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Kellogg Garden Products: Proven Organic Soils and Fertilizers

Garden Goodness Building Life . . . in the Soil, Waterways and Community

As featured in the Spring and Summer 2018 edition of

SOUTHERN

FARM&GARDEN â„¢ Created exclusively for Kellogg Garden Products by Nancy Suttles, Publisher | Creative Director


IN THE GARDEN > KELLOGG GARDEN PRODUCTS

By Holly D. Elmore

Garden Goodness A century ago, H. Clay Kellogg fathered the foundation for organic farming before organic grew from a buzzword to a movement to a common way of farming. Established in 1925, Kellogg Garden Products celebrates nearly a century of embracing the ideals and commitments of founder H. Clay Kellogg, II. Today the third family generation maintains the values established by H. Clay: integrity, innovation, loyalty, experience, commitment, and generosity. The Kellogg family legacy is one of perseverance, tenacity, and ingenuity. Three brothers –Joseph, Daniel, and Samuel–came to America from England in 1671 and were assigned the surname “kiln-log” in reference to the family occupation of preparing wood logs in kilns. Once in America, the three brothers took separate paths. One line of the family settled in Battle Creek, Michigan and started the Kellogg cereal company. Joseph’s descendants settled in the Midwest where his family lived for eight generations. In 1846 Benjamin Franklin Kellogg (“Frank”) left the Midwest and crossed the country in a group of 375 men, including the ill-fated Donner party. The Kellogg tenacity of spirit was integral to their survival on the treacherous passage to the coast; those in the Donner party starved to death in the Sierra Mountains. Frank and his family settled in the valley of the gold rush, as the blacksmith in the Old Bale Mill. Frank’s son Hiram Clay Kellogg (pictured here) was an innovator who used his engineering talents for designing cities, dams, and entire waste water systems in Southern California and Hawaii. Following his family legacy, H. Clay Kellogg, II started the now near century-old company Kellogg Garden Products. Today the third Kellogg generation is at the helm of the company.

History

With abundant farmland available in California during the early 1920’s, many farmers followed “disposable farm” practices. Land was rigorously farmed until the worn-out soil no longer supported crops. Farmers then left the depleted orchards or fields and moved to virgin farmland. In the farmer’s perspective, it was easier to move to new, available fields than to nurture soil for long-term farming. While working as a surveyor in the early 1920’s, H. Clay noticed lush plants thriving on a riverbend bank in the generally dry Santa Ana climate. Intrigued, he investigated the area surrounding the robust plants and discovered rich black soil at their base. River currents deposited organic material at the bend; this material accumulated into a haven for plants within the otherwise arid, dry soil. At this moment, Kellogg Garden Products was born. H. Clay gathered some of the rich, black soil surrounding the vibrant plants and applied it to a single orange tree at his home. When it came time to fruit, he found that the tree produced four times the yield of the other trees in his citrus orchard. He knew he had discovered a miraculous soil. Eager to share the amazing soil with the local community, H. Clay left the security of his surveyor job. Though they applauded his success, farmers were not ready to shift from disposable farming practices. Therefore, H. Clay scraped together enough funds to purchase a 10-acre struggling orange orchard, to which he applied his newly discovered soil. At harvest, he was rewarded with a robust orange crop. He traded the healthy 10-acre orchard for a 20-acre fallow orchard and applied the rich humus to the ailing soil. Once healthy, the second orchard was traded for an even larger fallow orchard. Repeating the successful pattern, H. Clay soon accumulated 1,000 acres. Local farmers finally took notice and began purchasing H. Clay’s product for their farmland and crops.

Featured in the Spring 2018 issue of Southern Farm & Garden • Expanded digital book by: Nancy Suttles, Publisher and Creative Director


Soil is a live complex ecosystem that includes fungi networks, microbial communities, minerals, water, decomposed organic matter, and more. Healthy soil grows plants with more nutrients, making them even more delicious.

Red Savoy Cabbage

Southern Farm Garden 7167 Southern Farm && Garden


“To be a successful farmer, one must first know the nature of the soil.” - Xenophon, Oeconomicus, Ancient Greek Philosopher, 400 B.C.

CK CLI TO E HER E SE L SOI Y WH TERS MAT

Photo courtesy of Kiss the Ground


In partnership with

Environmental Media

Association, a California-

based nonprofit, Kellogg

Garden Products supports seventeen Los Angeles

area school gardens with soils and expertise for

maintaining healthy gardens. At the Environmental

Media Association’s Annual Garden Luncheon hosted

at the Westminster Avenue

Elementary School, students, teachers, and volunteer

parents are invited to enjoy the harvest from the school gardens. Above: Kathy

Kellogg Johnson and Geoff Rochester with The Nature

Conservancy with students and a volunteer parent.

Integrity

Innovation

Through H. Clay’s ingenuity and commitment to integrity, Kellogg Garden Products built the foundation for organic farming decades before “organic” grew from a buzzword to a movement to a common way of farming. Aligning with H. Clay’s commitment to integrity, Kellogg Garden Products are duallisted with the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), the leading independent, third-party review agency accredited by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program and with the California Department of Agriculture’s Organic Input Materials (OIM) program. The company strictly monitors the soil and fertilizer ingredients to ensure that the end products meet rigorous organic standards and are designed to build life within soils.

In the early 1950’s, Walt Disney and H. Clay served together on the Orange County Farm Bureau. Disney shared his dream to recreate Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book in the form of a river ride through a tropical forest. H. Clay pointed out the challenge of tropical plants surviving in the arid Anaheim environment. Always the innovator and solution provider, he augmented his soil products with acidifying materials such as bark and redwood to create soils where tropical jungle plants thrived in the local dry climate. The Jungle Cruise ride opened with grand success and is one of fourteen original Disneyland rides still operating today. With the 1953 purchase of Globe Fertilizer Company, Kellogg Garden Products expanded into the home gardening market. Today the company offers over 270 products for the organic gardener.


Clic kh to s ere e a vi e abo deo ut s oil

Kellogg Garden Products strictly monitors the soil and fertilizer ingredients to ensure that the end products meet rigorous organic standards and are designed to build life within soils.

Photo Š Holly S. Elmore


Organic Builds Life. “Our current focus is to regenerate life within our soils, food systems, and the overall health of our planet.” > Kathy Kellogg Johnson, Chairman of the Board and Chief Sustainability Officer

••• At Kellogg Garden Products, Organic is more than a word on a label. Building Life – in the Soil, Waterways, and Communities is what it means to us.

Every Kellogg Garden Organics and G&B Organics soil and fertilizer is OMRI listed and compliant with the USDA’s National Organic Program.


“We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot.” Source: www.soils.org/discover-soils/food-and-health

Photo © Nancy Suttles

- Leonardo Da Vinci, circa 1500’s


IN THE GARDEN > KELLOGG GARDEN PRODUCTS

When he took the helm in 1958, H. Clay Kellogg, III (“Hi”) continued his father’s innovative spirit by seeing value in what others considered waste. While visiting a lumber mill in Arizona, Hi discovered piles of discarded tree bark awaiting incineration. Understanding its intrinsic beauty, Hi purchased the entire waste pile and pioneered the decorative bark market. Another valuable type of material saved from burning was the rice hulls in the Sacramento Valley. Hi pioneered composting rice hulls and created a productive soil conditioner. Rice hulls act like a wedge and create structure within the heavy clay soils common in the South. Long ago, Hi Kellogg shared his wisdom: “It ought to be a crime to landfill organics. Our soils are starving for them.” It took thirty years for communities around the globe to follow Hi’s sage advice to ban organics from landfills.

Sustainability

In alignment with H. Clay’s commitment to the soil compounded with Hi’s emphasis on recycling, Kellogg Garden Products formally established sustainability as a core value in 2016. Under the direction of Kathy Kellogg Johnson, Director of Sustainability and Chairman of the Board, the company is a Carbon NEGATIVE entity with impressive energy conservation, resource recovery, and water conservation stats available in the 2017 Kellogg Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

Validating sustainability as a core family value, Kathy states, “It was a joy to uncover the deep commitment to conservation in all departments. I discovered that employees had created their own recycling programs and cost-saving measures that were relatively easy to pull together under a corporate umbrella. The culture of conservation is authentic throughout the team.”

Generosity Kathy’s brother H. Clay Kellogg, IV (“Hap”) serves as CEO of Kellogg Garden Products and works daily as a member of the management team. Under his leadership, the company donates a specified percentage of profits to a number of charitable organizations, ministries, and school gardens. Over the past decade, Kellogg Garden Products donated soils, fertilizers, and expertise to establish over 200 school gardens. Company employees contributed sweat equity alongside teachers, parents, and children to create school gardens. In partnership with Plant with Purpose, Kellogg Garden Products provides hands-on support for programs in a variety of global communities, including Tanzania, Congo, Burundi, Oaxaca, Thailand, and Haiti. This organization is dedicated to helping the rural poor around the globe by teaching sustainable farming practices. Deforestation, whether for sustenance, energy use, or large commercial agriculture,

devastates the surrounding communities. Lush forest canopies degrade into dead soil, resulting in local drinking water pollution from erosion and the inability of families to grow food. Thus, the local population is severely impacted and forced to live with food scarcity and contaminated drinking water. Plant with Purpose teaches the poorest of the poor to reverse the devastating cycle of poverty into a regenerating cycle of prosperity. It brings knowledge to local farmers and villages and teaches residents how to make and use compost, how to build healthy soils that retain rainwater, and how to grow abundant, healthy food. The program educates and empowers local people to rebuild the soils and their lives. Another third-generation contribution is expanding product distribution: first regionally to the Pacific Northwest, followed by Texas. By 2017 the national expansion reached the East Coast. Kellogg Garden Products’ commitment to product quality and original values remains strong within the expansion process. Last fall The Home Depot, a vendor partner for over three decades, named Kellogg Garden Products 2017 Environmental Vendor of the Year. The Kellogg Garden Products legacy is built upon core family values: integrity, innovation, loyalty, experience, commitment, generosity, and sustainability. As they mature into adulthood, the upcoming fourth generation is gifted with an incredible legacy to nurture and grow. h


LOOKING AHEAD: Leading by Innovation Kellogg Garden Products is a leader in innovation within the urban farming and gardening industries. At one point in time, the company operated the largest thermophilic windrow composting operation in the world at their Carson, CA facility. Over the years the company evolved from composting biosolids to formulating a unique mix of ingredients that meet the strictest standards of the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). Today bat guano, worm castings, kelp meal, arbor fines, and alfalfa complement the variety of manures and forest products chosen to stimulate plant and soil health within Kellogg Garden Products’ various soil amendments. Kathy Kellogg Johnson embraces her family legacy: “Looking back and looking forward I see the connection between Kellogg generations: Grandpa rebuilt struggling soils, Dad repurposed ‘waste’ materials into soil conditioners, and our current focus is to regenerate life within our soils, food systems, and the overall health of our planet.”


GARDENING TIPS > KELLOGG GARDEN PRODUCTS

Healthy Soil = Healthy Food A gardening product claiming to be organic is not necessarily so. What is organic? It is more than a label. Organic is a commitment to making products using proven organic methods and ingredients. Originally, “organic” was used to describe any plant or animal byproduct. As more companies claim to produce organic products, the meaning of the word evolved. Today, manufacturers of organic products must adhere to strict guidelines. This situation is particularly true when it comes to organic gardening products. What is organic gardening?

A good principle to keep in mind when planting in the garden is to try to leave your soil better than you found it. What does that mean, exactly? Well, that means doing everything you can to feed the soil. Soil is alive, meaning it is full of nutrients and microbes that feed your plants. Over time, those nutrients can become depleted, so it is up to us to replenish our soil to keep it alive and thriving!

Organic gardening is the method of growing plants that most closely resembles nature. This method is without the use of synthetic chemicals, pesticides, or fertilizers that can be harmful to the soil, people, pets, and the planet. Organic gardening uses organic materials to support healthy, sustainable gardens. Gardening organically typically means growing the right plants for a particular micro-climate, location, and site. It starts with the soil.

Organic gardening focuses not just on growing the biggest plants, but on nurturing the health of a garden’s entire ecosystem, particularly the soil. In fact, the success of your organic garden starts with the soil. Ideally, you want soil to support a rich life of beneficial microorganisms that promote plant growth. Healthy soil will also produce pest-resistant gardens that are more sustainable and easier to maintain. To promote the healthiest soil possible, you’re going to need the right organic products. Choose the right organic gardening products.

To ensure optimal soil quality, organic gardeners will often enrich the soil with proven organic gardening products, like organic planting mix, organic garden soil, organic fertilizer, and/or organic mulch. But with so many “organic” gardening products out there, it’s hard to know which ones to use. To begin with, don’t trust a product just because it claims to be organic on the package. Make sure the organic planting mix, organic garden soil, organic fertilizer, and organic mulch you choose are proven organic through agencies complying with the USDA’s National Organic Program and through agencies like the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). These organizations comply with the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP). OMRI is becoming known as the “good housekeeping seal of approval” in organic gardening. Consumers can find the OMRI logo on every Kellogg Garden Organics product label.

Featured in the Summer 2018 issue of Southern Farm & Garden • Expanded digital book created by Nancy Suttles, Publisher and Creative Director


“Soil is a nonrenewable resource; its preservation is essential for food security and our sustainable future.” –Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


HEALTHY SOIL = HEALTHY FOOD > KELLOGG GARDEN PRODUCTS

Gardening in Southern Red Clay The most noticeable difference between Georgia and other Southern states is the soil. The red Piedmont clay is hard to miss. In a rainy winter, it holds too much water, which can suffocate plants. In the summer, it will become rock hard if it’s not amended. The sandy Coastal Plains soil of the South is fairly reasonable in the winter, but requires more irrigation and, therefore, twice as much fertilizer in the summer than what’s needed in the North. Neither of these two soils is anything like growing in the heavy organic soils of the Midwest or the rocky clay soils of the Northeast. Here, you absolutely need to add soil amendments every year. The first thing to do is get a soil test, which will provide a report of your soil’s pH and what nutrients it lacks. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can amend the soil. It is a good idea to mix 4 to 6 inches of good organic matter, such as Kellogg Garden Soil, with the existing soil on land that has never been worked. One of the challenges most people don't realize is that adding organic matter is not a one-time deal. It’s an annual task for a healthy garden. The Southern climate breaks down organic matter very quickly, so it always has to be replenished. h

A good goal when planting the garden is to try to leave your soil better than you found it. What does that mean, exactly? Well, that means doing everything you can to feed the soil. Soil is alive, meaning it is full of nutrients and microbes that feed your plants. Over time, those nutrients can become depleted, so it is up to us to replenish our soil to keep it alive and thriving! Soil is an amazing substance. A complex mix of minerals, air, water, and countless microorganisms, soils form at the surface of land and come in many types. Put another way, soil is the thin, outermost layer of Earth’s crust. We can’t live without soil. Why? Most of our food comes directly or indirectly from plants anchored in and nourished by soil. • Soils modify the atmosphere by emitting and absorbing dust and gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor. • Soils provide habitat for soil organisms–mostly microscopic creatures that account for most of the life on Earth. • Much of the water we drink and use every day has been filtered and purified by soil. • Soils process and recycle nutrients, including carbon, so that living things can use them over and over again. • Like our skin, soil is easy to take for granted—and to damage. • Soil is a finite resource, meaning its loss and degradation is not recoverable within a human lifespan. As a core component of land resources, agricultural development,s and ecological sustainability, it is the basis for food, feed, fuel, and fiber production and for many critical ecosystem services.


The formation of soil, pedogenesis, is a very slow process. Creating one millimetre of soil coverage can take anything from a few years to an entire millennium.

Photo Š Holly D. Elmore


PAY IT FORWARD > KELLOGG GARDEN PRODUCTS

Working with smallscale farming families in remote locations, Plant With Purpose is helping reverse deforestation, heal damaged ecosystems, increase farm yields, improve nutrition, increase household savings, and provide greater economic opportunities.


When the land heals, people find hope. Poverty and the environment are more closely connected than we might think. In fact, the majority of the world’s poorest people live in rural areas. Equipped with the knowledge, tools, and resources to restore and develop their land sustainably, impoverished communities are able to lift themselves out of poverty and achieve self-reliance. This is the mission behind Kellogg’s partnership with Plant With Purpose, a humanitarian organization dedicated to helping rural poor around the globe adopt sustainable farming practices that protect the land and improve people’s lives. Plant With Purpose works in six developing countries, bringing hope out of poverty and creating lasting change.

Working with small-scale farming families in remote locations, Plant with Purpose is helping reverse deforestation, heal damaged ecosystems, increase farm yields, improve nutrition, increase household savings, and provide greater economic opportunities. Kellogg is proud to support these efforts across the globe by donating organic soils and fertilizers as well as our expertise. Each year, Kathy Kellogg Johnson makes multiple trips to rural farming communities in countries around the world to share her knowledge of sustainable, organic gardening practices. We encourage you to find a worthy cause and get involved! Together we can make a difference. h


Plant With Purpose, is a humanitarian organization dedicated to helping rural poor around the globe adopt sustainable farming practices that protect the land and improve people’s lives. Click here to see video.


As featured in the Spring and Summer 2018 edition of

This expanded digital book was created exclusively for Kellogg Garden Products by Nancy Suttles • nsuttles.com Southern Farm & Garden is a national, special interest publication created and published by Nancy Suttles. Left: Spring 2018 cover image © Holly Elmore. Right: Summer 2018 cover image © Nancy Suttles. All rights reserved

Garden Goodness: Kellogg Garden Products  

Building Life . . .in the Soil, Waterways and Community An exclusive digital book created exclusively for Kellogg Garden Products. All right...

Garden Goodness: Kellogg Garden Products  

Building Life . . .in the Soil, Waterways and Community An exclusive digital book created exclusively for Kellogg Garden Products. All right...