• Check Garden Soil For Proper Nutrients After Heavy Winter Rains - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at

  • After a rainy winter, now is the time to take steps to make sure garden and landscape soil is ready for spring planting.

    Heavy rains can leach out important nutrients from topsoil. Without the proper nutrients, plants and trees can't grow to their potential. The ideal garden soil should be dark and crumbly to the touch. If it's not, you'll need to prep the soil before planting.

    Add compost with nitrogen and the proper pH balance. Your local garden center has compost for all types of soil. If you have clay soil, you want compost that will keep soil loose and workable. For sandy soil, select compost that adds structure to the soil, usually with organic humus. For soil somewhere in between, all-purpose garden soil conditioners work fine. Because of topsoil erosion,  mix compost into the first few inches of soil around trees, shrubs, flowers and ground cover.

    While rain followed by warm weather is good for plant growth, the combination also awakens invasive species, many of which have been dormant during the drought. If unchecked, these weeds can quickly take over your yard. Pull them while still small and the ground moist and then adding a two-to-three inch layer of mulch to suppress any new growth. Mulch will also stop future water erosion and during the hot summer months, mulch will keep the ground cool and hold in moisture.

    Residents will  generate more organic recyclables this year. With everything green and growing, you might want to consider requesting a second green waste barrel from your waste hauler. Agromin will turn those materials into compost in about 60 days. The compost will then be ready for use by farmers, landscapers and gardeners--and the growing cycle will begin again.

    For more gardening tips, go to www.agromin.com.

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  • Agromin CEO Bill Camarillo Interviewed on 805Connect - Friday, February 24, 2017 at

    Agromin CEO Bill Camarillo was recently interviewed on 805Connect. To listen, go to http://bit.ly/2lNDs8n. Here's an overview of the conversation from 805Connect.

    Everyone wants green grass, not tall grass

    Bill Camarillo is the CEO of Agromin; a pioneer in the sustainable management of biodegradable resources. He talked with Mark and Patrick and presented a master class in soil and science.
    This wide-ranging conversation covered a lot of ground including:
    • Learn what a waste stream is and how much we cavalierly waste resources
    • How he managed to get 4 degrees while being a Marine, including an MBA from University of Redlands
    • What are "fugitive emissions" – hint: methane
    • Why 200 types of soil mixes are not enough
    • What is the perfect soil? It depends
    • The green grass/tall grass quote stems from a conversation related to a new produce, Turf Rescue. Amazing story behind its development. Pay attention if you have a lawn
    • How extremes create opportunities for innovation
    • "We chase carbon."
    • How his business is all about science
    • Book recommendation: The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t  Work and what To Do About It. There’s an excellent management lesson here for entrepreneurs which speaks to your role as Visionary, Technician or Organizer and why a balanced view of yourself is critical
    • How it works at Agromin – how they do their jobs and the challenges the business presents on a daily basis
    • One thing he thinks about a lot is how to make the business go faster. Great explanation of how long it takes nature to break down organic waste vs. how technology can speed it up 
    • Bill’s a client of Tolman & Wiker Insurance, one of our sponsors, and he spoke at length about the challenges his business faces from a risk management point of view. The biggest problem is describing the business. Are they Mining, Waste, a Nursery? Or Agriculture? The answer is yes.
    •  "We marry art and science together" how Bill describes what they do at Agromin
    • Love this quote at the end of the show
                "We sell responsibility"

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  • Camarillo Boy Scout Earns Eagle Scout Distinction in Record Time - at

  • Tyler Viola and his parents/Camarillo Acorn

    Tyler Viola began his Boy Scout career much later than most, but with hard work and dedication he earned his Eagle Scout honors in record time:  he refurbished the bocce ball court at the Veterans Home of California in Saticoy. Agromin was happy to help--we donated the decomposed granite that Tyler and his team applied to the courts.

    A great article on Tyler and his efforts appeared in the February 24 Camarillo Acorn. Here's a link to the article: http://bit.ly/2lRSzOw.

    Congratulations Tyler!

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  • Pew Research Study Finds Social Norms Shape Recycling Views - Thursday, January 5, 2017 at

  • An article in the December issue of Biocycle reports the findings of a Pew Research survey that found social norms shape how we think about recycling. 

    According to the study, 28 percent of Americans say they live in areas that strongly encourage recycling while 22 percent say they do not. The rest of Americans are somewhere in the middle.

    Not surprisingly, in a Columbia study cited in the Pew report, California, with its potent recycling policies and messaging, had the highest recovery rates for municipal solid waste in the nation (53.4 percent) followed by Maine (51.5 percent) and Washington (50.1 percent). States with the lowest rates were Oklahoma (3.7 percent), Alaska (4.5 percent) and Mississippi (4.8 percent).

    Bottom line: when recycling is seen as a priority, the public responds by recycling more. That means it's important that we keep getting the word out that recycling saves valuable resources and helps protect the environment. This effort is making an impact. An EPA study included in the Pew report shows that the amount of waste Americans generate each day has fallen from 4.7 pounds per day in 2006 to 4.4 pounds in 2013. Americans are now recycling or composting 1.51 pounds of waste each day. That's good news!

    To read the full Pew Research report, click here.

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  • New Year Brings New Gardening Opportunities - Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at

  • While January and winter weather means an end to gardening activities in many parts of the United States, it is prime time to plant in southern California.

    Plant fruit trees: A variety of bare root fruit trees are at nurseries ready to be planted in January. Varieties include apricot, blueberries, plum, apple, pear, peach and raspberries trees. Give the trees a boost by adding organic compost planting mix to the soil to increase soil aeration and to keep in moisture.

    Add Artichokes: Add artichoke plants to your garden. Plant them 4 feet apart. They start their growing process in winter and begin sprouting artichoke heads in spring. These hardy, perennial vegetables can produce artichokes year after year.

    Plant Garlic Cloves: Separate cloves from a garlic bulb. Plant them with the pointy part up the clove up--and about 7 to 8 inches deep. Garlic plants will soon poke their heads from the soil and grow during winter. They can easily withstand cold winter nights. The new garlic bulbs with their juicy cloves will be ready for harvest in late spring or early summer.

    Keep Applying Mulch To Cut Down On Weeds: Every rainfall (no matter how infrequent) means more weeds in the garden. Weeds seem to go more quickly than any vegetable or flower plant. To keep weeds under control, make sure you have a several-inch layer of mulch wherever weeds may appear. If weeds are already taking root, remove them before covering the area with mulch.

    Plant Wildflowers From Seed: First, rake the flowerbed area. Sprinkle California poppy and other wild flowers and cover gently with soil. Sow more seeds just before a rain to encourage continued flower production in spring.

    Move Living Christmas Trees Outside: Living Christmas trees should stay indoors for as little time as possible. Once planted outdoors, pine trees can easily grow 40 to 50 feet tall. Their strong root system, over time, will spread and can easily crack concrete walkways that stand in their way. Make sure you plant your tree in a location that can accommodate such a large tree.

    Purchase A Rain Barrel: Don't let rainwater roof runoff go to waste. Many cities and counties offer rebates when purchasing rain barrels. These barrels can typically hold 50 gallons of water--water that can be used to irrigate your garden.

    For more gardening tips, go to www.agromin.com.

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