EarthBox Community Garden Sprouts in Florida
INDIAN SHORES, FL—The EarthBox® has become the world’s most popular sub-irrigated growing container because it makes gardening easier and increases vegetable and herb harvests. Now the nation’s first city-sponsored EarthBox Community Garden has sprouted in Indian Shores, Florida.
The Indian Shores EarthBox Community Garden was officially opened on July 19 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Mayor Jim Lawrence, Vice-Mayor Joan Herndon, Town Engineer Bob Brotherton of Brotherton Engineering, Inc., and volunteer garden coordinator Mike Hackerson.
This is not a typical community garden. Instead of small garden plots with vegetables and other plants growing in the ground, all of the planting and growing at the new community garden in Indian Shores is happening in EarthBox® containers. The first phase of the garden includes 45 dark green EarthBoxes, and additional EarthBoxes will be added in phases.
Because the community of Indian Shores has a high percentage of seniors, some of the EarthBoxes sit atop stands which make it possible to garden without bending over. The stands also make it easier to garden for those in wheelchairs.
“I am really happy to get this community garden built,” said Jim Lawrence, Mayor of Indian Shores. “There is a need for this type of garden. Condo residents don’t normally have the opportunity to grow vegetables.”
To participate in the community garden, residents purchase one or more of the EarthBoxes already set up in the garden by the city. The EarthBoxes in the garden sell for $69.55 each, or $112.35 each with a stand. Each EarthBox® comes with potting soil, so problems associated with the local sandy soil are bypassed. Automatic watering for each EarthBox® is provided by the city, and there is no additional space rental fee. Once a resident purchases an EarthBox®, he or she is responsible for obtaining seeds or plants to put into the container.
One of the reasons the City of Indian Shores chose to open an EarthBox® garden rather than a traditional, in-ground community garden was the city’s goal to create a “zero discharge” garden. Because EarthBoxes contain their own water reservoir, the container is designed to be a closed-loop system that uses water and fertilizer extremely efficiently. Therefore, there is no discharge of water or fertilizer into the neighboring area.
“We are delighted to partner with the City of Indian Shores to create the world’s first city-sponsored EarthBox® community garden,” said Frank DiPaolo, General Manager of EarthBox®. “EarthBoxes are virtually maintenance-free and ideal for beginner and expert gardeners alike. We hope this garden is the first of many EarthBox® community gardens sponsored by cities across the country.”