We got these totes for free from a local organic produce delivery service. Some had broken sides and a few had broken bottoms, so between the two it worked out nicely. These are an earth box/sub irrigated planter design. The bottom tote holds water, and the top tote has a well cut into it. I used a plastic yogurt container and plastic flower pots to create the inserts. This dips down into the water in the first bucket, with the moisture being sucked up as needed. In theory it should water the whole planter. The pipe on the side is to fill the water reservoir.
Landscape fabric keeps dirt from clogging the holes in the well bottoms. These are the half-height bins so even with dirt in them they were manageable to move.
We had the plastic tubing on hand but if I'd had to buy something for this I would have tried bamboo. I think a nice thick stalk would look beautiful!
I did buy the coffee bags for $1.50 each and the plants which were about $3 each. I planted mint, basil, oregano, thyme and chives. I have a few more totes so I think I will try some greens too.