Lars Mayer

Our Story

Lars Mayer came to Staten Island from Berlin, Germany, in 2000. He initially worked as an arts administrator and was involved in local cultural and civic activities. After transforming the backyard of a Tompkinsville townhouse, he decided to heed his family's call to go green full-time.

Both, his mother's and father's families were gardeners for generations. Lars mother's paternal family owned large plant nurseries in Potsdam in the early 1900s, later in the south and west of Berlin, in Lichtendrade and Spandau. His mother's mother and grandmother worked on fruit cooperatives and seasonally on the fields of Beelitz, at the outskirts of Berlin, where white asparagus, the most priced in Germany, thrives in the fine glacial sands of Brandenburg. His mother became a master florist. His maternal great- grandfather was specialized in the commercial cultivation of cyclames about which he published books that are available on this website.

Lars' father was a scientist at the Department of Forestry at the University of Göttingen, Germany in the 1970s/80s and became head of faculty at the Institute for Landscape Ecology at the University of Kassel from where he retired in 2006. His scientific methods and findings were seminal to enviromental science, especially in the field of soil pollution and degradation and directly impacted environmental policies world wide. His pathbreaking research on acid rain is still available as PDF on the website of the Forest Service of the US Department of Agriculture

Robert Mayer ca 1968 Lars' paternal side hails from the southwest of Germany, the Blackforest/ Alsace region, close to France. His grandfather became a WWII prisoner on a peach plantation. Apparently, the French took quite a liking on his gardening skills, so much that he asked his wife and three children in Germany to relocate to France. His wife declined.

The photo here shows Lars' Vater, Robert Mayer, as a young scientist at the University of Göttingen, ca. 1968 during the Solling project, a long term study on acid rain and soil pollution. (he's the one with the pen, not the hammer)

Sattler Lars' grandfather, Karl Mayer, was a gardener for the city of Stuttgart. His great-great grandfather was married to a French and worked the gardens of the Castle of Versailles in France. Seen here to the left, Meinrad Sattler in a photo from the 1920s.
Lars' maternal grandmother, Elsa Kelm, harvesting white asparagus, the most priced coming from the countryside around Berlin, 1930s.
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Lars' mother Brigitte as a child walking behind the horse plow at the families' nurseries in Berlin, Lichtenrade, ca. 1948.
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Lars' maternal family (Fam. Kelm), from left to right: Grandmother Elsa, brother Friedrich, Great-grandmother Pauline Luise, a helper and Great-grandfather Friedrich at the Beelitzer Obst und Tafeltraubengenossenschaft (Fruit and Grape Cooperative), 1920s.
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Lars Mayer, owner, with momy and aunt at families' nurseries in Berlin, Lichtenrade, 1971.
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Lars' maternal great-grandmother,in 1920s-30s, at the Beelitzer Obst und Tafeltraubengenossenschaft.
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The white asparagus from Beelitz, Brandenburg, is the most priced in Germany.
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Lars' maternal grandmother and workers cultivating asparagus in Brandenburg, ca. 1930s
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The newly built institute of pedology and forestry of the University of Göttingen (Lars' hometown), 1960s.
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Field workers on the "Solling Project", a groundbreaking long-term study on acid rain pollution 1960s-70s.
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Robert Mayer during the "Solling Project", a groundbreaking long-term study on acid rain pollution 1960s-70s.
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Copyright Grassroot Landscaping, Inc (c) 2024

Robert Mayer during the "Solling Project", a groundbreaking long-term study on acid rain pollution 1960s-70s.
gardener
Copyright Grassroot Landscaping, Inc (c) 2024

Lars' Schwester in ca. 1970
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