In the early 2000s, an ambitious man named Stefan Stein began a quest to make the world’s first “green” home.
In 2008, the Los Angeles native opened his own garden and made a name for himself in the burgeoning garden culture movement.
Today, Stein’s has about 300,000 square feet of lush, colorful and beautifully manicured garden.
He has cultivated dozens of varieties of vegetables and perennials for his guests to enjoy in their homes.
But this year, the garden’s growing pains came to a head when the plant’s roots started to develop holes in the soil.
With a team of scientists, the residents of Stein’s decided to help out and open up the garden in order to see if they could repair the problem.
They discovered that they could, with a few simple steps.
“The only way we could actually save the plant is to get rid of the hole and start again,” said resident Lauren Sturgill, who works with a group called Garden Seedworks.
“We had to do something to fix it, and we did it.”
The first step was to plant a small patch of soil around the plant, known as the “mushroom patch.”
In this first step, Sturgills and her team began to remove the soil around and around the mushroom patch.
It took just a few weeks to reach the point where the roots had stopped growing and the mushrooms were still viable.
“That was a huge relief,” Sturgil said.
“It felt so good to see the root system starting to grow again.”
Sturgill said the new root system is what ultimately gave her hope for the plant and for Stein’s garden.
“I think it’s a huge improvement, and it’s something that we can all benefit from,” she said.
The next step was for Sturgillo to grow the mushrooms herself.
“As soon as we got the soil we could start to grow them,” she explained.
“But there was something that I really liked about the process.”
After that, the new mushroom patch grew faster than the previous one.
“In about six months, we had a couple of mushroom plants and about four or five different species of mushrooms,” Storgill said.
In the past, this would take several months.
“Now, we can actually grow mushrooms that are at least two weeks old,” Stengill said with a smile.
After about a year, Stein began experimenting with different types of soil and growing conditions.
“Our first crop, it’s almost like a garden in a way,” Staughill said, adding that Stein’s gardens are now the most popular in Southern California.
“There’s really a huge demand for garden seeds.”
Stein’s has already been able to grow five different varieties of tomatoes in the garden, but the most important trait he is looking to build upon is his belief that “the best thing is the seed.”
With more than 1,500 varieties of seedlings, Stengil said, the seedlings are “the real stars of the show.”
Steinfeld said he has been trying to create seeds with different qualities.
“One of my favorite things about growing mushrooms is they’re very dense, they’re super flavorful and have a really long shelf life,” he said.
For that reason, he decided to start experimenting with new types of seeds.
“The seed industry is in its infancy, and seed is just really starting to take off,” he explained.
Steinfeld is currently testing out the new seedlings on a small scale, but he’s hoping to take them on a larger scale and begin using the new seeds to make his own seed banks.
“If I can just help get seed banks to start growing,” he stated.
“This seed is the future.”
Stengill has been able make several different types and varieties of seeds, which she said are the best she’s ever made.
“When you do a seed bank, it has a really rich, organic quality to it,” she added.
“With seed banks, you can do the whole seed with a single bag and see if you can grow it, or if you have any problems with the plants.”
Streatill said he hopes to continue to grow his own seeds as well as the variety that is in the seed bank.
“Even though it’s just a seed, it means a lot to me,” he added.
“Stein is a visionary,” Staugill said of Stein.
“He is really pushing the envelope.
Read more about gardening at L.A. Times, Los Angeles Times, gardening,planting,discovery,green source Reuters”
And his gardens are amazing.”
Read more about gardening at L.A. Times, Los Angeles Times, gardening,planting,discovery,green source Reuters