We had the good fortune of connecting with Stacey Messina and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stacey, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Absolutely, I am on a mission to teach as many people as I can how to grow food all year long while caring for the soil it grows in. One garden at a time, we can make a positive social impact with each plant we care for as well using the garden as a tool toward a zero waste lifestyle. Seed & Trellis offers various services to Southern California families who are excited about making a healthful lifestyle choice for themselves and for the environment. I personalize your garden design and grow menu, removing the confusion and overwhelm of starting a kitchen garden so you can learn to grow herbs and veggies effortlessly. The garden, specifically an edible kitchen garden, has the ability to make long-lasting impacts in all of our own spaces and community.
For example, learning to grow your own herbs and lettuce in a container or raised bed dramatically reduces plastics brought home from the grocery store. Choosing to plant native pollinators offers a safe refuge for beneficial insects protecting them from pesticides and harmful fertilizers. Diverting our food scraps and garden waste away from the landfills into a home compost or worm bin can significantly impact zero waste too!
At Seed & Trellis, growing beautifully is more than just the design or a planting plan. I get most excited about sharing how small day-to-day changes can help protect our precious San Diego Watershed and local resources. It is so important to practice good garden habits and Seed & Trellis is here to help navigate those.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Yes, I would be happy to share more about my work. I really enjoy helping others ignite confidence in the garden to grow food beautifully. My family, education, travels, various careers, and shared experiences with others all played a huge role why I chose to become a Garden Consultant. I was born and raised in San Jose, CA, where my earliest memories of gardening started in my grandparent’s abundant garden. There is still a distinct memory of my sister and I picking pole beans. We were just little enough to sneak between the narrow rows and help grandpa pick the beans. Somehow we would always have sticky bean leaves all over our clothes. That was the best part!
I pursued a deep passion for art and creativity earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of San Diego, focusing on oil painting, figure drawing, and printmaking. An immersion program at the Lorenzo de Medici School of Art in Florence, Italy inspired my graduation thesis and my largest body of work about the human in nature. After graduation, I jumped at a brief opportunity to travel Northeast for an internship teaching youth art classes in Putney, VT. We tended to and ate from the organic garden, witnessed calves being born in the dairy farm, and played in the rivers until sunset. Eventually, I ended up moving to Portland, OR, and started designing umbrellas and rainwear, traveling internationally for business, and started a family with my husband Paul. Living in the verdant, wet, and lush pacific northwest reignited my love of gardening and teaching art. After having our two beautiful boys we decided to move back to North County San Diego several years ago to be closer to family.
Fast forward to 2020, like many, I was feeling disconnected from nature and my community with so much isolation. During the pandemic, I started to dig in the garden again and organized my art supplies. My two passions pulled me out of a low and lifted my spirits. I picked up the pencil, the paintbrush, and love designing raised bed culinary gardens and The Garden Towel. I discovered a clear path and became a Certified Gardenary Consultant opening my virtual garden design, coaching business, and online garden supply store. Launching my business in the heart of the pandemic wasn’t easy but the virtual platform seemed to flow easily with everyone embracing virtual services and meetings. I am so fortunate to be able to reconnect with my community in this way.
Taking the first step in any new passion is certainly challenging. I hope that Seed & Trellis continues to help families grow food beautifully. Anyone can grow herbs and vegetables, but it’s more exciting when it is the food you love to eat. Lift your spirits and book a garden design consult to receive a personalized plan. We lay it all out for you on The Garden Portal exclusively at Seed & Trellis. You receive a fully customized design and gardening plan based on your family’s style, tastes, and season. We are so lucky to grow year-round in Southern California and I can’t wait to show you how during a virtual coaching session with me.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite places for breakfast are family-owned restaurants like Mama Kats in San Marcos and Mariah’s in San Elijo. For lunch or dinner, we would certainly hit up My Yard Live or take Taco Bar to-go here in North County.
As for a hidden gem, check out Salt N’ Straw Community Farm in the heart of Vista. It’s a paradise and they have a wonderful community farm stand and animals to visit and enjoy! The kids love it!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A huge thank you goes to my family, friends, and all my clients who continue to support me. I am so inspired by several local businesses who are leaders in our local gardening community and want to give each of them a special shoutout.
To Ron McCord at Good Grow Organics, aka “The Bokashi Man” who is a passionate long-term educator of bokashi for a zero-waste lifestyle. Another shoutout goes to my compost consultant, Katie Van Note, owner of The Compost Project, who helped our family set up a custom stackable composting bin that will replenish my soil and ultimately feed my family. A special shoutout to Brijette, owner, and founder of San Diego Seed Company. They produce my favorite regionally adapted seeds and we can grow food with confidence knowing the seeds are of high quality. A shoutout and special thanks go to all garden coaches and my mentor Nicole Burke at Gardenary who helped Seed & Trellis become a reality. I would also like to thank Sustainability is Sexy and SD Women in Food for introducing me to like-minded business owners who share similar sustainable missions. Thank you all for inspiring me to be a better garden coach.
Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.