Between his job at the Fort Pierce Housing Authority, his
gardening and his family life, Paul is a busy man. Yet, there
is still time for fishing. Another of his Gardening With Goo
videos explains how to use fish remains for fertilizer.
Paul attended Port St. Lucie High School, where he played
the heavy bass drum in the band all four years, then later
in life he spent two years in the Job Corps in Jacksonville,
receiving certification in facilities maintenance.
“My first job was at the St. Lucie County airport,” Paul
says. “I replaced lights on the runways, cut the grass and
things like that. But about two months later, I was hired by
the Fort Pierce Housing Authority as a maintenance person
and I’ve been working there for 15 years.”
GROWS WHAT FAMILY LIKES
Paul says he selects the vegetables he grows based on what
he and his family eat. He has vines with pigeon peas that
grow up around the banana trees behind the raised beds.
“They are native to the Caribbean,” he says. “There are
four to five peas in a pod. They are a lighter green than English
peas. They eat them all over the islands. They call it rice
“My mom likes me to grow bell peppers. She cooks with a
lot of bell peppers. She fixes collard greens. She cooks with
the hot peppers. I grow what she eats. I grow what I eat. I
grow what my daughter eats. I grow what my uncle wants.
I want to say that we don’t have to go to the store produce
department for nothing.”
Paul’s advice for young people: “Be persistent.”
“Once I got into this gardening thing and people liked it,
I saw that I could inspire this person, help that person, so
why stop?” Paul says. “I stopped a lot of times on different
projects; I shouldn’t have. I didn’t give them a chance to fail. I
didn’t give them a chance to succeed.
“So, to young people, I say: Just be persistent. Don’t give
Paul’s next project involves an aquaponics system gifted to him by Wise-
Tribe, a community food organization in Delray Beach.
Green bell peppers grow well in Paul’s garden beds. He also grows red bell
peppers and spicy cayenne peppers for use in the family’s meals.
Reaping the benefits of this Garden of Love is a family affair, involving, left to right, his niece, Byre’Yonna Jackson, 13, his mother, Ida Paul, who uses the
vegetables and herbs in her cooking, Paul and his daughter, Car’Mari, 9.