The Greening of Gonzales: Sustainability is the farm town’s new mantra.
Excerpt from article by Zachary Stahl that appeared in the May 2009 edition of “Monterey County Weekly.”
Highlands Soil & Water (now “HealthySoil”) cultures organic soil amendments to introduce beneficial microorganisms, creating conditioned and nutrient-rich soil.
“We strive to balance the biology in the soil to get a healthy, functioning soil, and the result of that is better improved savings of water and reduction of fertilizer and reduction of pesticides,” says company CEO and President Tom Piatkowski. The company works with Salinas Valley wine-grape, strawberry and vegetable growers.
He says an increasing number of ag companies are going the sustainable route to cut down on the use of expensive petroleum-based fertilizer. “We are lowering production costs,” he says.
Highlands Soil & Water, which the Environmental Protection Agency has recognized for pesticide-reducing environmental stewardship, started as a small incubator in the Marina Technology Cluster.
Piatowski says he chose Gonzales to locate his plant because of its compact size and central location in the Salinas Valley. He says he is working with the city to design a sustainable resource center to educate growers and the public about green practices. “This is the trend and Gonzales has got an excellent opportunity to become a center for sustainability, here” Piatkowski says.
The full article that appeared in Monterey County Weekly can be viewed here: http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/archives/2009/2009-May-28/sustainability-is-the-farm-towns-new-mantra/1/