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Gardeners Wanted: O


No Green Thumb Needed


Cherry tomatoes grown in the Garden Anywhere Box are ripe for the picking. Photos by Amanda Lester


By Amanda Lester


n South Peebly Road in Newalla, Okla., there is a yellow sign that says “Garden Anywhere Boxes.” As you turn into the long snaky driveway, you see the box Larry Pierce takes with him to shows. At fi rst glance, it looks like a tote with a black plastic bag over it with celery growing out of it, but there is more to it. Larry Pierce and his wife, Letitia, have been box gardening for almost 10 years. Letitia was about ready to give up on gardening because she could not keep anything alive. She said having to haul the hose to water the garden was a strenuous task because Larry was gone working a lot. She voiced her concerns to Larry who was innovative in creat- ing the Garden Anywhere Box watering system. The couple is in the process of getting a patent for this system, and Letitia has been happily gar- dening in the current design for the last three years. The fi rst box had PVC pipes sticking out the top to water the boxes, but through trial and error, Larry invented the current watering system. “I had a brown thumb. I killed every plant I had


Larry Pierce created the Garden Anywhere Box watering system to make gardening more convenient.


ever planted, until Larry created the watering system. Some plants we have now have been growing for three years,” Letitia said. Luc Dockery, Oklahoma Electric Cooperative member, is a neighbor to Larry and Letitia. He was curious about their signs and their boxes. They share a driveway and Dockery would see the Pierces coming and going to different shows. His curiosity got the best of him and he asked Larry about the signs and the boxes. Larry gave him a snippet of celery and talked to him


about the benefi ts of gardening in the box and now he has his own garden. Dockery likes the boxes because they are easy to care for and convenient. “I wanted a garden, but I did not want the main- tenance that goes along with it,” Dockery said. “It is just a tub you garden out of, but the watering system is genius.” These boxes can be used if you have an apartment or lots of land. They are weed-proof and self-watering— just hook them to a hose or a rain barrel. The boxes use 70 percent less water than conventional watering procedures and for those whose wells are run by elec- tricity, this equates to savings. The basis of the gardening system is not aquaponics, nor hydroponics, nor a box full of dirt. The plants are planted on top of a shelf with potting soil, fertilizer, and under a plastic sheet. The watering system runs through tubes and connectors under the shelf inside and the potting soil and roots take up the water, sim- ilar to the water table underground. The Pierces do not use conventional pesticides so bees can pollinate their plants. Garden Anywhere Boxes could be made organic by using organic fertilizer and organic potting soil. They can be planted with whatever plant a per- son could want. The Pierces have a variety of plants


including red cotton, peppers (many varieties), summer moss, watermelon, lavender basil, pumpkins, tomatoes and eggplant. Letitia has tried many different combinations of plants throughout the years and has not found one that will not grow in the boxes. The watering system in the boxes can help reduce water use. These would be great for anyone who wants a garden, but does not want the high main- tenance that comes with one. To fi nd out more or to purchases boxes, visit www.gardenanywherebox.com.


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