(Why am I not yet raking in the big dough, or at least some
free product, with my personal consumer experiences?  Damnit!)

I’m trying out Earthboxes
this year for my garden. Every year I grow a few batches of heirloom tomatoes,
and this year I’m also doing some peppers and carrots.  My dad always had an organic garden (which
back in the day just meant he didn’t spray for bugs and I had to shovel manure)
and if you grow up used to the taste of home-grown tomatoes it is awfully hard
to switch to store-bought.  (Except, of
course, for all those places that are now selling heirlooms… but who wants to
pay those prices?!  I’m talking to you
Whole Foods with your “on-the-vine” “organic” pricing!  Psshhaw! 
I mean, a pack of seeds costs, like, $1.50.)

(Since the economy is still sucking I find I’m having my
usual knee-jerk, survivalist reaction, including watching pennies and feeling
like I should get in the habit of growing my own food.  Maybe start my own oil refinery, too.)

Anyway, my big dollars went to the Earthboxes this year,
thinking if they work out they’ll be a good “investment”.  I bought three of them.  I have two tomato plants each (per the
instructions) in two of them, and two pepper plants in another.  In general, the Earthboxes are supposed to
increase your yield while saving a ton of water (which appeals to my
environmental side, despite the oil refinery comment) and general fuss.   I’ve already bitched about the no fuss

First observation, I am filling the boxes up with water
every day, twice a day when it gets
really hot (above 90°).  Not the “once
every other day” the instructions say. 
Second, I figured out right quick these things are not meant to hold two heirloom tomato plants.  Heirloom tomatoes are not generally those
neat and tidy plants that you saw for years in gardens everywhere; the Big Boys
and the Early Girls, your general Romas. 
Heirlooms can be monster plants (which might also be why I’m going
through more water).  Observe.

 (NOOO! Don’t eat my son!)DSC03085

That being said, the plants DO look beautiful!  They’re huge, and there are a ton of flowers
and green tomatoes on them.  Shortly
after I took this picture the whole thing fell over (note – next year skip the
casters.  Those casters were a little
rickety anyway).  I am now holding up
this particular planter with a rock.  The
other two planters are doing fine so far because the plants are smaller, but I
expect to have similar problems with the other tomato plants soon. 


DSC03091 with text

For next year, I think I’ll just put in one heirloom plant
per Earthbox.  They’re doing a decent job
but just don’t seem to have the capacity for the non run-of-the-mill plant
varieties.  Be warned. 

             – the

P.S.  I’m growing
(just in case you were wondering) one of each of Sun Sugar, Black Cherry,
Magnum, Sweet 100, and one I think is a Black Plum.  I had three volunteer tomato plants come up
from my garden last year, which I scrambled to put them into other pots I
had.  Even the one mature volunteer is a


DSC03089 copy

Two of the volunteer tomatoes are too small to even
tentatively identify yet.  I don’t
remember what the peppers are – they’re for Keen (I don’t eat peppers).  Plus, I have a little garden for Chance with
a mix of carrots and flowers.