It is arguable that the EarthBox company does as much or more than the USDA Extension program to foster the education of children about modern sub-irrigated planter systems (SIPs).
It takes money to sustain programs like this and EarthBox is not a large company. We should take this into account the next time we grumble about the price of EarthBoxes. They are doing good work on our behalf.
Read how the NYS Department of Health is using Earthboxes to teach children how to grow some of their own food. It's from a recent EarthBox newsletter. Every child in America should know how to grow food in SIPs. It's a matter of personal food security.
Mobile Community Garden Pilot Project Spans the Generations
EarthBox growers, like vegetables, come in all sizes. In Albion County, New York, toddlers, middle and high school students, and adults are getting their hands dirty in their EarthBoxes.
Recently, the New York State Department of Health funded an initiative called Healthy Communities Capacity Building. In Albion County, children just old enough to stand are already learning how to grow at P. Raising Kids Child Care Center, as are their pre-teen friends. Middle and high school students at Liberty Partnerships/LIFE Program are bonding with each other as they grow vegetables in their boxes.
Adult members of Drop-In Center in Albion are also successfully growing produce: in fact, they're already enjoying the first fruits of their labor for dinner!
"We're a mostly rural county surrounded by great farmland, yet many people don't know how to start their own gardens," notes Nola Goodrich-Kresse, Public Health Coordinator of Albion, New York. "Many of the participants in the Pilot Project tend to eat processed foods, not having experienced a garden that produces healthy foods. Taking a different approach to the community garden concept by providing the materials without having to be concerned about location, tilling/hoeing the land, excessive weeding, etc. makes the Mobile Community Garden process more exciting for participants."
Each participating group is encouraged to join the EarthBox Forum as well our Facebook page, in order to share their projects. After the completion of this pilot project, the initiative organizers hope to find interest in and funding for other EarthBox growing projects.
We'd like to salute Albion County for their sterling efforts to bring the joys of growing fresh produce to all age levels of their populace! Great job, folks!
For information on starting an EarthBox community project of your own, click here or contact our Education Department at 1-800-821-8838, ext. 8348 or 8369.