|Earthbox tomatoes at 57 days|
Yes, the big garden was usually a pain from the tilling, to the backbreaking planting, weeding, and harvesting. When the weather was hot and buggy outside, weeding or harvesting the vegetables was the last thing I wanted to be doing as a kid. Of course, I had no idea how much I would miss it one day.
Later in life when I was in college and beyond, I found out that vegetables in the stores did not match up to what I grew up eating. They were either not ripe enough or the taste just wasn't as good. The prices on some of these in the store for the quality is hard to comprehend. Sometimes in our local grocery stores, it is hard to find produce in stock, let alone vegetables that are good quality.
As I eat more and more good quality vegetables that aren't frozen, processed or cooked and fried in butter, I appreciate the taste of them to a much greater degree. The more one gets to a point where you are eating freshness and quality, the more you can tell the difference. To me, there is nothing like eating something fresh from the garden where the taste just makes your taste buds dance with ecstasy.
To solve the backbreaking work, we started enjoying the use of an earthbox to grow vegetables. There is no way I would not use these now. If you are not familiar with them, go to earthbox.com and check them out. No, I don't get paid to say that. They are just a wonderful growing system that surpasses anything else you do.
An earthbox gives you the right environment to maximize the growth of the plant. With the water reservoir in the bottom of it, the plants can take up as much water as they need. The soil mixture (not the same as potting mix), allows the plant to wick the water up, but not become saturated where oxygen in the soil would be diminished. It is basically a closed system, so you're not wasting water and there are no weeds to pull. Because they are above ground, it is easier to get to them and monitor them.
If you follow the directions on the earthbox system, it is very fool proof. The dolomite goes into the soil and helps balance the pH while the fertilizer is added so that it gives the plants all they need through the growing season. After that, you add water to the fill tube and any excess water runs out the overflow in the earthbox. The only thing you could do wrong is not adding water to them, but there is no way to over water these things. Of course, patience is also required for them to grow and mature. When the growing season is over, replanting is simple and easy.
You can most likely see that the earthbox is one of my favorite things. I don't think there is anything on the market like it. While I realize there are do-it-yourself people out there that make a resemblance of this system, our earthboxes are going on 5 years now and still going strong. We've used it for two growing seasons each year and there is no sign of it giving out any time soon.
The best part of this system is the vegetables that we get to enjoy when they are ready. They are so much more full, alive, and tasty then anything you can buy anywhere. We know what goes into them, unlike the food supply that tends to have difficulties these days in our country. The satisfaction of knowing you grew something that you are eating, means a great deal to me. I actually find it sad that we have gotten away from a society that gardens, because I think there is so much more we can do for our health by what we eat, instead of just eating anything out there.
Food quality is important to us and we try to do everything we can now to eat in the best possible way that we can. In addition, the taste of homegrown vegetables surpasses anything you can buy in a store, especially when you can walk outside and pick it fresh off of the plant. I'm also a person that just loves to connect with the earth and planting a garden is one of the ways that I do this. Of course, we all know that what is good for the body, is good for the mind.
Here's a couple of pictures of my earthboxes. The tomatoes are at the top of this blog post, and below is cucumbers and sweet corn. These are about 57 days after planting. Tomatoes were planted from seedlings and the cucumbers and sweet corn were planted from seed around Feb 24, 2012.
Cucumbers - 57 days
Sweet Corn - 57 days
Fresh Vegetables from the Earthbox Garden on April 21, 2012
Blog Post And Images (c) 4/21/12 Don Shetterly - use and reprint by permission only http://www.donshetterly.com You are welcomed to share the link to this blog post, but ask for for permission before reprinting this article. Thanks!