The EarthBox and Other Resources for Living More Sustainably
When I visited the Tucson Community Supported Agriculture distribution center (see March 2007 Community News), Philippe talked about the challenges in increasing our local food production. He thought that even with more CSAs, we would continue to be dependent on other areas of the country with greater water resources.
We are already importing water from the Colorado River. Increased water harvesting for use in growing food, as taught by Co-op member Brad Lancaster, increases our capacity to provide for ourselves here in the desert. Growing desert-adapted varieties that require less water can also increase our productivity. We can buy seeds from Native Seeds/SEARCH, or purchase produce grown by the San Xavier Cooperative or Tohono O’odham Community Action.
A friend named Earth recently introduced me to something else that may help us. Earth and I lived in an intentional community in the Tucson area many years ago. She now spends the greater part of the year in a community in northern New Mexico. When she drove down for the winter this year, she brought part of her garden with her. Rather than using ordinary pots for container gardening, she has been using of all things, EarthBoxes!
While she is not the inventor of this product, I wonder if her name might make her a perfect candidate for becoming a paid spokesperson? She was enthusiastic enough to be a candidate. The EarthBox® has a chamber at the bottom which is filled with water via a piece of pipe that is open at the top. A screen sits over the reservoir to hold the soil. Water wicks up into the soil, and a plastic sheet over the top reduces water loss through evaporation. Not only is water use reduced, but also fewer soil additives are needed, since they can be efficiently added to the water reservoir rather than to the soil surface!
Deborah Mayaan is a writer, energy work, and flower essence practitioner based in Tucson, Ariz. www.deborahmayaan.com