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论文#4,想法,努力,方向, & Departments

The story of 生命之树苗圃 is really a story of people and passion. And plants. California native plants and the land we occupy for growing, 加上我们团队的朋友和同事, 包括我们的忠实客户. 2021 marks the official 40-year anniversary of the partnership between the owners Jeff Bohn and Mike Evans. Mike founded the original company under the name 生命之树苗圃 and Landscape in 1977. Through a mutual friend and native plant expert, Mr. 阿特·泰里(Art Tyree),他从奥巴马那里学到了. Theodore Payne himself) Jeff and Mike met in 1979 and discovered they had a lot in common; beach culture, surfing, the outdoor life, 功能的景观, 可持续的花园, landscape design, nursery experience, 以及对加州本土植物的热爱. 他们建立托儿所的故事, a business, and a lifestyle will be told in a series of monthly essays to be published through 2021.


蜂鸟会观赏许多不同的花. Somewhere I read the average number for an average day in the average life of an average hummingbird and I was blown away. Over 1000! 因为它们有很高的新陈代谢, 它们基本上整天都在吃东西, 从各种各样的花中取样.

对于这些论文,我们设定了截止日期. 现在我的桌子看起来乱糟糟的,但每个石头, fossil, seed pod, stone tool, pine cone, carving, sea shell, photo, clay pot, postcard, trinket, rusty bolt, magazine, 或者书有它自己的故事, 中间有地方放我的笔记本电脑. All this in a room of bookshelves containing Seri figures, 印第安篮子和陶器, 发现岩石(包括大苏尔玉碗), dried flowers, a couple hats, 当然还有关于植物的书, places, people, 自然的历史和思想, 四周都是挂着平纹空气艺术品的墙壁, maps, certificates, photographs, native weavings, shell necklaces, 几把很酷的展示刀, and a coffee cup, backpacks, camp gear, bags of maps, bags of bags, 收集的种子(需要加工), 还有一把吉他在这里和那里代替他们的位置, 在一个水瓶和我的拖鞋旁边. 

Outside my window is a whole world of garden intrigue calling me even now to do some spot watering or tip pruning, 感受微风,聆听鸟鸣, 和达科塔在一起, catch a little sun, (喷泉可以清洁一下了), or pull some weeds, all reminiscent of friends from boyhood days standing outside calling, “come out and play.”  Which I will do, but now I have a due date and a time to write. 

If you try a lot of stuff, something’s bound to work. At Tree of Life we are singularly passionate about native plants, and with them, 事实上通过它们, 我们努力提供灵感, 信息和与自然的联系. 但在我们皇冠app苹果官方的历史中, you could say we have sampled from many different flowers within one big garden.

We started in the late 70’s growing a simple list of the most noteworthy native plants. We grew what we hoped would sell and we promoted many plants most people were not familiar with. 随着我们的声誉和业务的增长, 我们开始按照合同种植一些植物, a new endeavor, a new “department.“粗糙的景观植物, mostly for slopes and out-of-the-way plantings in large quantities, while we continued to promote refined natives for visible planters at the front door.

然后我们的库存分成两类, 植物景观, and plants for ecological restoration (back then called revegetation). A new endeavor. 大多数reveg集中在湿地周围, 所以我们种了很多柳树, mulefat, cottonwood, elderberry, sycamore, 还有其他的嫌疑犯. Pretty solid new department, riparian restoration.

Actually, a big part of our production then centered around wetland reveg. When we got our first inquiry for California sagebrush, buckwheat, black sage, white sage, coastal sunflower, deerweed, and coyote brush, 我当时目瞪口呆! Projects needed container plants of species I considered the basic “default” plant community (coastal sage scrub) – the common one we trek through to reach a canyon, cave, rock outcrop, ledge, big tree, or shrub, where we might actually find something interesting? Turns out the default plant community was also becoming scarce. 这就是所谓的“恢复高地”.

Our business was wholesale only, about 50% landscape plants and 50% reveg. We had a lot of unused land so we dabbled in farming on the side. Confession time. There was some hot tip on cantaloupe futures so we planted about 3 acres, all at once, 没有买家排队. We were going to corner the market, make a killing. To this day, when I smell an overripe melon I am reminded of the thousands that did not sell during those first hot days of summer. 我们尝试了有机玉米, which actually worked except most people weren’t fond of the little worm they found waving at them when they opened the green husks. One year, we were certain mini pumpkins would be all the rage (about 10 years before they actually were all the rage) and we guessed right, 除了我们的在劳动节成熟, 万圣节前两个月. 提醒自己:在这个季节晚些时候播种. To this day, I don’t like the smell of rotten pumpkins either. 我们放弃了商业性耕作. Leave it to the folks who make it look easy, because it’s not.

All the while we were building new shade houses, growing beds, and greenhouses. 我们建立了一个实验室和设施, and hired an expert to produce a beneficial soil inoculant containing endomycorrhizal fungi, good guy microorganisms that live in soil root zones and help native plants. This program was highly successful for our own use in house, but we fell short on marketing a commercial product. Mycorrhizae was a new department in our young business. We coupled it with our rudimentary plant pathology lab in a vintage travel trailer.

Oh yeah, we also planted a 2-acre field of a most delicious strain of edible cactus (仙人掌属植物ficus-indica), but harvesting and selling the nutritious pads and fruit we did not get around to. We ate plenty ourselves, but not two acres worth. So we failed to make a million as the local purveyor of nopales and tunas, 但是田野风景如画, 就像圣胡安的老墨西哥. And when bulldozed into a heap, what a great heap!

Back at the ranch we were honing in on native plants as the general public was finding us and wanting our product. 招牌上写着“仅限批发”, but thankfully, some folks drove past the sign and convinced us that their money was as good as anyone’s, 他们的热情也会更好, so we developed policies to accommodate sales to the general public. Special days, special hours, and we did not make it easy. We had always hoped to supply local nurseries and garden centers, 但他们不是很感兴趣,而且, many were going out of business because big box retailers were moving in. Sales to this new customer base became a new department all its own. 然后我们的谷仓被烧毁了.

We got on the straw bale trail by advice of a friend and never looked back. Over time, 我们建造了新谷仓, 然后是我们的零售Roundhouse, next our Oficina and finally Casa La Paz using plastered straw bales as the wall system. We became local authorities on this fascinating building alternative, hosting workshops, tours, 并提供指导. Huell Howser even did his California Green episode on straw bale construction at our nursery.

We started selling books and seeds and related items and we made it easier for the general public to find us. 有规律的工作时间和专门的人员帮助. Retail was becoming a very important department for us.

All along we were trying new plants and also contract growing plants which originated on particular job sites, thus establishing site-specific contract-grown reveg plants as a separate wholesale department. This involved special collections of seed and cuttings, extensive record keeping and accountability in propagation, acclimatization, and follow up for second and third generation collections from established mother plants. 我们专门从事这方面的工作,现在仍然如此.

A few years later, we revived our mycorrhizal department with fresh research and techniques and a new expert conducting experiments, 并测试其他的好处. At conferences and in the world of ecological restoration we were recognized as experts in a very pragmatic sense. 我想我们已经建立了一个真正的R & D部在一个工作的托儿所.

批发工厂的世界正在改变, with non-native plants being touted as solutions for water savings, 经济衰退使托儿所损失惨重, 商业园艺也陷入了混乱. We hung in there, encouraged by the enthusiasm of our native plant public, 所以我们重新在零售方面做出了努力. “Casa La Paz”全面运作, we stocked it with more books and other gift items around the theme of nature and the restorative healing experiences of natural gardening. 这个主题变得越来越重要.

At Casa La Paz we started our live outreach series: free workshops every Saturday morning. This program is incredibly popular and perhaps our most iconic hands-on activity is our Christmas Wreath Workshop, 现在已经是第18个年头了. (We had to take the entire workshop department online for over a year during the Covid pandemic, 我们学到了很多, 在网上接触到很多新朋友.)

A few years ago, 我们环顾四周,发现自己在变老, 无论是作为企业还是作为员工, 尤其是在办公室里. 我们需要新人来接受新想法, endeavors, and directions; maybe even start a few new departments. And we needed new sources of income from our field of commercial horticulture, but our business objectives had never fit into any conventional definition. So we stuck with our original goal: 1) to create a lifestyle for our team and our customers and 2) to have fun doing it. But it would be no fun to have to shut the gate, call it quits. The business was desperate for new life, new energy, and income.

We interviewed and hired keen, capable, committed, lively, passionate youth. Some of our interview questions a few years ago seem clumsy now, 比如“你知道怎么在Instagram上发帖吗??“一个接一个,我们继续招聘. The first few had to bond all by themselves with the oldsters, but now they are many and we have all become one big happy diverse family. 

我们开始在社交媒体上发布信息, 参加在线研讨会, 开通了一个YouTube频道, IG上粉丝突破5000人, 已开发的设计风格指南, 修改了我们的网站, 并对我们的初恋保持真诚, 具有生活方式和乐趣的本土植物. We upgraded inventory, sales, accounting, and propagation database programs. 我们成立了一个邮购部门. 我们修好了我们的旧高尔夫球车.

Our departments have grown to include “TOLN Design” custom garden design and build, and “Naturescape” where we partner with Moulton Niguel Water District, installing their turf replacement native gardens. We also provide garden tune-ups and maintenance as follow up on our landscape services.

We built “La Finca” where we produce and sell organic vegetable transplants and we’ve established a joint venture with South Coast Farms, food growers who really do know what they’re doing. Their “U-Pick Strawberry” program is a big hit every year bringing new customers to our place. In the back 40, exciting new departments include “Micropropagation,” where we equipped a real live scientist with a real live tissue culture lab so that rare species can be propagated for conservation and other hard to propagate plants can be produced.

We’ve ramped up our outreach department through social media and in-house interpretive signage, 重新思考研讨会和一般的信息, and determined to make Tree of Life a transformational experience for everyone. 我们努力提高质量, 以及我们如何展示我们的植物, settling for nothing less than a very attractive finished product, 因为到最后, 我们种植和出售本地植物.

I guess we have high metabolism and need to keep moving from bloom to bloom. 我们的客户和同事使它值得. 大自然给我们灵感. 我们有一个不可思议的团队! Our Tuesday morning staff meetings have become reports of the week’s flower foraging, and plans for our next forays into flower fields. 我们甚至讨论了这些论文的截止日期. Thanks for reading.

Too dark now to clean the fountain, but Koda and I need a walk. 所以我们要到外面去.

Solomon wrote that we should basically use wisdom and try a lot of stuff because something will work out. But mostly, we should do it with all we’ve got, and then enjoy the fruits of our labor. 

“Wisdom is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed. Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return. Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land. 在早晨播种, 到了晚上,你们的手不要闲着, 因为你不知道那一个会成功, 不管是这个还是那个, 或者两者是否都能做得同样好. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” Proverbs 3:18; Ecclesiastes 11:1,6; 9:10