• Gardening Day at Lee Elementary School in Los Alamitos
    Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at

  • November 22nd was a true "gardening" day at Lee Elementary School in Los Alamitos. Agromin is a longstanding partner with Lee School, providing numerous soil and mulch donations for their garden beds.

    Renee Keeler, 2nd grade teacher and gardening enthusiast, had students working, leveling and planting seeds in the school's eight beds. The weather even cooperated with providing two days of rainstorms the prior weekend so the donated soil could be easily worked. Lee also has a great group of parents who raised enough money to buy new hand tools for the students to use in the garden beds.

    Students worked and leveled the soil in the beds then planted seeds ranging from sugar snap peas to carrots, tomatoes, beets and lettuce. They also planted three types of cauliflower. Mrs. Keeler knows the students love "playing in the dirt" but uses the time to also teach the students how to plant, tend and harvest their crops. After each harvest, the students have a meal of what they have grown in their gardens.

    Mrs. Keeler had students bring their science journals to write about their jobs and observations after they are done planting and then track the progress of their gardens through the year.

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  • Los Alamitos Youth Center Receives Agromin Mulch Donation
  • The Los Alamitos Youth Center received a donation of mulch from Agromin for its signature "circle" tree area. For over 59 years, the Youth Center has been an integral part of the Los Alamitos community by providing programs and resources to thousands of young people. It is a stand-alone non-profit organization that currently serves almost 300 local youth.

    Agromin continues to be a partner with the Youth Center, recently donating 30 pumpkins to their Haunted House event and providing premium organic soils and mulches for their planter and other outdoor areas.

    Shown in the pictures is part of the latest mulch donation. The palm trees were planted in donated Agromin soil. "I bought the plants for 99 cents a little less than a year ago and look at them now," says Lina Lumme, the youth center's executive director.

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  • Let The Weather Be Your Guide When Gardening in December

  • Cool weather in December means less plant growth in Southern California, however, keep an eye on the weather and be ready to take action to keep winter gardens looking beautiful, 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.

    Pay Attention to the Weather: December typically brings some rain and cold nights, but the month could also produce hot winds that can dry out flowerbeds and vegetable gardens in as little as a day. When hot weather hits, make sure your plants are well watered. Water by hand to conserve water. There is no need to water garden areas that are dormant in winter.

    Avoiding Serious Frost Damage: If you hear of a frost warning in your area, water your garden thoroughly before evening. The moisture from the soil will evaporate and warm the air around your plants. Rain keeps the soil, roots and plants from freezing. It's during cloudless nights that a freeze is most likely to occur. Mulch also keeps soil and roots warmer than the air temperature. If a freeze occurs and damages a portion of a tree, resist the temptation to remove the damaged leaves and limbs. Although the tree will not look its best, the damaged areas actually protect the rest of the tree from further harm from frost. In most cases, you'll see the tree bounce back nicely in spring.

    Buy a Living Christmas Tree: Purchasing a living Christmas tree is a tradition in many households. Once purchased, wait until Christmas week to bring the tree indoors where it can stay for one to two weeks. Any longer and it will begin to drop its needles. Before making the purchase, decide where you want to plant the tree after the holidays. Pine trees, with their large root system, large branches and pine needle and cone droppings, can wreak havoc to a small backyard. Check with your local nursery for the best Christmas tree for your location. If you don't buy a living Christmas tree, make sure your tree is recycled into mulch--either by putting it out at curbside for collection or dropping it off at a green recycler.

    Clean Up Debris, Use Leaves As Mulch: Collect fallen leaves and small branches and compost them for mulch. Cover the compost pile with plastic or a tarp to hold in heat and keep rain from washing out nutrients. Use fallen leaves as quick mulch in flowerbeds to keep mud from splashing on small plants during rain and to hold in moisture.

    Protect Outdoor Potted Plants: Your potted plants can remain outdoors even on cold nights. Place container plants next to south or west-facing walls so they will absorb reflected daytime heat and stay shielded from wind. Move cacti, succulents and potted trees under patio covers for protection from cold and rain.

    Add Seed to Your Lawn: If you have bare spots in your lawn, scatter seeds to add thickness. If the weather is warm and dry, you'll need to water the lawn so the seeds can grow.

                For more gardening tips, go to http://www.agromin.com.

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  • Balboa Middle School Receives "Green School Award" From City of Ventura & Agromin
    Monday, November 21, 2011 at
  • Balboa Middle School in Ventura is the recipient of the fifth annual "Green School Award." The award is given annually to the City of Ventura school that is making a positive impact on our planet individually and in our community. Agromin partners with the city each year to help select the winning school. It also presents the school with a $500 cash prize. 

    Ventura Mayor Bill Fulton and Bill Camarillo, Agromin CEO, presented the award at the November 14 Ventura City Council meeting in celebration of America Recycles Day.
    Students at Balboa Middle School are using critical-thinking and problem-solving skills to recycle and to recognize the impacts their choices have on the environment.

    Through hands-on activities, students not only help in the collection of recyclable materials but they also sort, weigh and keep records of the types of materials and measure the impact they have on our planet. “Balboa Middle School has integrated math and other skills into the process,” said City of Ventura Environmental Specialist Christine Wied.

    In addition to the recycling program, teacher Steve Roth works with 7th and 8th grade students in an environmental horticulture class. The students learn what it takes to plant and maintain an organic garden. A portion of the food grown in the garden is donated to FOOD Share, Ventura County's food bank, to provide healthy vegetables for those in need. The students also planted a native plant garden at Balboa Middle School and learned the importance of xeriscaping to save water resources.

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  • Second Graders at Lee Elementary School Get Their Winter Garden Ready
    Sunday, November 20, 2011 at

  • After working hard pulling old plants, weeds, and working Agromin soil into their garden beds, Renee Keeler's 2nd grade class at Lee Elementary School in Los Alamitos, spent Wednesday afternoon planting snap peas, carrots, beets, and sweet peas.  The garden beds are tended by the second graders during their science class time and are a hit with the entire school - especially when the blooms draw butterflies to the gardens.  There is also a "green wall" area which will provide shade as well as a fence area that is more esthetic than wood. 

    The students will water, weed and harvest their crops during the year, and will also be scientists and farmers in the process: charting water usage, weeding, measuring growth, etc.  All the soil Agromin donates to the school is 100% organic. Mrs. Keeler and her students are committed to not using fertilizers or pesticides that contain non-organic compounds or chemicals.

    Pictures to come!

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