I HIGHLY recomment Earthboxes. I have some that are 10 years old. The planting mixture Mel Bartholomew recommends for his square foot gardens is what I also recommend for the containers. His recipe is 1/3 MIXED compost (several different types blended together like chicken manure, cow manure, earthworm castings, etc.), 1/3 vermiculite (You need to get a giant bag from a landscape supply place--last I bought was a bag almost as big as me, but very lightweight and it was about $12.), and 1/3 peat moss (get a big compressed bale from Home Depot or somewhere). Mel says if you have good compost, you don't need additional fertilizer. Earthboxes say to add 2 cups cheap chemical fertilizer or organic fertilizer.
"Garden Patch Grow Boxes" are similar to "Earthboxes. See http://www.insideurbangreen.org/garden-patch-grow-box/ and www.earthbox.com
You tube also has some "do it yourself Earthbox type planter" videos for self-watering planters made out of 5 gallon buckets. You have to invest in a few tools, even if you get the buckets for free. Here's an example http://greenroofgrowers.blogspot.com/2008/07/how-make-two-bucket-sub-irrigated.html and www.globalbuckets.org
I really like the Tendergreen cucumber and Burpee's "Burpless"--picked small, these are much like the small, almost seedless "persian" type cucumbers I get from the internaitonal market. I really don't like the English or standard American cucumbers much.
I usually grow okra, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, strawberries, lettuce, eggplant, and maybe something else...squash vine borers always kill my squash and cucumbers before I have harvested much and I think injecting the stems with Bt and planting a successive crops every 3 weeks is the answer for a continuous harvest.
It is wonderful to grow and eat your own food! It is also therapeutic and a rich, ongoing educational experience for the kids!