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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Got Compost: Give-Away Distributes Over 12 Tons of Harvest Blen...

Got Compost: Give-Away Distributes Over 12 Tons of Harvest Blen...: "Say you want to hold a workshop to educate the public on all the good stuff compost can do for their lawns, gardens and community. Getting f..."

Give-Away Distributes Over 12 Tons of Harvest Blend Compost!

Say you want to hold a workshop to educate the public on all the good stuff compost can do for their lawns, gardens and community. Getting folks to come out on a beautiful Saturday morning might sound a little tough, but we found the key: coffee, donut holes and an entertaining presentation! Oh, guess the free vegetable transplants and Harvest Blend Compost might have made a difference.

We had a great turnout at our Pro Am Series Lawn & Garden Workshop at Mussell Center last Saturday, May 21. More than 12 tons of premium Harvest Blend Compost and hundreds of vegetable transplants were given away to participants.
The City of Santa Maria Utilities Dept. set us up in a room next to the Community Garden – really handy since many of the participants have plots there. Our day began around 9:00 a.m. with Bob Engel, Harvest Blend Compost Vice President, taking the floor to introduce us to the composting process. He turned what could be a dry, scientific topic into something we wanted to learn more about.
Our garden/soil experts, Jim Gill and Chuck Nagel, then spoke about:
The importance of healthy soil for a healthy garden: the proper foundation is necessary for a healthy garden. Your veggies and flowers won’t thrive without the necessary nutrients. Compost provides those nutrients, as well as improving soil structure and soils’ water holding capacity.
Sustainable gardening: working with, instead of against, nature. Applying compost to lawns and gardens fits this definition. Buying and reusing recycled organic materials (compost) supports the diversion of these resources from landfills, lessening the impact on this already overcrowded area.

Lawn Top dressing: applying a layer of compost over a lawn, raking it in and watering, will create a strong, green lawn your neighbors will envy. Our authorized Harvest Blend dealers have all the literature you need to do it yourself. Click her for a dealer near you
Outside in the fresh air, guests were able to choose from a selection of vegetable transplants donated by Plantel Nurseries, Inc. Looks like we’ll be enjoying tasty salads of red & green lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and bell peppers this summer!

Even the kids had fun! This little guy couldn’t wait to get home to start his garden and kept asking his mom when he could “jump in the dirt pile” (actually compost, but we didn’t think that would change his mind).

Now it was the big kids’ turn to have fun getting dirty! Bags, pails, wheelbarrows and even truck beds were filled with premium Harvest Blend Compost. Those with a garden plot nearby trucked the compost to their gardens and began working it into the soil.

By 4:00 that afternoon the roll-off had been swept clean! More than 12 tons of compost had been given away to community residents who will now replenish the earth with this valuable resource; growing gardens, top dressing lawns and “Completing the Cycle”. Naturally!

Thank you to everyone who donated their time, efforts and resources to make this event a success. We couldn’t have done it without your cooperation.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Got Compost: Sod Top Gardening - a Quick & Easy transformation

Got Compost: Sod Top Gardening - a Quick & Easy transformation: "The problem: your lawn is hurting, the grass is dying, and destructive weeds seem to be winning the battle. Here’s a solution you may not ha..."

Sod Top Gardening - a Quick & Easy transformation

The problem: your lawn is hurting, the grass is dying, and destructive weeds seem to be winning the battle. Here’s a solution you may not have heard of: create a sod-top garden where before there was only dry grass and weeds. No tilling required!
Sod-top gardening is a simple, eco-friendly way to begin growing vegetables, herbs, flowers, and other plants right in your own yard. All you’ll need are a few layers of newspaper and some premium compost to create a new foundation for plant growth. Over time, the grass and weeds underneath die, turning the covering into a rich, friable humus in just a few months.
While traditional garden prep can be labor-intensive and pollution causing (if using a gas-powered tiller), this method is much easier and non-invasive, so earthworms and other microbes that enrich the soil are not disturbed.
Sod-Top Garden How-To
1. Mow the ground at your chosen site. Cut anything to the ground that you don't want in the garden, such as weeds or tall grasses.
2. Soak newspaper in warm water. Lay wet paper on the ground, six layers thick. This is your barrier that keeps the grass and weeds from invading your new garden.
3. Top with layer of compost - four to six inches in depth.
4. You may wait several months before planting for newspaper covering to turn into nutritive humus.
5. Plant vegetables, herbs, flowers, or shrubs of your choice.
6. Use an organic fish emulsion or seaweed for extra nutrients.
7. Water, and place decorative rocks around the edges, if desired.
Tip: Some gardeners suggest building your sod-top garden in the fall so that the soil will be nutrient-rich and optimized for planting in the spring. Here on the Central Coast we have ideal conditions to begin the process year-round. If you’re tired of your tired old lawn, now’s the time for a change!
Calling all gardeners! This Saturday, May 21, you can get the tools you need to get that garden started.  Come to Harvest Blend Compost’s LAWN & GARDEN WORKSHOP from 9:00 a.m. – noon. BYOB: Bring Your Own Bucket and take home FREE Premium Harvest Blend Compost & FREE Vegetable Transplants!
Local experts will be on hand to instruct attendees on the uses and benefits of compost for lawn & garden. Top-dressing lawns with a fine layer of compost adds vital nutrients, increasing soils’ water holding capacity. Added to soils before planting, compost creates the perfect foundation for new plants, ensuring healthy veggies and colorful flower beds. Naturally!
For more info on compost use or details on Saturday’s workshop, visit

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Got Compost: Compost – Buy it. Try it. My, it works!

Got Compost: Compost – Buy it. Try it. My, it works!: " This is what compost should look like!  This week, the first week in May, is the one week we celebrate all things 'Compost' – and t..."

Compost – Buy it. Try it. My, it works!

This is what compost should look like!
It's International Compost Awareness Week - the one week we celebrate all things "Compost" – and the reasons compost is the natural choice for responsible soil care. Much of the public has a concept of compost; the heap of food scraps and yard waste DIY-ers keep out back, tending month after month, hoping for one wheelbarrow of prized “black gold” to distribute over an entire yard.

But if you don’t have a year to devote to a compost pile and you’d like to get started on amending soil for your spring & summer gardens. You can buy compost now. That’s right! “Compost” isn’t only a verb; it’s a ready-made product that may be purchased locally. The hard part is in knowing what to look for? How can you tell high quality, nutrient rich compost from the “other" stuff?
The difference between good and not-so-good compost is similar to choosing fresh produce over fast food. Your first stop might be one of the large home improvement centers, where you’ll find bagged products with hard to decipher labels, touting a product that’s sort-of-like-compost. The cheap, too-wet/too-dry, heavy, generic stuff without a lot of info on the label, baking in the sun at a big box store isn’t our first choice (or second, or third, or…) It shouldn’t be anyone’s choice, really. The labels and names on cheap bags of “Maybe Compost” are generally somewhere between non-existent, confusing and extremely misleading (just like the materials inside the bag). Worst of all, this low-rent spread has probably been anaerobic inside that bag for a long time (no air means no live microbes to improve the soil).
Small, local nurseries may carry high end, expensive bagged products and possibly some bulk amendments. Sure, you’ll be able to buy products that say they will improve your landscape, but will they be a quick fix or the long term solution your soil is in need of. A key factor is in knowing where your compost originated. Is there a compost facility nearby? If so, you know for certain they are kept to the highest standards of production; destroying harmful weed seeds and pathogens in order to gain the Seal of Testing Assurance label -always look for compost that is STA Certified.
An ideal product for all your landscaping needs is Harvest Blend Compost, produced on the Central Coast by Engel & Gray Regional Compost Facility. As consumers, one of the most powerful things we can do is to purchase products made locally from recycled materials. Our compost is made from locally collected/recycled organic materials, much of it diverted from our landfill. The composting process occurs when micro-organisms break down organic material (leaves, twigs, biosolids & manures) into a dark crumbly soil amendment.   The end product of this recycling process is Harvest Blend Compost; a stable humus product that is rich in nutrients and micro-organisms.  
Compost has many uses; as a soil amendment compost adds structure and vital nutrients young plants need to grow; as top dressing, compost opens compacted soil, increasing oxygen and soils’ water holding capacity; use in gardens before planting for vibrant flower beds and healthy vegetables. Stop by one of our dealers for free application sheets to help you do the job right.
All natural STA Certified Harvest Blend Compost is available at authorized dealers near you, from Paso Robles to Santa Barbara. For a dealer near you Click and enter your Zip in our dealer search box
Final note: Composting is a complex process by which raw ingredients are transformed by living organisms and processes. Drying is not the same—not even close. Dried something-or-other can’t do all the wonderful things that living compost does. Naturally!
Celebrate International Compost Awareness Week! Buy Compost