Patient People with a Purpose for Place

Jim Bruner | Mezzacello Mezzacello in 2015 and in 2021.

Mezzacello is a private garden, homestead, Learning Lab for biochemistry, agriculture, robotics and technology integration for agriculture and sustainability. It is also a labor of love and our home. We knew from the start that we wanted a place that allowed the pair of us to explore our passion for life, beauty, gardens, culture, and science. We set out with two missions and we discovered ways to intertwine those missions and passions into a sustainable machine that honors and supports two missions that on the surface seem polar. But they are not. They answer needs and fill niches that are requirements for living in an urban food desert in the 21st Century in the middle of a food desert.

It was not easy or obvious. We started out rehabilitating the grass and soil. Then we started planning infrastructure; the bones if you will. We know innately that one of these gardens was going to be formal and the other feral. Each garden was going to require different inputs and strategies. That purpose for place was critical to the trajectory of our passion project together. I needed soil that was renewable, fertile, and highly amended. Rick needed structure and broad planes of grass ringed by engineered dedicated beds for the boxwoods, azaleas, hornbeams, magnolias, dogwoods and Japanese maples, perennials and annuals he had in mind. All were planned and engineered by hand over time. Poor boys have poor ways as Ben Franklin quipped. It’s all the more remarkable when you consider that on 20% of these gardens were purchased. Everything else was gifted or propagated on site. I find Richard’s Palazzo Pauper vision to be one of the best things in my life.

Especially over COVID19 having space to experience beauty, solitude, and life was a true gift. It didn’t happen overnight. In a series of posts I will document the process. Stay tuned, and in the meantime, enjoy this gallery of our summer garden!

Patient People with a Purpose for Place
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