Grow Your Own Greens and Save

An  urban farming workshop using the water-frugal, simple-to-use EarthBox – one of the United Nations choices for urban food production – will be held 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 26 at 935 Union St., at the corner of 10th Street in West Oakland. These growing boxes are fully self-contained and require only weekly, not daily, maintenance. It is possible to grow 50 pounds of tomatoes and 40 pounds of zucchinis and cucumbers as well as mounds of collard greens and dinosaur kale (the most nutritious kale) in a box that measures 30 inches long, 14 inches deep and 12 inches high (that’s less than two cubic feet). These boxes are ideal for apartment dwellers, condo residents and those living in gardenless quarters because the containers can be placed on driveways, decks, stairs, even polluted grounds. Earth Boxes are used around the world, especially in areas with uncertain grounds and drought conditions, because they require only 20 to 40 percent of the water in comparison to conventional in-ground farming. Thousands of these boxes have been distributed by the United Nations in Africa, Central America, India and even dense East Coast cities of the United States. This workshop is both entertaining and fully hands-on. Come prepared to work with potting soil, fertilizer and starter plants. Those who have taken past classes have become enthusiastic advocates of this new type of farming. The cost of the workshop is $25 per person. Earth Boxes will be available for purchase afterwards for $49. This comes with the box, watering tube, a platform for the soil and two covers. Box users will need to supply their own potting mix, fertilizer and vegetables.  Demonstration boxes with soil, vegetables and fertilizer will be available as a complete package for $75 at the end of class. Sign up at the Upinde ROOTS website: or at 935 Union St., at the corner of 10th Street in West Oakland.
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