DescriptionRamon G. is from Toluca, Mexico. Ramon has been gardening ever since he could remember because that’s what he was taught to do since he was young, to work in the fields.
Maria: When did your interest in gardening start?
Ramon: As a kid I didn’t like gardening as much but once I had my own family to take care of, I became very fond of what gardening could do for us.
Maria: Does your family follow your influence on gardening?
Ramon: Everyone in my family has at least worked in the fields once because that's what many Latin Americans do for a living.
Maria: How does gardening help your daily life?
Ramon: Ever since coming to the U.S. gardening has started to fade away from me. I haven’t even dug a hole in the ground since coming here.
Maria: How has your garden helped you out during difficult times?
Ramon: When I was 19 years old, I got my girlfriend pregnant and in our culture we marry the mother of our child. I was still young and had never lived out of my parents house but ever since that happened I had to look for my own place and start to work in order to get money for the baby. I didn’t have much experience in life so finding a job was hard, my wife and I worked in the field every day in order to eat. Without our gardening experience, I think we would have starved to death.
Maria: How do others react when you say you have a garden?
Ramon: They used to say that as a young boy I was doing the right thing because many young boys stop working in the fields and move to the U.S.
Maria: Do you think everyone should have a garden?
Ramon: Back in my country, yes. With a garden a family could be maintained. But here, in the U.S. there isn’t a need for a garden, they won’t survive the weather.
Maria: How would you feel if strangers took things from it?
Ramon: I wouldn’t mind it. Unless they took everything. One or two things is okay, but more than that, it's not.
Maria: Does your garden affect your mood?
Ramon: Being in a garden really brings back memories I feel that are gone forever.
Maria: What inspired you to start gardening?
Ramon: My parents. They were very hard field workers.
Maria: How proud are you to be a gardener?
Ramon: I could bet my life on me being the proudest to have memories of gardening in my life.
-Story contributed by Maria J., student at Paul International High School in Washington, D.C., May 2014.