to build a raised garden bed, starting with a trip to buy the
Gardening has played a major role in his family’s history.
His mother, Ida, used to work in the tomato fields as
a youngster, earning 50 cents or so a day. His father, Pierre,
who emigrated from Haiti, grew up raising food for the
family in small gardens. As a tribute to his heritage, Paul has
a small Haitian flag at the back of his garden. Living in the
same house for 30-some years, Paul remembers his father had
a garden in the backyard.
“I remember him growing sweet potatoes, beans and
bananas in the backyard,” Paul says. “He probably grew
other things, but I wasn’t into gardening back then. It was his
thing, the vegetable garden.”
Paul recently applied to become a Master Gardener. He is
one of about 10 gardeners selected and is taking Zoom classes
during the pandemic.
“I was looking at everything the Master Gardener Program
has to offer,” Paul says. “Not so much just for the vegetable
gardening, but also landscaping, trees that are native to
Florida and studying different invasive plants that are here in
Florida that shouldn’t be here. Just trying to get to know my
VOLUNTEER WORK REQUIRED
Part of the program requires Paul to either volunteer at
the county’s botanical gardens, with the city’s community
gardening program, or take calls at the state’s agricultural extension
program west of Indrio Road where he would answer
homeowners’ questions about their yards.“I was approached
by people from the
Paul says. “They
reached out to
me a couple of
times saying that
everyone was talking
With Goo and
would I come talk
to the students.
Then, COVID hit
and everything got
Paul also posts
on his Facebook
page, but says
he has no formal
training in the subject.
He adds that
he does his own independent
An avid fisherman, Paul has posted an instructional
video on using all of the scraps from fish
as fertilizer in the garden.
on the subject.
WiseTribe, a grassroots nonprofit in Delray Beach, invited
Paul to a farmer’s market. A community-focused group,
WiseTribe is action-oriented and works to impart food knowledge
to the community and encourages residents to learn
more about what they are eating and how to make wiser
decisions about food.
The group gave Paul an aquaponics set-up. “That’s a project
I have to get working on,” Paul said. >>
Paul grows foods that his mother uses in her cooking including collard greens, kale and several varieties of peppers.