You can buy topsoil by the bag or by the truckload, but what about by the pod?
That’s what a new Fresno-based business is doing. My Garden Pod will deliver about 1,200 pounds of topsoil, compost or mulch to homeowners in a giant bag with handles via forklift.
The bag comes on the back of a big rig and the driver uses the forklift to deliver it to the “x” that marks the spot. Homeowners make the “x” with a couple of crossed sticks on the lawn, chalk on the driveway, a couple of brooms — whatever they want.
Convenience is the main selling point, says Larry LeMay, My Garden Pod’s vice president of operations, whose family also runs Mayson Ace Hardware in northwest Fresno.
“We’re trying to fit that niche of, ‘I need 20 bags of soil and I don’t have a pickup (or) even if I have a pickup, I don’t want that mess in my truck,’ ” LeMay said.
A bag costs $139 plus tax and holds one cubic yard of material. The bag itself can be recycled in homeowners’ blue bins, or they can return it to one of four locations and get $5 back.
Details: www.mygardenpod.com or (800) 308-6353.
— Bethany Clough
Wanna look inside others? Get a degree
If you’ve had an urge to see what’s going on with other people’s innards, there is a program starting this summer in northeast Fresno that might be right in your wheelhouse.
Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts won approval last month to offer an associate of science degree in ultrasound technology. The program was approved by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. The Fresno site is the second of Gurnick’s four campuses in California to have the program, which starts July 7. The program includes a two-year schedule of classroom instruction and clinical training.
According to information provided by the school, students will receive training in using ultrasound scanners to produce images of abdominal organs, for obstetric and gynecological needs and of hearts for doctors and specialists to examine.
The school says the degree will qualify students for entry-level work in hospitals, imaging centers and doctors’ offices and clinics as diagnostic medical sonographers.
The program also is intended to prepare students to pass certification exams needed to work in the industry.
Between tuition, books and various fees, the program costs about $48,800. But after ponying up that much money (or taking out student loans to pay for the program), will there be work in the industry?
In a recent employment projection, the state Employment Development Department estimates that about 4,700 people work in California as diagnostic medical sonographers, and that number is expected to rise to 6,700 by 2022. The field is expected to grow from 90 in 2012 to 120 by 2022 in Fresno County, where the average hourly wage was estimated at $42.59.
Details about the program are available on Gurnick’s website at www.gurnick.edu or by calling the Fresno campus at (559) 222-1903.
— Tim Sheehan
How others see us:
The Atlantic view
James Fallows, a high-pedigree writer for The Atlantic, the high-pedigree magazine, has been having a grand time with a couple of other writers traveling to medium-sized and smaller cities in the U.S. for an online project titled “American Futures.” The series examines “the people, organizations and ideas reshaping the country.”
The focus last week was Fresno.
Fallows, a longtime national correspondent for The Atlantic and a former speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter, in his first post rounds up many of the usual suspects that national media emphasize when they visit Fresno: the bounty of our agriculture, the gap between wealthy and poor folks, the relentless sprawl. But this series is supposed to be different. Fallows posted a photo of a noticeably people-free Fulton Mall and had this to say:
“This looks, and seems, pretty bleak. And that is why the people and groups we’ll be chronicling in coming days were both surprising and impressive in their determination that downtown Fresno would be the place where they would start their companies, realize their ambitions and help rebuild a community. This is the hardest-hit area in a hard-pressed town in a region the rest of the state relies on but generally ignores.”
Rogue Festival sources tell The Bee that The Atlantic folks spent time at the festival and were impressed by what they saw.
— Donald Munro