Military Bases

Creating Community Continuity Through Gardening

  • Community (new, shared purpose, instant access), speed
  • Longevity and Continuity
  • Fresh food (military supply chain is not maximized – many families go off base for fresh)
  • Multiple crops, scale up/scale down, maximize space, control
  • Shared outcomes, sense of teamwork (military culture – mission, team, self), no prior experience required
  • Those left behind – family, community, purpose
  • Benefits – fast, food, cheap, constant, control (soil on bases – suspect???)
  • Health Benefits – plus PTSD
  • 20+ years and 20+ gardens – foundation program (for Paul Chapa as well)

Eco System

As our commercial footprint continues to expand, we have begun exploring new groups that would benefit from the joys of gardening. Several people connected to Eco Garden Systems are doing things with and for our military and veterans. From guide dogs to golf clubs to support for some of the healthy issues resulting from military service, we have seen a lot of ways to engage with the military, their families (those that are left behind) and veterans. Gardening appears to be a currently under represented area – and there are many good things that can come from gardening – staring with the three reasons why we are in business:

  • Community – outsiders and service members see the different branches as “communities” – but what happens to those that are left behind? Our goal is to help get those communities focused on raised garden beds – and build a welcoming community around those beds for the new folks coming onto the base and to help bring others together for a shared purpose.
  • Sustainability – money is always an issue on base so we look to the ways that an Eco Garden Systems’ Original Garden can help. From the 20+ year lifespan to the 65% less water use to providing more fresh food for families (one challenge we have seen and heard about for on base shopping is the challenges with fresh food – with many residents going off-base to buy these products).
  • Performance – time, as they say, is money and we want to help every base resident maximize not only the production of the garden by the space provided. Our Original Garden (a raised bed garden at counter height) is 4’ x 6’ and can produce as much as a 4’ x 12’ in-ground plot. That’s performance!

Additionally, our gardens can be portable and can be moved around – allowing for reconfiguration of space. Finally, many bases are located in areas that may not be all that compatible with growing – poor soil, too dry, too wet, etc. – and an Eco Garden solves for all of that allowing food to be grown almost anywhere. With indoor grow options, perhaps that does really mean anywhere <link to time lapse>.

How long do these raised garden beds last?

With our heavy-duty construction and UV stabilizer, our gardens should last 20+ years providing a wonderful return on investment (see our section on value below). Our gardens also create flexibility to fit with the military lifestyle and also offer continuity – they are easy to use and can create a smooth transition for new residents, their families all while creating a sense of home and normalcy.

An individual garden can be quickly removed from production and moved to a new location or a new garden can be added to the existing gardens providing scalability that requires little to no soil preparation. This provides every base with the ability to configure gardens to fit the lifestyles of their branch, their service members and most important the families.

The final piece of the longevity benefit is that multiple crops can be grown in a single garden. This becomes especially important in some of the bases in the southern half of the country. When most gardeners stop for the winter (let’s be honest, winter in San Diego is very different from winter in North Dakota), an Eco Garden can still grow another crop. One of our affiliates, Nick Federoff (#ThingsGreen) has stated that this is the most compelling feature of the gardens – and one that military families can truly benefit from.

Speaking of North Dakota, our garden can also start a bit earlier (seven to 10 days prior to traditional gardens) and can go multiple weeks longer (with a cooperative sun) as the reservoir and elevated soil platform will help keep the soil warmer deeper into the growing season.

So, why is the military a focal point for Eco Garden Systems?

Besides being a series of places where gardens can add community value, the concept of “Mission, Team, Self” is embedded in who we are. Our mission started with serving an aging population and we have evolved into including those with physical limitations and have now ended up with creating access to everyone – access to an outdoor physical activity, access to fresh food, access to others with a shared purpose and access to information, knowledge and wisdom that can help you down the path to becoming a Master Gardener.

We have also found that gardening is often deemed too hard or too time consuming – especially for groups where change is a constant. Well, an Eco Garden could not be easier – 45 minutes to setup, add readily available growing material (peat moss, soil), add water to the water reservoir and you are ready to go. If everything is ready, you are about two hours away from having a completely planted garden – that will almost take care of itself.

Finally, our team has had experience with relocation to new and strange places and has gone through the stress of those “left behind” – spouse or significant others who relocate with their partner and then the partner is off on a mission (or an extended business trip) leaving the other partner alone – and not yet connected to the new community.

Gardening is a universal language – one that transcends culture, language, rank and any other differences between people. Plants don’t care about anything except the elements they need to thrive – soil, water, sunlight and oxygen. An Eco Garden can help maximize all of them – and connect people on a more personal level that enhances the concept of Team.

Are there health benefits to gardening?

Absolutely – we recently posted a long-form review of a multi-year study on the health benefits of gardening. The results show that physical well-being and mental well-being can all benefit from being outdoors and working in a garden. We have also seen studies that praise the positive impact gardening can have on PTSD (part of the mental well-being piece) and on other brain-related maladies (Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury, etc.). It has been found that a shared sense of purpose (community again) combined with some physical activity and a little dirt therapy can have lasting (3+ months after the activity ends) positive impacts for people of all ages.

We are on a very tight budget – how can we afford this?

You are correct – our gardens are an investment – a 20+ year investment that will pay for itself over and over. From more crops per year to faster speed to maturity to using 65% less water, these are all measures your that can be validated. Additionally, the ability to build a welcoming community that can be both large (20+ gardens) and intimate (families can share a subset of gardens to not only help each other and watch over each other but to explore new things to share) is almost priceless in terms of creating a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose and a sense of “home” no matter how far away from home your are or how far away yu are form your loved ones. We even have a page that explores the value of the Eco Garden raised bed garden system.

The Eco Gardens Systems “Eco System”

What makes our product unique on the market? We have compiled an entire segment on the Eco Garden Eco System.

Finally, our product is proudly fabricated and assembled in the United States – in fact, our plant is located in a small town in Central Minnesota – creating sustainable jobs in manufacturing, order processing, supply chain and fulfillment.

If you own or work with a senior care center, we want to work with you to get our gardens working for you – to provide the best life-experience to your guests, peace of mind for their families and a community building activity for everyone.

Where can I download a brochure?

We have created a brochure especially for Community Centers like yours who want to embrace gardening. View our eMagazine Eco Garden System for Military Bases for specs and benefits for your industry. Contact us to talk about your needs or place your order!

Our Partners

    Shop Now

    The original Eco Garden will transform the way you garden. Quick and simple to setup, sustainable, and efficient — this garden is for any level of gardener.

    Who We Are

    Started in 2016, Eco Garden Systems has a long history of gardening, gardening innovation and gardening for seniors.

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