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In This Issue
EarthBox Education
Fresh From the Forum
Retailer of the Month
From Our Customers
About EarthBox
EarthBox Education:
Interlachen Elementary's
EarthBox Garden
 EDUCATION
 
Rodney Foshee, an Interlachen Elementary School Garden Club Member, looks under the leaves of the crops to check for pests (like aphids) that like to hide from the sun.
 
 
I started an EarthBox garden at our school to combat childhood obesity and diabetes. In my 25 years working in school cafeterias, I have seen children get heavier and heavier. I wanted to introduce them to healthy eating habits early. 
 
I decided to use EarthBoxes after a neighbor showed me how easy they are to use, and how highly productive they are. The kids light up when they talk about the EarthBox. They want to show everyone what they are growing. The principal, assistant principal, teacher's aides, teachers, cafeteria aides and parents all work with the children in the EarthBox garden to grow bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, cucumbers, collard greens, lettuce, squash, tomatoes, zipper peas and Blue Lake green beans. 
 
I am not going to say that I am going to cure the world's problems, but I am watching children learn about, grow and eat healthy food!


Jean Robberson, Cafeteria Manager
Interlachen Elementary
Interlachen, Florida 
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Dear EarthBox Customer,

Did you know that next to the potato, the tomato is the most popular crop grown in the U.S.A.? Fortunately, it's simple to set up your EarthBox to grow tomatoes. All you have to do is follow these instructions to produce a healthy, happy plant with lots of fruit.
 
First of all, prepare your EarthBox according to the directions included, and be sure to incorporate two cups of dolomite with the soil before planting your seeds or transplants. If you're not familiar with growing tomatoes from seed, we recommend you start with transplants from a reputable garden center.  
 
Plant Deep
If you start with transplants, be sure to pull several leaves off at the bottom of each tomato plant, then bury the denuded part of the stem. It will actually take root, creating a more extensive rooting system, so you'll end up with a larger, healthier plant. Note: this trick is only for tomato plants!
 
One Time Only
After setting up and planting your tomatoes, water them from above (through the cover) with about two cups of water, to help set the roots. Then press firmly around the plants and above the fertilizer strip. This will eliminate any air pockets around the roots, and ensure that all the fertilizer in the strip is making contact with the potting mix for best results.
 
Tomato Basics
Tomatoes come in two types: determinate or indeterminate. Determinate tomatoes are shrub-like. They're best for people who can their tomatoes, or prefer many tomatoes at once. Indeterminate tomatoes are vine-like and produce more foliage; they produce fewer tomatoes at once, but will continue producing right up until the first frost.
 
You'll also need to know how many days it will take your chosen variety of tomato plant to reach maturity. Read the back of the seed packet, or check the insert that comes with your transplant. Either will provide valuable information about the variety, including its type and the number of days required for maturity. For the most effective use of your EarthBox, choose one early variety and one late variety. 
 
The March 2008 issue of Organic Gardening includes a feature on tomatoes that they've tested in the various 'difficult' regions of the U.S. They came up with the best varieties for various conditions, as listed below.
 
Short Season:
   Earthly Wonder (determinate)............. 55 days
   Fireworks (indeterminate)................. 60 days
   Glacier (determinate)....................... 58 days
   Stupice (indeterminate).................... 52 days
 
Cold Nights:
   Bush Beefsteak (determinate)............. 62 days
   Early Girl (indeterminate).................. 52 days
   Yellow Pear (indeterminate)............... 78 days
 
Heat and Drought Tolerant:
   Green Grape (determinate)................ 70 days
   Heartland (indeterminate)................. 68 days
   Porter (indeterminate)..................... 65 days
 
Heat and Humidity Tolerant:
   Brandywine Sudduth (indeterminate)..... 85 days
   Celebrity (determinate).................... 70 days
   Crimson Carmello (indeterminate)........ 70 days
   Homestead (determinate)................. 80 days
 
Any Questions?
Whether or not you're experienced at growing tomatoes, please don't hesitate to ask questions if you need to. You have several options for getting help:
  • Join our free Forum and post your questions there. 
  • Ask questions at your local garden center. They're usually knowledgeable about the plants they sell. 
  • Contact your Local Cooperative Extension for information about growing tomatoes in your specific area, and about which varieties grow best. Your county extension agent can also help you identify a disease or insect and recommend a solution. Ask them for links to their website.
Happy and healthy harvests to you!

Sincerely,
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Frank DiPaolo
EarthBox
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Fresh from the Forum 
Favorite Tomatoes for the EarthBox?
 
fresh from the forum 3"We took the plunge today. I was telling my husband how much I wanted to try EarthBoxes. Then we ran across them at a local nursery. So we bought our first box, which will be for lettuce. I plan to get a few more in the coming weeks. I want to designate just a couple of boxes to tomatoes. I have grown tomatoes in the past in containers, with mixed success. I have had great success with Sweet Million cherry tomatoes. I have had decent success with Roma paste tomatoes.
 
"So...what varieties have really done well in your EarthBoxes?"
 
Go to the Forum to find out what varieties of tomatoes are being recommended by other EarthBox users.
Retailer of the Month 
Valley View Farms
 
We at EarthBox value our partnerships with our authorized EarthBox Gardening System retailers. There are nurseries and garden centers throughout the country that carry our systems; some even offer seminars and workshops on getting the most out of your EarthBox. This month we want to acknowledge Valley View Farms in Cockeysville, Maryland, a well established garden center in the region.
   
retailer of the monthOwned and operated by the father/son team of Billy and Andy Foard, Valley View Farms has grown into one of the largest and most complete garden centers in the mid-Atlantic region. They carry a wide array of trees, shrubs, vegetable and flowering annual and perennial plants, planting accessories, patio furniture and water garden products. They host seminars and special events each month, with the topics ranging from bonsai plants to Halloween make-up. 
 
Stop by and visit: Valley View Farms is located at 11035 York Road, Cockeysville, Maryland.  Their phone number is 410-527-0700.
From Our Customers 
Chicago Sunshine
 
"Well, this is my first try with the EarthBoxes. I live in Chicago and have a roof deck with a section that isn't covered with decking, so I decided to plant a garden. 
 
FROM CUSTOMERSThese get full sun all day, so I think they should do well. I went with tomatoes in four boxes, Romaine lettuce, Red Leaf lettuce, broccoli, onions, strawberries, peppers (three bell, three hot), eggplant (one Japanese, one regular), cucumbers and zucchini (both in one box)."
 
Tyrus
Chicago
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.

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