local grocery store.
During the gardening experience, critters damaged one EarthBox, and another crop was affected by a frost. These incidents prompted a broader discussion of the issues that farmers might encounter each season. In each case, guided inquiry and observation led to the kind of discovery that leads to retention.
Teachers and students at Holy Comforter are now looking forward to engaging their students in more discovery with EarthBox Education, in order to build capacity and continuity of learning from grade level to grade level.
all you teachers and activity directors who might want to produce a hybrid, here's a website that tells a great
story about the production of heirloom tomatoes!
UPS Neighbor to Neighbor System
The UPS Foundation (which delivers EarthBox products) offers grants
to its employees as part of its UPS Neighbor to Neighbor System. Any employee
who wants to support a project must satisfy the following parameters:
The employee must document 50 hours of
volunteer service before he or she can register for the program. Once the
hours are documented, he/she becomes eligible to apply for the grant.
The employee then contacts the local
Human Resources Manager.
The local HR manager provides contact
information for the Community Relations Manager (CRM) in a given UPS region,
of which there were 70 last year.
The employee contacts the CRM, who
sends the grant application form.
The employee completes the form, which
consists of 15 questions about the project the employee wants to support,
including the 501 cc documentation.
Grants can be written for up to $25,000. For more information,
A Word About Funding
Our EarthBox Education newsletter stories can provide support
documentation for grant proposals; just make sure the information submitted is
You can view past By The Box issues on the EarthBox Home Page by
scrolling down the left menu to "Newsletters." There are generally three
features in each education newsletter (Schools, Communities and Around the World), and one education article in the consumer version, Inside The Box.
|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.
Here's a list of websites to assist you in obtaining catalogs and getting more information about EarthBox in your classroom.
(Catalogs: Life Science, Environmental)
Fisher Science Education
(Catalogs: Elementary, Middle School, High School, College Science)
(Catalogs: Elementary Math/Science, Summit, Science, Senior Activities)
(Catalog: Secondary Science)
(Catalog: Ward Science)