I’ve been using earth box wicking beds for several years now. They work, but can be expensive as growing area increases. They can also be time consuming to fill a large number of them. The pictures here show some wicking beds being built out of totes that are cut in half.
This are were building during an internship at PRI Jordan. They were placed on the south side of the main building. The first layer is gravel that holds the fill tube in place. Then a layer of shade cloth is placed over the gravel to reduce soil from entering the gravel. Then soil, worm casting and finally compost and plants. You just put water into the fill tubes until it comes out the overflow tube.
In the Knoxville area used food grade totes can be bought in the $25 to $100 price range. When cut in half that would give you a 3×8 foot grow bed.