Wednesday, February 1, 2012

EarthBox

So I happen to be checking one of my "social networks" this morning and came across a post from my good friend Jim Snyder on his group Farmers for a Sustainable Futurehttps://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/sustainablefarmers/  He had a link to a company that has a great wicking planting system that I hadn't seen before.  Looks like something that would work really well in my setup here so I contacted the company.  http://www.earthbox.com/  They are graciously donating 4 of their units for me to experiment with here at The Field Lab.

Spent the afternoon researching this method of growing.  This seems to be just the ticket for planting in our water starved Texas desert.  Did a simple search online and found lots of How To variations. The Earthbox folks have this down to a science and created the perfect set up for the masses that are not in the DIY category.   Looking forward to evaluating their product along side some home brew versions as well as other growing methods.  59,75,36,0,C

18 comments:

shawn said...

We have 4 of them. Using them about 3 or 4 years. Work great. Bought a couple direct, others from Amazon.

shawn said...

Get the ones with casters, handy to move around, heavy if you don't.

Quixote Kid said...

Interesting, I had never seen this before.

Near Austin we built several Square Foot Gardens about 5 years ago. Raised beds 4' X 4'. Looks like the 'square foot garden' idea would be easily replicated to the EarthBox.

Even in the last two years drought our square foot gardens produced a lot of vegetables, even though we had to water a lot last summer.

ceparie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
janelvl said...

earthbox now..

what was your experience with the waterboxx experiment?

Carlos said...

Have you thought of using the hugelkultur method of gardening? I've seen YouTube videos of them using a very similar method in Israel to recover parts of the Dead Sea.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzTHjlueqFI&feature=g-hist&context=G2ef5171AHTynZPgAKAA

pamit said...

Here in water-starved CO, I use planters much like these "earthboxes" that have water reservoirs in the bottom, with a plastic tube leading down to fill the reservoir. They work great! The plastic tube can clog up with dirt but you just pull it out and rinse clean. Wheels on the bottom are absolutely necessary, since I have to grow all my stuff on decks to keep it away from the elk.

Off Grid R and D said...

Hmmm, Home Brew!

Cindy said...

I have 6 Earthboxes. I use them for hot weather vegetables during the summer (tomatoes, etc.) as a supplement to my raised beds--and in the greenhouse all of the South Texas winter to grow lettuce, kale, etc. I tried the DIY route, and spent lots of time and and a fair amount of $$ doing so. The plants in the DIY boxes grew, but the DIY containers (made from tote boxes and/or 5 gallon buckets) degraded within one summer in the S. TX heat. They just fell apart. So, in my opinion, the initial investment in the real thing (Earthboxes) is worth it.

frakier said...

http://www.maireid.com/wickingbeds.htm DIY version, non rolling though you could experiment.

shawn said...

Amen Cindy.
Plus we have grown some pretty nice looking non-edibles (flowers and such) also in them.

Zach said...

A person can make them from the rubbermaid tubs. I first learned about what I thought were then called Earthboxes in an article in Slate. Some guy had perfected the wicking mechanism after many tries and finally found the best way to conserve his water.

There is a pdf floating around with his design somewhere. He was never interested in making a profit from his research.

SoldierMonkey said...

I use them for tomatoes. They work great. Very good for conserving water.

vintagemodeler said...

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Missed first round of T shirts-any more available "soon" They are classics and I'd love to wear one in Vegas.
Thanks for a very interesting blog and excellent photos.

Andy V said...

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Cindy said...

If you do try the DIY route, be sure that all of the plastic that you use is food grade. This means that you need to examine the resin identification code on the bottom of the tote or bucket that you intend to use. Buckets should be the ones from restaurants, not the ones from hardware stores. Also--earlier recommendations involved the use of PVC for the fill pipe. Now that more is known about PVC, the author of the .pdf mentioned in another comment here has stated that PVC should not be used. Good luck, but don't be surprised if your carefully-constructed DIY containers break apart in big hunks along the sides after the first summer. The totes degrade faster than the buckets do.

Unknown said...

I found these on Earthtrainer.com.
Made 6 of them from items picked up at the Home Depot. They work great.

Gary (Edmonds)

Allen Hare said...

Looks promising. All the testimonials are encouraging. The rollers seem like a plus. Looking forward to your report. Best of luck!