Most cooks will tell you a dish is only as good as its ingredients and that fresh is always best. Well, how much more fresh can you get than harvesting from your own backyard? Growing up I never had a green thumb. You could say I lived in a “concrete jungle.” So when I purchased my first home in St. Gabriel in 2012, I thought to myself, “I’m in the country, let’s give this a go!”
Two years had gone by and I still didn’t build one. Boy, was that a failure. I built a garden box suspended in air with garden timbers as the post. I filled the box with garden soil from a bag mixed with some top soil. I planted some seedlings and watered. It was the worst idea I’ve ever had… it was a mud pit! Around this time, I started dating Connie. When she saw the garden she gave me a little head shake and said, “Jimmy Boudreaux would not approve.” You see, Connie’s father is retired from the LSU Ag Center. He has a freaking Ph.D. in horticulture. I let my attempt at a garden do its thing for a whole spring and summer and I may have had one or two tomatoes and bell peppers.
Fast forward to 2015 — Connie and I traveled to Ireland and during this trip I asked for her hand in marriage. Upon our return, we were showered with love and congratulations from her family. This part is significant… just one week later, Jimmy Boudreaux had two yards of dirt in a trailer, brought it to my house and began to put in a garden. A week later, two yards of manure. Over the next few years, this garden produced many tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, and eggplants. It was enough to stock us, as well as our neighbors and coworkers.
In 2017, we began a new chapter in our lives. We bought our first home together and obviously had to put in another garden! It only took us eight months to get starter, by this time I did a majority of the work with just a little help from Mr. Jimmy. Manning a larger one man tiller is quite the workout! We decided on an approximately 15′ x 15′ foot garden. We have four rows about 10 – 11 feet long. The early tomatoes and bell peppers were planted first and we just put in the banana peppers and late tomatoes. We still have a few more things to complete for the garden, such as running water supply and hooking it into the drip line, adding a trellis to grow green beans and other vining vegetables, and creating a compost pile on the other side of the garden.
Here’s a look into the creation of our Garden de Silva.