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In This Issue
EarthBox Education
Fresh From the Forum
Retailer of the Month
From Our Customers
About EarthBox
EarthBox Education:
EarthBoxes to 'SpaceBoxes'
 A round of applause goes to Bay Haven School of Basics Plus in Sarasota, Florida. Under the guidance of Caren V. Walsh, Science Lab Instructor, the school was named the proud winner of the EarthBox 2008 Educational Garden Contest!  Walsh says, "We were absolutely thrilled to hear that we're the winner of the 2008 Youth Educational Garden Giveaway Contest. It's a tribute to the hard work of our outstanding students (K-5) and teachers, our supportive principal, and our very committed parent volunteers who do so much for our school. 
 
FLORIDA SCHOOL
EarthDay 2008: Students with planted EarthBox from Bay Haven School of Basics Plus
 
"Our special thanks goes to EarthBox, for all of their support and encouragement in helping our students to better understand and appreciate the value of living a green and sustainable lifestyle through their successful experience in growing organic vegetables in EarthBoxes. Their hands-on experience with EarthBoxes also stimulated them to think 'outside the box' and come up with a number of creative ideas as to how an EarthBox microenvironment might possibly be used to grow food for astronauts during long-duration space travel.
 
"We look forward to expanding our use of the EarthBox concept next year, by possibly integrating the students' work in science and social studies and adding an off-campus community outreach program to our activities. The additional resources under your generous award will be most helpful to us with this effort. EarthBoxes have become permanent fixtures on our school campus."
 
EarthBox congratulates Bay Haven School of Basics Plus for their determination, motivation, and commitment to sustainability and creativity, while being eco-friendly. Their productivity and high yields are witness that success can be achieved through conservation!
                      -- John Romanaskas

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Dear EarthBox Customer,
 
Different fruits and vegetables mature at different rates, so obviously there's no specific time when you should begin harvesting the goodies in your EarthBox. However, in many cases the last of your fruits and vegetables will come due in the fall.
 
For those of you nearing harvest time, here are a few guidelines.

When Will My Harvest Be Ready?
Since nothing is set in stone to help you determine when produce is ready to be picked, take a good look at the original seed packet for each vegetable or fruit. It'll offer the approximate number of days from planting to harvest, and you can use that as a good (if rough) guideline. Failing that, you can also check with a local county extension agent for help; you should be able to find yours by clicking here.  

Storing Your Produce
If you take good care of your plants during the growing season and harvest their products carefully, you're likely to end up with an abundance of produce -- probably more than you can eat in a week or two. But the good news is that, if you're careful, it can be stored and preserved in such a way as to last for many months (or even years). The main factors to consider are ventilation, moisture, and temperature needs, which will vary according to the type of produce. This chart lists temperature and other storage information for various veggies and fruits.

While some produce stores well in the refrigerator, other types do best when dried and preserved in a cool, well-ventilated place. Others taste better if cooked right away, at which point you can then freeze them to be used over a longer period. As with everything else about produce, there are few rules that are common to particular fruits and vegetables, so it's a good idea to consult all the reference materials you can get your hands on. Eventually, you'll get to the point where you won't need to look it up anymore.

And of course, there's always home canning. This practice offers a safe, simple way to preserve produce of all kinds, and it can save you more than half the cost of purchasing commercially canned items -- while instilling a valuable sense of pride in your own accomplishments at providing your family with nutritious food. In any case, your canned goodies come stored in glass rather than metal, which can help preserve the flavor; glass never reacts with fruit and vegetable juices the way metal can.

Why bother canning? Because many vegetables start to go "stale" and lose their vitamins immediately upon harvest. Even if you store fresh produce in your refrigerator, it can lose up to half of its vitamins within two weeks. While the heating process used during canning destroys some of the potency of the vitamins available in fresh produce (usually one-third to one-half of vitamins A and C, thiamin, and riboflavin, for example) the process of nutritional loss is slowed down considerably thereafter, and the amounts of other vitamins are only slightly lower in canned produce compared with fresh produce. For more information about canning and its benefits, click here.

Delectable Rewards
One of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of growing your own food is being able to make wonderful meals with your produce. There are countless ways to prepare your bounty. For some mouthwatering ideas, visit the forum and go to the Recipes section.

Happy harvest!
 
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Frank DiPaolo
EarthBox
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Fresh from the Forum 
Tasty Tomato Tarte
 
fresh from the forum 3Got a lot of EarthBox tomatoes on your hands? Forum member JB of Springfield, VA recently posted a crowd-pleaser called "Tomato tarte a la francaise," which generated a lively foodie discussion in our Recipes category. Says JB,
 
"This is a recipe that never fails no matter how you make it. Plus it's simple, and every guest I've served it to has loved it. My kids, too. Good for a light meal, side dish, or snack. You'll see the measurements aren't too precise, but that's okay, you still can't go wrong. It will also make your house smell yummy. I'm making it tomorrow, so I'll try to remember to post a picture."
 
To check out (or take part in) the ensuing discussion, click here.
Retailer of the Month
Johnson's Garden Centers 
 
We're proud of our dedicated, authorized EarthBox Gardening System retailers around the country. Every month we highlight one of our valued partners, so you can learn more about them and the products they offer.

johnsonsThis month, we honor Johnson's Garden Centers of Wichita, Kansas. Johnson's is a family-owned business that has served as the area's leading garden center for over 50 years. There are now three retail locations, a wholesale yard, and a seasonal spring flower market. They also reach their customers through a loyalty card program, weekly radio and TV shows, as well as weekly e-mails and on their website. They've featured the EarthBox not only in their spring newsletter, but also in e-mails and their online shop.

Johnson's sells a full line of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and vegetables. Many of the perennials they grow themselves. They're truly a garden center for all seasons, now featuring fall decorations, pansies, mums and bulbs, and then transforming into a Christmas store for November and December -- all the while carrying a wide range of hard goods, garden accessories and gifts.
From Our Customers 
My First Pineapple!
 
MY FIRST PINEAPPLE"I'm not sure when I started this plant. The fruit appeared around March and ripened in August.

"I stripped about one to one and a half inches of leaves off the pineapple. I then put it directly in the EarthBox.  It thrived in the Earthbox. I also put the fertilizer in a strip down the middle from side to side, and didn't put any kind of cover on the EB. I water my EarthBoxes every day, but the pineapple took very little water. I also watered the leaves once in awhile, since they take water from the leaves; it required no other care. I have others in the ground growing much slower, and I have some in pots growing even slower!"
 
C. Clake,
Florida
About EarthBox 
 

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. To find out more, visit www.earthbox.com.

EarthBox® 1350 Von Storch Avenue · Scranton, PA 18509 · 1-888-445-6295