Watch this video that few have seen. It features a Google chef and a local master gardener from Santa Clara County. Their presentation of the benefits of EarthBox gardening is persuasive.
If you have an open, inquiring mind, you will likely wonder as I do why the news about EarthBox gardening and sub-irrigation (aka self-watering) is virtually ignored by the mainstream media, USDA extension program agents and urban botanical institutions.
It is a testimony to our antiquated horticultural education that is stuck in an out-of-date dirt gardening paradigm inappropriate to urban living. It is quite amazing that we have so many academics with master’s degrees and doctorates that apparently do not understand the fundamentals of capillary action and plant physiology, no less urban living.
If you think I have some connection to EarthBox, you are mistaken. They just happen to have the most commercially visible product at this time. I have no connection whatsoever to EarthBox. My advocacy is simply about growing food and feeding people in the city using the most environmentally sound and productive methods available.
Anyone can easily prove the following for themselves, no institutional help required. Simply plant one or more SIP boxes or buckets this season and you will see with your own eyes.
Benefits of sub-irrigation planter (SIP) gardening including the EarthBox, Tomato Success Kit, Garden Patch Grow Box, EarthTainer and all other properly made DIY SIP planters. There is no patent on capillary action.
Increased production – SIP vegetable gardening will out-produce all other methods including in-ground and raised beds with drip irrigation.
Safe food production – Sub-irrigation box, bed and bucket planters will produce contaminant free food. Unlike dirt gardening in the city, there is no exposure to native soil contaminants.
Water conservation – All of the water (and nutrients) go directly to the plants. There is no wasteful drainage.
Portability – SIPs can be located anywhere there is adequate sunlight regardless of access to tillable land. Personal, neighborhood and community gardens can be located temporarily and easily moved when necessary.
Sustainability – SIPs and the soil mix in them is reusable season after season. Yes, there is an initial cost but they are not consumables. Currently, there are business plans based on a 7-year useful life. Time will tell whether this is an accurate useful life.