• Agromin & FOOD Share Team Up For "Pounds For Produce" Donation Contest - Monday, January 25, 2010 at

  • It's time to put your green thumb to work to help feed the hungry. FOOD Share, which distributes millions of pounds of food annually to those in need in Ventura County, and Agromin, one of California's largest green materials recyclers and a premium soil manufacturer, have teamed up to create "Pounds for Produce," a gardening contest to see who can grow and donate the most vegetables to help feed the hungry in Ventura County.

    Backyard gardeners, members of 4-H clubs, garden clubs and community gardens are all invited to participate. Gardeners can sign up on the FOOD Share website (www.foodshare.com) as a Garden Share member and receive a membership card. Already, more than 60 gardeners have become Garden Share members.

    FOOD Share is in particular need of produce grown in six categories: potatoes, tomatoes, celery, onions, broccoli and citrus. Garden Share members who grow these vegetables can drop off their harvest at any one of 65 FOOD Share food bank locations (www.foodshare.com/get-help/useful-resources). Donated vegetables will be weighed and logged to the member's account. Top producers in each category will win free soil from Agromin on a pound-for-pound basis, equal to the total weight of produce donated to FOOD Share.

    In addition, Garden Share membership includes tips and support to help grow your garden. New members will receive a 25 percent Agromin soil discount coupon by e-mail or mail that can be redeemed at any Ventura County location selling Agromin products. For a list of locations, go to www.agromin.com, click on "How-To Guides" and then "Where to Buy Our Products."

    "During tough economic times, especially during World War I and II, people grew gardens to supplement the local food supply," says Bill Camarillo, CEO of Agromin. "Today is no different. With Pounds for Produce, we have the opportunity to share what we grow with others in need. We don't have to be great gardeners and the vegetables don't have to be perfect. It's an opportunity to help our neighbors. And, by growing your garden in healthy soil produced from recycled green materials, you're doing your part to help the environment."

    “Garden Share is a community-based effort that encourages neighborhoods to grow produce to help feed the hungry through sustainable backyard and community gardens,” said Bonnie Weigel, CEO and president of FOOD Share. “Whether you have a single container on your patio or an acre of farmland, everyone can get involved to help. Offering fresh produce to our food pantries is an amazing gift to people who so often go without and we thank Agromin for making it easy for people to get involved.”

    The contest ends July 15, 2010. For more information, call Meg Horton at FOOD Share, (805) 983-7100, ext. 105.