• Santa Barbara City College's New Organic Vegetable Garden Gets Boost From Agromin - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at

  • Santa Barbara City College's new organic vegetable garden is ready for spring thanks, in part, to an eight-ton donation of compost by Agromin, a manufacturer of earth-friendly soil products made from organic material collected from more than 50 Southern California communities including those in Santa Barbara County.

    The college's Environmental Horticulture Department will use the garden to teach horticulture students about home gardens and home food production and teach culinary students about building farm-to-restaurant relationships. The produce will be donated to local food banks.

    "The department and its instructional garden are focused primarily on teaching sustainable landscaping and gardening options," says Michael Gonella, chair of the Environmental Horticulture Department at the college. "This vegetable garden will be a key element in the garden and will demonstrate integration of sustainable principles including organic soil care, composting and use of organic compost, water efficiency and food production."

    The garden is located on the eastern portion of the college, overlooking the harbor, on the edge of the coastal bluff. Prior to the garden, the area was used for storage of landscaping debris and was overrun with weeds. It was cleared by students and eight, 8'x4' raised redwood beds were constructed. An additional four will be built soon.

    Students will play a large part in the development and care of the vegetable garden. They have helped with building the raised beds, garden layout, seedling propagation and planting

    Vegetable seedlings are already sprouting in the college greenhouse including leeks, collards, beets, arugula, Swiss chard and broccoli and will be transplanted into the garden shortly. Flowers will also be part of the mix to attract beneficial insects.

    Agromin donated its Compost 100, an Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)-listed compost product. "It mixes perfectly with the school's all-organic garden theme," says Bill Camarillo, Agromin CEO. "Since it is OMRI listed, it can be used in certified organic production as well as food processing and handling according to USDA program rules. The soil amendment works great for gardens around the house since it contains no chemicals and is made from only clean and renewable plant materials."

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  • Agromin Recycles Over 385,000 Tons of Organic Material in 2011 - Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at

  • Agromin, the organics recovery company for more than 50 communities in Ventura, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Orange counties, recycled 386,680 tons of organic material from residents and businesses in 2011, up from 379,792 in 2010. The increase comes despite the continued sluggish economy and reduction in new construction, which affect the amount of organic materials generated by households and businesses.

    "It's Agromin's mission to divert green waste from landfills and transform it into quality compost and mulch for growers, landscapers and consumers," says Bill Camarillo, Agromin CEO. "The conversion process is completely natural. We use similar methods as homeowners who maintain compost piles in their backyards."

    Residents who put their organic waste in their green recycling bin are doing their part to help the planet. "Organic material that ends up in landfills produces greenhouse gas emissions that have been proven to heat up the atmosphere," says Camarillo. "We're finding that more and more residents and businesses are making a conscious effort to do their part to reduce the amount of these emissions."

    Agromin's potting mix and Compost 100 are listed by the non-profit Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) so they can be used to produce certified organic products in accordance to the USDA National Organic Program standards.

    Agromin soil products are sold in bulk and in bags at locations in Ventura, Santa Barbara, Orange and Los Angeles counties. For a list of locations, go to www.agromin.com.

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