Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, May 28, 2021, Page 2, Image 2

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

Friday, May 28, 2021
People & Places
Selling real grass in dry Bay Area
For the Capital Press
— Sod farmer Erin Gil
offers a counterpoint to the
old saying, “Don’t let any
grass grow under your feet.”
In fact, he hopes it
does, especially during the
drought that covers much of
the region.
Erin’s father, William Y.
Gil, started the family’s turf
farm — aptly named Grass
Farm — in 1969. It has con-
tinued to grow to 120 acres
and now serves the San
Francisco Bay Area.
“Starting as a family
farm, we all helped out with
chores as well as canvasing
new and upcoming neigh-
borhoods looking for new
home owners that could
afford to sod their front or
back yards,” Erin said. “In
those times, it was hard to
convince homeowners to
spend the extra money to
hire someone to grow their
front yard. Everyone seeded
their lawns.”
Erin recalled that his
other early responsibili-
ties were walking the fields
picking up rocks, roots and
other debris to keep the turf
Grass Farm’s product
line consists of cool season
turf varieties that follow the
Turfgrass Water Conserva-
tion Alliance research and
Santa Clara County Farm Bureau
Erin Gil, a sod farmer from Morgan Hill, Calif., says nat-
ural turf is much more able to weather high tempera-
tures than the artificial variety.
Alliance members include
seed producers, turf breed-
ers, university researchers
and industry experts.
Following the alliance’s
guidelines, the company
offers grass varieties that are
drought tolerant and offer
the best color and texture.
Being in a transition cli-
mate zone, Bay Area home-
owners can plant warm sea-
son grass such as hybrid
For cool season lawns in
the Bay Area double dwarf
fescue remains the choice,
and hybrid Bermuda can
be used through winter
COVID-19 lingering, sell-
ing grass sod can be a chal-
lenge. Oddly, many prob-
lems are traced to irrigation,
not drought.
“In our experience, we
spend the most time solving
problems associated with
irrigation,” Erin said. “Many
of the problems associated
with disease and die back
are associated with applying
too much or too little water.”
Once lawns are burst-
ing with lush green grass,
customers can visit Gar-
den Accents in nearby Gil-
roy. It is operated by Erin’s
sister, Debbie Barcord, and
offers fountains, plants and
Erin has spent years sup-
porting local organizations:
California Landscape Con-
tractors Association, Santa
Clara County Farm Bureau.
Santa Clara Counties Val-
ley Water, Landscape Advi-
sory Committee and the
Santa Clara County Plan-
ning Commission.
However, there is no sup-
port for surface and under-
ground pests. He said cool
season turf’s biggest prob-
lem in the Bay Area is infes-
tations of white grubs.
Then there are gophers.
These furry nuisances can
be controlled by gopher
wire, traps, baits and water
to flush them out of their
Artificial turf also falls
in the “unwanted” category.
He said grass outperforms
fake turf, especially in hot
Established 1928
Capital Press Managers
Joe Beach ..................... Editor & Publisher
Anne Long ................Advertising Manager
Residence: Morgan Hill,
Occupation: Sod farmer
and owner, Grass Farm
Website: www.grassfarm.
Quote: “I am so glad to
spend so much time over
the years bringing joy to
so many.”
Carl Sampson .................. Managing Editor
Jessica Boone ............ Production Manager
Samantha McLaren ....Circulation Manager
Entire contents copyright © 2021
EO Media Group
dba Capital Press
An independent newspaper
published every Friday.
Capital Press (ISSN 0740-3704) is
published weekly by EO Media Group,
2870 Broadway NE, Salem OR 97303.
Periodicals postage paid at Portland, OR,
and at additional mailing offices.
On a hot day, Gil mea-
sured the surface tempera-
tures of grass and other
It was an August after-
noon at about 5 p.m. The
artificial turf registered 148
degrees, asphalt was 134
degrees, concrete was in the
upper 120 degrees and natu-
ral turf was 98 degrees.
“Anyone could say our
urban ‘heat island’ is as
much a matter of the changes
to the landscape materials
used as atmospheric carbon
dioxide,” he said.
That, he said, is why he’s
sold on the real thing.
POSTMASTER: send address changes to
Capital Press, P.O. Box 2048 Salem, OR
To Reach Us
Circulation ...........................800-781-3214
Email ...........
Main line .............................503-364-4431
News Staff
Carol Ryan Dumas ..............208-860-3898
Brad Carlson .......................208-914-8264
Western Washington
Don Jenkins .........................360-722-6975
National FFA convention returns to Indianapolis
Capital Press
The National FFA Orga-
nization will hold its annual
in-person convention this
fall in Indianapolis.
The event, which tradi-
tionally brings more than
65,000 attendees, will take
place Oct. 27-30.
events during the convention
include the American FFA
Degree ceremony, career
success tours, competitive
events, delegate business
the National FFA Expo and
shopping mall, general ses-
sions, student and teacher
workshops and the National
Days of Service.
In addition to the in-per-
son event, the organiza-
tion will offer a virtual pro-
The national FFA convention will be in Indianapolis
again this fall, the organization announced this week.
gram, including student
and teacher workshops, the
virtual FFA Blue Room,
National Days of Service
and the streaming of general
“We are excited to come
back to the great city of Indi-
anapolis that has been such a
gracious host to us in years
past,” Mandy Hazlett, asso-
ciate director of convention
and events at the National
FFA Organization, said in a
press release.
“We know convention
will look a bit different this
year, but we are excited to
offer this opportunity to
our student members once
again,” she said.
In 2020, the organization
canceled the in-person event
due to the COVID-19 pan-
demic and instead offered a
virtual experience.
looked a little different in
2020 than we were used
to, our members showed
their ability to adapt and
create meaningful experi-
ences while still celebrating
FFA and agricultural educa-
tion,” said James Woodard,
national FFA adviser.
“We are excited to bring
an in-person event back to
our members and the city of
Indianapolis,” he said.
The convention will be
held at the Indiana Con-
vention Center, which has
invested $7 million in new
health and safety upgrades.
“Throughout the year,
FFA members across the
country have shown their
resiliency and ability to
adapt as we faced new chal-
lenges with the COVID-
19 pandemic,” said Doster
“Our team has been
inspired by these members
as they have continued to
find new and creative ways
to live to serve. It is because
of their perseverance that we
are thrilled to offer an in-per-
son event to our members as
we celebrate this future gen-
eration of leaders,” he said.
Eastern Washington
Matthew Weaver ................509-688-9923
George Plaven ....................406-560-1655
Mateusz Perkowski .............800-882-6789
Sierra Dawn McClain ..........503-506-8011
Randy Wrighthouse .............800-882-6789
To Place Classified Ads
Telephone (toll free) ............800-882-6789
Mail rates paid in advance
Easy Pay U.S. $4 /month
(direct withdrawal from bank
or credit card account)
1 year U.S. ...........................................$55
2 years U.S. ........................................$100
1 year Canada .....................................$275
1 year other countries for quote
1 year Internet only .........................$49.99
1 year 4-H, FFA students/teachers .......$30
9 months 4-H, FFA students/teachers ..$25
Washington FFA announces new state officers
Washington FFA has a
new team of state officers for
of White River FFA was
elected president; Ains-
ley Carpenter of Deer Park
FFA as vice president; Mad-
ison Wolfe of Pullman FFA
as secretary; Kinsey Nel-
son of Walla Walla FFA as
treasurer; Caitlyn Garvey of
Yelm FFA as reporter; and
Andrew Miles of Finley FFA
as sentinel.
The officers were cho-
sen May 15 during the 91st
Washington FFA Conven-
tion live streamed from
Beasley Coliseum at Wash-
ington State University in
State officers commit
to a year of service to the
Washington FFA Associa-
tion. They travel throughout
Washington and the Pacific
Northwest to interact with
business and industry lead-
ers, thousands of FFA mem-
bers and teachers, corpo-
rate sponsors, government
and education officials, state
FFA leaders and the public.
The team will lead per-
sonal growth and leadership
training workshops for FFA
members throughout the
state and help set policies
that will guide the future of
FFA and promote agricul-
tural literacy.
Washington FFA Associ-
ation provides intracurricu-
lar learning and leadership
to more than 9,750 student
members statewide.
The National FFA Orga-
nization provides leader-
ship, personal growth and
career success training
through agricultural edu-
cation to 760,113 student
members who belong to one
of 8,739 local FFA chap-
ters throughout the U.S. and
Puerto Rico.
Visa and Mastercard accepted
To get information published
Mailing address:
Capital Press
P.O. Box 2048
Salem, OR 97308-2048
News: Contact the main office
or news staff member closest to you,
send the information to
or mail it to “Newsroom,” c/o Capital Press.
Include a contact telephone number.
The 2021-2022 Washington FFA State Officers are, from
left, Madison Wolfe, secretary (Pullman); Kinsey Nelson,
treasurer (Walla Walla); Andrew Miles, sentinel (Finley);
Caitlyn Garvey, reporter (Yelm); Ainsley Carpenter, vice
president (Deer Park); and Alyxandra Bozeman, presi-
dent (White River).
Letters to the Editor: Send your
comments on agriculture-related public
issues to, or
mail your letter to “Opinion,” c/o Capital
Press. Letters should be limited to
300 words. Deadline: Noon Monday.
Submit upcoming ag-related
events on
or by email to newsroom@capital-
JUNE 9-11
JUNE 28-29
World Pork Expo: Iowa State
Fairgrounds, Des Moines. The
world’s largest pork industry-spe-
cific trade show brings together
pork producers and industry profes-
sionals from around the world for
three days of education, innovation
and networking. Website: https://
Idaho Cattle Association Sum-
mer Round-Up: Stagecoach Inn,
Salmon, Idaho. The conference will
include updates from the National
Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Idaho
Beef Council, Idaho Department of
Agriculture and Idaho Departments
of Lands, as well as market updates.
An optional rafting trip is planned
for June 27. Website: www.idaho-
JUNE 24-26
United Fresh Convention
and Expo (in person and online):
Los Angeles Convention Center.
Whether online or in person, United
Fresh is your partner connecting
the global fresh produce industry.
Sponsored by the United Fresh Pro-
duce Association and the Fresh Pro-
duce and Floral Council. Website:
Western Governors’ Associ-
ation 2021 Annual Meeting (vir-
tual): The event will feature gov-
ernors in roundtable discussions
on topics such as energy response,
public lands challenges, shared
stewardship, infrastructure and
workforce. Website: www.west-
AUG. 10-12
2021 Cattle Industry Conven-
tion & Trade Show: Gaylord Opry-
land Resort, Nashville, Tenn. The
convention will include educational
seminars, exhibits and networking.
AUG. 18-20
Farwest Show: Oregon Conven-
tion Center, 777 NE Martin Luther
King Jr. Blvd., Portland. The Farwest
Show, the biggest green industry
trade show in the West, is produced
by the Oregon Association of Nurs-
eries, a trade organization that rep-
resents and serves the interests of
the ornamental horticulture indus-
try. For more information, go to
R-CALF USA 2021 Convention
and Trade Show: Rushmore Plaza
Civic Center, Rapid City, S.D. The con-
vention will feature industry speakers
and networking opportunities. Web-
Capital Press ag media
AUG. 20-29
Western Idaho Fair: Expo Idaho,
5610 Glenwood St., Boise. Check
back later for more information.
AUG. 27-SEPT. 6
Oregon State Fair: Oregon
State Fair & Exposition Center., 2330
17th St. NE, Salem, Ore. We’re look-
ing forward to welcoming you
back to the Oregon State Fair, Aug.
27-Sept. 6, 2021. Stand by for more
information! Website: https://ore-
SEPT. 3-11
Eastern Idaho State Fair: East-
ern Idaho Fairgrounds, 97 Park St.,
Blackfoot, Idaho. The daily schedule
and entertainment line-up will be
published in June. Website: https://
SEPT. 3-26
Washington State Fair: Wash-
ington State Fair Events Center, 110
9th Ave. SW, Puyallup, Wash. Open
Labor Day weekend. Closed Tues-
days and Sept. 8. Website: https://
SEPT. 28-OCT. 2
World Dairy Expo: Alliant
Energy Center, 1919 Alliant Energy
Center Way, Madison, Wis. Among
the many events held are contests
and a trade show. Website: https://
OCT. 27-30
National FFA Convention and
Expo: Indianapolis, Ind. The National
FFA Organization will host an in-per-
son 94th National FFA Convention &
Expo Oct. 27-30, with a virtual pro-
gram. National FFA will continue to
follow all health guidelines set by
the county, state and the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention.
More information will be shared as it
becomes available. Housing for the
in-person event will open July 14,
with convention registration open-
ing Sept. 8. Website: https://conven-
Opinion ...................................................6
Correction policy
Accuracy is important to Capital Press
staff and to our readers.
If you see a misstatement, omission or
factual error in a headline, story or photo
caption, please call the Capital Press news
department at 503-364-4431, or send
email to
We want to publish corrections
to set the record straight.