As a leading member of the U.S. Composting Council’s Million Tomato Compost Campaign, Engel & Gray Inc. is donating premium, STA-certified Harvest Blend compost to Santa Barbara community gardens that will grow crops to be used locally or donated to food pantries.

As a participant in this program, Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department neighborhood coordinator Pete Leyva received 405 cubic feet of compost from Engel & Gray Regional Compost Facility. The soil amendment is being shared by three gardens: Yanonali, Pilgrim Terrace and Rancheria.

The Community Services division of the city’s Parks & Recreation Department manages the gardens, providing neighborhood residents with accessible, low-cost garden plots to grow fresh vegetables.

“We know that many of our neighbors right here in our community would like to have access to healthy, fresh food that is grown in rich soil that includes compost,” said Bob Engel, vice president of the Engel & Gray Regional Compost Facility. “This is a great way to work together and use our compost for the greater good of our community.”

With a commitment to diverting organic waste from landfills and returning the composted product back to the soil, Engel & Gray partners with the City of Santa Barbara, accepting a variety of organic materials such as food waste from Santa Barbara Food Scraps Collection Program, transforming them into premium compost products with a multitude of uses and benefits. Reusing these materials, in the form of compost, “Completes the Cycle” of recycling, enabling the process to begin again.

For more information on receiving donated compost for your garden, email or call 805.925.2771 and mention the Million Tomato campaign.

— Melissa Nagel is an education outreach coordinator for Engel & Gray Inc.