• City of Oxnard Approves Green Recycling Contract Extension with Agromin - Friday, August 6, 2010 at

  • The City of Oxnard approved a one-year green waste recycling contract extension with Oxnard-based Agromin, one of California's largest green materials recyclers. The contract runs from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011. The extension was granted at a July 20 city council meeting.

    Agromin's initial contract with Oxnard began in 2008. Since then, Oxnard's residential yard and wood material has been dropped off at Agromin's Oxnard recycling facility for processing. The material is composted into soil products that are then marketed to local farmers, landscapers and homeowners. Agromin distributes free soil amendments and mulches to Oxnard residents at community events and city composting classes.

    Agromin will process approximately 17,000 tons of Oxnard green materials during the next year including 4,000 tons from street sweeping programs. By recycling residents' green materials, Oxnard meets State of California AB949 waste diversion compliance requirements. By using mulch on public landscapes, the city also conserves water and reduces the need for fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.

    "We are excited to continue our relationship with the City of Oxnard," says Bill Camarillo, Agromin CEO. "More and more cities across California are striving to become more sustainable. Oxnard is in the forefront."

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  • FOOD Share reports 65,000 pounds of produce donated since spring - Tuesday, August 3, 2010 at
  • By Rachel McGrath
    Monday, August 2, 2010
    Recipients of food donations from Ventura County’s regional food bank FOOD Share have taken advantage of thousands of pounds of fresh produce during the past year thanks to the efforts of local gardeners, schools and community groups.
    More than 65,000 pounds of fruit and vegetables have been donated through the Garden Share program inaugurated last spring, FOOD Share officials said recently.
    “It’s very important,” said Jeanne Benitez, FOOD Share’s development manager. “This gives people access to those fresh fruits and vegetables they desperately need, especially the kids who need this nutrition.”
    The Garden Share program currently has 193 community garden partners including churches, commercial growers, schools and individuals.
    FOOD Share keeps a log of how much fresh produce is donated by each individual or organization as part of a Pounds for Produce contest sponsored by Oxnard-based organic recycler and premium soil manufacturer Agromin.
    Those who donate the most amount of produce receive free soil amendments equal to the weight of the donated fruits and vegetables.
    “Winners receive soil made from locally recycled green materials, which helps Ventura County become a more sustainable community,” Agromin CEO Bill Camarillo said.
    The winner in the school competition is the special-needs class at Las Colinas Middle School in Camarillo, which donated the most produce of any school, including 751 pounds of citrus, 50 pounds of celery, 40 pounds of onions, 30 pounds of potatoes, and 20 pounds of broccoli.
    Dianne Polen, the school’s Life Lab coordinator, says the produce was grown by 19 special-needs students with the help of six student aides and three teacher’s aides, working in the garden for one hour a day, three days a week.
    “It teaches them to work with their hands, to eat healthy and to give back to the community,” Polen said. “It just touches your heart when you see what they get out of it.”
    Other winners in the Pounds for Produce contest include West Coast Nursery in Somis, which contributed 314 pounds of heirloom tomatoes, and the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging Senior Nutrition Garden, which donated 29,000 tomatoes from the garden at the Juvenile Justice Complex on Vineyard Avenue in El Rio. Michael Laroche from Somis was the individual gardener who donated the most, contributing 1,795 pounds of citrus.
    The Garden Share program was created to inspire the local community to donate fresh produce to supplement the food FOOD Share gives out each month to more than 54,000 people across Ventura County, including low-income seniors and children.
    The program offers participants free seeds and discount coupons for soil and fruit trees as well as tips on how to grow fruits and vegetables.
    “It’s educating people we are feeding on how to grow their own food and teaching families a better way of eating,” Benitez said. “We’re trying to make it as easy as possible and as inexpensive as possible for people to grow their own food.”
    For more information about the Garden Share program, go to http://www.foodshare.com and click on the Garden Share logo.

    © 2010 Scripps Newspaper Group — Online

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  • Buena Park ag students take fair by storm - at
  • By MICHAEL MELLO
    Orange County Register
    2010-07-29


    COSTA MESA — Agriculture students from Buena Park High School dominated the livestock showing competition at this year's OC Fair, making a near sweep of the fair's top livestock awards.
    In all, BPHS students collected three grand championships — the top award for each animal — and two reserve champions, the runner-ups. And it could all be because of a pigeon.
    "Never in my life have I had a show like this," said Jessica Weisbart, the school's agriculture instructor.
    Angie Velasquez, a junior at the school, isn't surprised.
    During the competition last week, Weisbart looked up to see a pigeon sitting in the rafters of the fairground's show arena.
    "I hope it doesn't poop on me," she told her students, just before some droppings hit her ankle.
    That's when Velasquez informed her instructor that it was good luck to be the bearer of bird poop.
    Soon, the championship ribbons began to pour in.
    "We tried our best this year," said Velasquez, who won the supreme champion ribbon for her lamb. "I wouldn't have expected it at the beginning of the year. I just thought it would be another experience."
    It must have been the bird.
    Among the winners:
    Nancy Jauregui's calf won grand champion and Laura Villegas's animal won reserve champion.
    George Baca won the grand champion for his turkey.
    Kyle Pollock had the grand champion pig, and Emily Lewis won reserve champion for hers.
    "The only place we didn't sweep the show was in goats," Weisbart said. "It's been a pretty amazing fair."

    Photo by: MARK RIGHTMIRE, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

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