Brick City Urban Farms began using EarthBoxes when they created an urban farm (with the help of the newly elected mayor) on an unused parcel of land in Newark. The soil on this plot was polluted and unsuitable for growing and instead of going through the expensive exercise of treating the soil, they used EarthBoxes, a self contained earth-filled plastic box covered with a flexible plastic top. Cuts are made in the plastic top to make it possible to plant seeds and small plants in the self-contained growing medium.
The project extended onto a near by warehouse roof providing evidence that the EarthBoxes could be used on a wide variety of sites. Since then Brick City Urban Farms has become the Garden State Urban Farmers and have begun a hydroponic greenhouse in Orange, NJ.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The project, which is adjacent to a school and drug rehabilitation center, makes strong links with the community through educational programs and local volunteering. Brick City Urban Farms secured an exchange with the nearby school, who provided water in return for weekly educational classes for the students. A training program is also provided for those in relation with the rehabilitation center, who once graduated from the program, are often hired by the farm. High in social value, this model uses containers to avoid problems from potentially polluted post-industrial or inner-city sites.