Planting gardens to celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day gardens

BRISTOL, Va. - How did you celebrate Earth Day? Did you plant something?

Residents of Sapling Grove Apartments sure did. They planted themselves a garden in a box. Not an ordinary box, but what's known as an 'earthbox,' a small garden on wheels.

For older residents with limited space to grow their own garden there's the earthbox, a self contained almost worry free way to grow you own. "It's a special watering bottomed process and it really almost takes care of itself during the summer. The people are able to plant broccoli and bell peppers or zucchini and other kinds of squash. It's a great deal on wheels as some people describe it," says Marty Huber with Appalachian Sustainable Development's Healthy Families program.

It's more than that to Sue Alexander who told us she has dirt in her veins and its a way to reconnect to her farming roots. "It comes from many years of living on dairy farms, vegetable farms and having our own personal gardens," Sue said.

"It gives people with maybe a disability issue or they don't have space an opportunity to grow their own garden," Huber adds.

As for Sue, she carefully picked what she was putting in her earthbox. "I've got broccoli, I've got cabbage, I've got dill, I've got lettuce, I've got cucumbers. A whole salad," she said.

"The residents don't have a place where they can really get their hands in the dirt and grow some vegetables and this is providing an opportunity for folks who aren't particularly able to even get down and around and plant vegetables," Dave Baldwin with the Bristol Housing Authority says.

These earthboxes and volunteers are part of Appalachian Sustainable Development's, Healthy Families, Family Farms program.

They've partnered with the housing authority's Find A Way program so the residents can have fresh vegetables right from their front porch. And who knows, this may be the year for a bumper crop. "Last year one of the earthboxes produced over 40 bell peppers in the summers and it's just a great way for people to grow their own produce," Huber proudly announced.

And a great way to celebrate Earth Day by getting in touch with the one thing that has always given us life -- Mother Earth.

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