Paul Rodriguez started a garden on the nursing home’s campus just as summer concluded and the results have been extremely impressive.
The senior citizen said the time commitment and dedication to growing has been more than enough to keep him active.
“I get up every morning at 6 o’clock,” he said. “By 6:30, I’m out there watering my vegetables. Nobody else helps me, I do it all myself. I plant them and then take care of them.”
While Rodriguez was coy about revealing his age, he was very open about the process he uses to yield his plentiful bounty.
“Every other day I put Miracle-Gro on my plants,” he said. “It makes them grow quicker. It gives more strength to the roots and that makes more vegetables.”
Despite being confined to two troughs, Rodriguez’s garden is filled with a variety of vegetables including eggplants, cilantro, turnips, and onions. Most of the food was planted in August, but some didn’t get into the ground until late October. By New Year’s Eve, he plans on having a new harvest of cabbage.
“I’ve got a little bit of everything in my garden,” said Rodriguez. “When the cabbage is ready, I’m going to take a lot of it to the kitchen and then give the rest away.”
The tables which hold Rodriguez’s garden were made for the nursing home and then donated by David and Diane Floyd. The Heights’ Family Council Fund provided the soil, seeds and fertilizer.
Rodriguez readily admits to having a green thumb for most of his life.
“I used to live out on a farm a long time ago that was owned by a lawyer from Houston,” he recalled. “I was going to build a small garden next to my house, but he wouldn’t let me. He told me to build it outside of the fence.”
“I ended up raising watermelons, carrots, peppers, squash, onions. You name it, I had it out there. It was more than I could eat, so I had to give a lot of them away.”