Our story begins more than 100 years ago when three brothers left Italy. One went to Argentina and was never heard from again. The other two came to America and began building their future in California's fertile Salinas Valley. Sadly, Antonio was killed when his horse spooked coming down San Juan Grade Road, and his wagon full of produce overturned, crushing him. But Giovanni married, built a little house in Santa Rita (it's now at the end of Massa Street) and raised four children.
Giovanni Massa had a little grocery store at what's now the corner of North Main and Massa Streets. One daughter eventually took over the grocery store, while both of his sons built their lives in Salinas Valley agriculture, as did their sons.
His grandson, my father-in-law, was a grower looking to follow his father's advice to 'take care of the soil and the soil will take care of you' when he began making compost for his own fields. As his neighbors and colleagues saw his success, they asked him to make some for them as well, and a new part of the business evolved. That's when my husband rejoined the family business, which eventually split off becoming Comgro Soil Amendments. Our sons became the 5th generation in California agriculture. Starting in middle school hoeing weeds and building fences, they worked their way up just like generations before them, before moving on to follow their own dreams.
John has become an expert in food safety, working with industry committees such as the Western Food Safety Summit, Center for Produce Safety, and the Hartnell College Ag Steering Committee, and volunteering his time with the Soledad High Ag Boosters and presenting at local Farm Days put on by Monterey County Ag Education. Agriculture isn't just what he does, it's who he is. Meanwhile, I've retired from teaching preschool to take over the office.
Our jobs, our family, our lives, depend on Ag.
Comgro's first spread job was on the Chinn ranch in 1989.
Comgro Soil Amendments' number one priority is ensuring the food safety and quality of the products we offer. We accomplish both these things by producing our products in a superior method along with rigorous testing for heavy metals and pathogens.
Comgro Soil Amendments is an active member of our community. Whether it is offering services to school districts, supporting FFA & 4H at the Salinas Valley Fair or guest speaking at high schools and Hartnell Community College. Above is a picture of John Massa speaking to a group of 3rd graders at the Salinas Farm Day.
Our clients become family to us and we want to make sure the product we send out is safe. We use a more lengthy composting process to ensure that our final product is pathogen free. In addition we third party sample and test our compost to California State Standards and the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA).
Along with food safety we pride ourselves in the quality of our products. We only use top-notch local raw ingredients in our compost. Our final product then goes through a fine screening system that will pull out any unwanted debris.