• Pruning & Planting on Tap for Southern California Gardeners in November
    Monday, October 31, 2011 at
  • Cooler November weather in Southern California makes it the ideal time to plant over a dozen varieties vegetables while also pruning trees for a healthier, fuller look in spring, say experts at Agromin, an Oxnard-based manufacturer of earth-friendly soil products made from organic material collected from more than 50 Southern California communities.

    Plant A Cool Weather Garden: A fall vegetable garden can be just as rewarding as a summer garden. Vegetable seeds to plant in November include beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, collards, endive, favas, Kale, lettuce, mustard, parsley, parsnip, peas, radish, rutabaga, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips. Onion varieties that do well in cool weather are Grano, Granex, Imperial Sweet and Crystal Wax. The onion stalk with grow in winter with the bulb growing when the weather warms.

    Strawberries in Winter: Check with your local nursery for available strawberry plants. Make sure the plants get plenty of sun and are located in well-draining soil, ideally in raised beds. Place them about one foot apart. Lay mulch around the plants to prevent weeds from sprouting after winter rains.

    Break Up Perennials: Now is the time to divide and plant perennials so their offshoots will have time to establish themselves for spring flowers. Perennials can look unkempt with dead areas in the middle if they are not divided. They also produce fewer flowers when left to grow wild. Dig up the roots and divide them. Perennials are hardy plants and can withstand the trauma. Chrysanthemums can also be broken up and divided once they stop flowering and are trimmed back. They will flower again in March.

    Prune Trees:  Start pruning a tree by first removing dead or damaged branches. Remove smaller branches that are overlapping larger branches. Also remove stems that grow straight up from the trunk or large branches. Cut lower stems that grow from the base of the tree and any stems that appear to be growing next to the tree. When cutting healthy stems or branches, save branches that are growing the straightest and highest up the trunk Make pruning cuts as close to the trunk as possible. This helps the tree close the exposed area and reduces the chance of disease or attracting bugs. Never leave a portion of the cut stem or branch on the tree.

    Plant Spring-Flowering Bulbs: Plant spring-flowering bulbs that don't require chilling throughout November. These bulbs include daffodils, grape hyacinth, Dutch Iris, ornamental onions, Spanish bluebells, ranuculus, gladiolus and freesias. Plant bulbs with the pointy end down in soil three times the depth of the bulb. Water right after planting. If we have a dry winter, water as needed.

    Plant Native Plants and Wildflowers: November is the time to plant native plants and wildflowers. Although drought resistant, they will need water to help get started. Wildflowers include California poppies, larkspur, linaeria and gypsophila. California native plants that do well are Mariposa lily, California Morning Glory, White Bark California Lilac, California Juniper, California Evening Primrose, Purple Sage and California Holly.

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  • Buena Park’s Pumpkin Palooza
    Friday, October 28, 2011 at
  • Buena Park High School's Future Farmers of America (FFA) took three-quarters of an acre of wasteland at the school, and with the help of Agromin premium soil, soil amendments and mulch, grew 1,200 pumpkins for the school's Harvest Festival.

    Samantha Valverde, BPHS’ farmhand, recalls how she spent days covered in dirt while wielding a sledgehammer to break up big chunks of concrete that were dumped at the site decades ago.  Agromin provided a flatbed, a large tractor and workers to rip, amend, and level the soil.
    Samantha and the students in the ag program and FFA chapter hoped to harvest 300 pumpkins but ended up with 1,200.  And their plants are still blooming.  Harvesting that many pumpkins proved a space challenge as well. Pumpkins were stored in numerous places including the barn and an empty chicken coop.  Samantha was thrilled with their crop saying “I’ve never grown a pumpkin before so this is exceptional.  Ninety-nine percent of our plants bloomed.”

     

    Kylie Lopez, a second year ag program student, became the “Pumpkin Girl."  She helped transplant 250 pumpkin plants in 100-degree weather and spent her summer watering the plants.  She was given a key to the school gates, along with other responsibilities. “I was so happy – I’ve never had a key to anything before," says Kylie.




    Kylie’s and the other students’ hard work meant pumpkins for the Harvest Festival and also for the mobile pumpkin patch that Samantha has planned for the unsold pumpkins. “Well decorate a trailer and take the pumpkins to local elementary schools so the kids there can have pumpkins too,” says Samantha.

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  • Agromin Gives Away 7 Tons of Pumpkins at Wings, Wheels and Rotors Expo in Los Alamitos
    Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at
  • Thousands of Pumpkins!
    Agromin once again provided thousands of free pumpkins to attendees of the annual Wings, Wheels & Rotors Expo in Los Alamitos.

    Students in Buena Park High's FFA.
    The annual event, held this year on October 23, takes place at the Joint Forces Training Base (JFTB) and draws over 30,000 visitors. It includes exhibits ranging from Huey helicopters and C-17’s to over 400 classic cars. Agromin, a silver sponsor, produced and gave away over seven tons of organic pumpkins to those attending the event. The pumpkins were grown in Agromin's premium organic soils and amendments.

    Just his size!
    Handing out pumpkins this year were Buena Park High School Future Farmers of America students Miriam Gallardo, Steven Aguilar, Trina Brown, Karina Gomez and Edilena Reyes. Their teacher and advisor, Mary Ann Maxfield, also was there and was a big help.

    Congratulations to JFTB and the City of Los Alamitos Chamber of Commerce for another tremendously successful event!

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  • Agromin Donates 200 Pumpkins to Soldiers and Their Families
    Monday, October 24, 2011 at


  • Agromin donated 200 pumpkins to soldiers and their families at the Joint Forces Training Base (JFTB) in Los Alamitos. 

    Among the families enjoying choosing their pumpkins were the Bishops: SPC Joseph, his wife Kathy, and their 22-month old daughter Aliana. Joseph just returned from a yearlong deployment in Iraq. Aliana had a wonderful time wandering through the lines of pumpkins before choosing a couple that were perfect.


    Cara Borm, family assistance network specialist at JFTB, partnered with Agromin to provide free pumpkins for local soldiers and their families.

    Agromin is proud to support our troops and be part of the local California National Guard Family Assistance Network. The network is a resource to Guard and other military families--especially those involved in current deployments.

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  • National Association of Agricultural Educators Names Jessica Fernandes “Ag Teacher of the Year”
    Friday, October 21, 2011 at
  • Jessica Fernandes,  Ag Science Teacher and Future Farmers of America Chapter Leader at Buena Park High School was just named National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) “Outstanding Ag Teacher” for 2011.  Jessica competed against ag teachers in the western United States.

    Agromin is proud to be the corporate sponsor, ardent supporter of, and partner with Jessica and her outstanding team. 

    The “Outstanding Ag Teacher” award is sponsored by Toyota as a special project of the National Future Farmers of America Association.  Part of Jessica’s award includes a two-year lease on a new Toyota Tundra pickup truck, which will come in very handy with her farm chores and the many, many trips she makes each year to the Orange County Fair.

    The NAAE is a federation of state agricultural educators’ associations with more than 7,650 members.  Currently NAAE focuses on three areas:  Advocacy for agricultural education, professional development for agricultural educators, and recruitment and retention of current ag educators.

    When Jessica took the reins at BPHS, 62 students were enrolled in the ag program.  Her efforts have resulted in over 400 students being currently enrolled in ag science classes and a thriving, and growing, FFA chapter. 

    Jessica will attend the NAAE convention from November 15th through 19th in St. Louis, Missouri.

    Congratulations Jessica!

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  • Lee Elementary Second Graders Get Ready For Winter Gardening
    Monday, October 17, 2011 at
  • Mrs. Haygood's second grade class get their garden ready!

    Students from two second grade classes at Lee Elementary School in Los Alamitos spent a recent morning pulling out old plants and weeds and even harvesting enormous zucchini as they prepared to plant a garden of winter vegetables. The kids added bags of donated Agromin vegetable soil mix to their garden boxes.

    The students, in Mrs. Keeler and Mrs. Haygood's classes, grabbed shovels, hoes and hand cultivators to remove weeds and old plants that had grown over the summer.

    Mrs. Keeler is known as "Mother Earth" at Lee Elementary School. An avid organic gardener who loves teaching her students the importance of healthy soil, she helps her students make a connection between what is in our soil and what is in our plants and produce. "It's so important for these kids to learn as early as possible that the healthiness of what they are eating completely depends on how healthy the soil is that the plants grow in," she says. 

    The students love working in the dirt (even when the find various shapes and sizes of bugs and "critters"). Each got a bag of soil mix to open and work into their plot. "They love putting their hands into the new soil we get from Agromin--it feels and smells so fresh and good," says Mrs. Keeler.

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  • Pick Up a Free Pumpkin at Agromin's Booth at Wings, Wheels & Rotors!
    Thursday, October 6, 2011 at
  •  
    Agromin is excited to be a Silver Sponsor of the 10th Annual Wings, Wheels & Rotors Exposition at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos. The date is Sunday, October 23, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

    Stop by our booth to pick up a free pumpkin. We will be located right next to Kids' Korner.

    For more than 30 years, Agromin has created earth-friendly soil products for farmers, landscapers and gardeners. Agromin is also the organics recycler for over 50 Southern California communities. Each month, Agromin receives tons of organic material and then uses a safe, natural and sustainable process to transform the material into premium soil products such as mulches and organic potting soil.

    More than six tons of pumpkins were given away at the 2010 WWR Expo. The pumpkins were all grown using Agromin organic soil.

    Agromin is a proud partner with local community schools and non-profit organizations donating thousands of tons of organic soils and mulches for flowerbeds, gardens and site improvements

    The expo is produced by the Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos and Los Alamitos Area Chamber of Commerce. On display will be military aircraft, helicopters ,many cars,warbirds along with public safety, first responder and military equipment. Aircraft flyovers are planned including aircraft static displays.

    For more information, got to www.wwrexpo.net.

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  • Pumpkins Ready to Harvest
    Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at

  • Buena Park High's FFA chapter is gearing up to harvest and sell its pumpkins! Agromin donated the equipment and labor to level a never-worked patch of ground behind the school's football stadium, and then donated three tons of organic soil to mix into the ground. Agromin also donated different varieties of pumpkin seeds--of which 99.9% successfully germinated.

    The water has been turned off and the pumpkins are turning orange. And even though the water isn't flowing, the plants are still flowering, thanks to the amazing soil in which they were grown. The students will sell their pumpkins at the student store from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during their school Fall Festival on October 22 and will donate the remainder to local elementary schools.

    The students sell all sorts of organic produce, plants and fruit grown. Prices are very reasonable and teach the ag science and FFA Chapter students organization and leadership skills as well as practical inventory, accounting and math skills.

    BPHS FFA is also once again on track to provide fresh produce to the school district's cafeterias. The vegetables will include cabbage, lettuce, squash, corn and beets all grown in 100% organic Agromin soil. Last year's cabbage harvest was enough to make all the slaw served in Buena Park High's cafeteria.

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