SoCalGas Joins Santa Barbara County Flower & Nursery Growers' Association to Sponsor The Carpinteria Greenhouse & Nursery Tour Public invited to come and learn how Santa Barbara County's Flower Farms help grow a $770.7 million economic impact to the local economy

CARPINTERIA, Calif., April 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) is joining with the Santa Barbara County Flower & Nursery Growers' Association to sponsor The Carpinteria Greenhouse & Nursery Tour, an event to introduce the public to their local flower farmers and to see firsthand how Santa Barbara County's flower farms work to contribute a $770.7 million economic impact to the local economy. Carpinteria is recognized as the nation's "Flower Basket" and provides over 50 percent of the flowers grown in California, while California represents approximately 75 percent of all flowers grown in the United States.

The public is invited to attend free, farmer-guided tours of eight flower farms located in the Carpinteria Valley on Saturday, April 14, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Each farmer will showcase different products and inform the public about a variety of sustainable growing and harvesting practices. Participating growers include: Ever-Bloom, Myriad Flowers, Westland Floral, Farmers' West Flowers and Bouquets, Pianta Bella Nursery, Maximum Nursery, Ocean Breeze and Westerlay Orchids. Special features of the tour also include a presentation by Koppert Biologicals about insects that are beneficial to flowers and plants, the opportunity to buy fresh flowers, the Carpinteria Art Show and a fundraiser lunch to benefit area nonprofit groups.

"Southern California Gas Co. is proud to develop and implement energy efficiency measures that help our business customers, such as these greenhouse growers, become more competitive in their marketplaces," said Gwen Marelli, director of commercial and industrial services at SoCalGas. "We have worked with California flower farmers to provide rebates and incentives for greenhouse energy curtains, pipe and tank insulation and high efficiency boilers, helping them save nearly four million therms of natural gas which is the equivalent of $2 million dollars in energy costs."  (A therm is equal to 100 cubic feet).

"We're pleased to partner with Southern California Gas Co. to give the community a chance to learn more about this wonderful industry," said June Van Wingerden, president of the Santa Barbara Flower & Nursery Growers' Association, established to provide networking and educational opportunities to its members. "This event is important because it lets our neighbors see inside our greenhouses.  So many beautiful plants and flowers are grown inside Carpinteria's greenhouses and we want to share that beauty and help our community learn where America's best source of locally grown flowers comes from and how this industry helps bring dollars and jobs to the state."  

About Carpinteria Greenhouse & Nursery Tour 
The Annual Carpinteria Greenhouse & Nursery Tour was established by the Santa Barbara County Flower and Nursery Growers' Association.  The Association was established in 1975 to support its farms through advocacy, promotion and public relations efforts to ensure a positive long-term relationship with the local community. The farm tour gives the public the rare opportunity to see the beauty growing inside of the greenhouses of the Carpinteria Valley.  For more information on the tour, please call (805) 576-7417 or visit www.carpinteriafarmtours.com.

About Southern California Gas Co.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for 145 years.  It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 20.9 million consumers connected through nearly 5.8 million meters in more than 500 communities.  The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border.  SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110110/MM27708LOGO)

SOURCE Southern California Gas Co.



RELATED LINKS
http://www.socalgas.com
http://www.carpinteriafarmtours.com

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