SCRANTON, Pa., March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Community gardeners, faced with the obstacles of tending a garden away from home, are discovering a simple solution to their problems: container gardening in self-watering planters (http://earthbox.com/science-behind-the-earthbox).
While group gardening offers many rewards, watering and weeding often get less attention when gardeners must travel to the garden. Community plots in urban areas frequently suffer from poor soil and limited light. Schools and senior centers are popular sites for community gardens, but digging and soil preparation can be a challenge for the very young and the very old.
Thanks to an outreach program by the Education Department of the EarthBox® container gardening system, community gardeners are discovering ways around these common issues. "Gardening in self-watering containers with mulch covers takes away the hassles of digging, weeding and watering," explains Molly Philbin, EarthBox Education and Community Gardens Director. "That allows us to introduce gardening programs to everyone from young children to mobility-impaired seniors, even if they don't have access to a plot of soil."
In Tampa, Florida, the Nutrition and Dietetic Club at Hillsborough Community College uses EarthBox systems to teach gardening to 3- to 5-year-olds. The simple system allows the youngsters to plant and tend a garden, while learning where food comes from. They enjoy a weekly "smelling party," at which they identify and taste the herbs they've grown.
At the other end of the age spectrum, wheelchair-bound seniors in Indian Shores, Florida share an accessible raised EarthBox garden designed by Robert Brotherton of Brotherton Engineering. "It offers them a place where they can grow fresh vegetables, socialize, and relax," remarks Brotherton. "Not only does it benefit the gardeners, but it beautifies the entire community."
On the remote Pacific island of Ebeye, EarthBox systems are solving multiple problems. Due to the extremely rocky and sandy soil on this atoll island, container gardening is the only option for growing healthy produce. Ebeye's poor growing conditions have contributed to a diabetes epidemic, with more than 75% of residents over the age of 50 suffering from the disease. Non-profit organization Canvasback Missions, Inc. recently partnered with the Kwajalein Diabetes Coalition to start EarthBox community gardens in the hospital and schools, to promote healthier nutrition among residents.
By eliminating the challenges of hard physical work and poor growing conditions, container gardening systems like EarthBox are bringing people together and making gardening accessible to young and old, all around the globe.
The patented EarthBox was introduced in 1994 after a decade of research by commercial farmers looking for a maintenance-free way to grow in ideal conditions. Since then, the EarthBox has been used in home gardens, commercial farms, schools and restaurants around the world. More information is available at www.earthbox.com.
Frank DiPaolo, General Manager