Carolina has been a plot owner at Huerta since its inception in 2013. Her plot, located near the entrance of the garden, is one of the first things to greet visitors. In her free time, she enjoys sharing fruits and vegetables from her garden, cooking cacti, and Aztec dancing. We feel grateful to have had the chance to chat with her about her involvement at Huerta. Check out some of the highlights from our interview below!
Lena: How long have you been coming to Huerta?
Carolina: Four years. I was one of the first persons to come here.
Lena: The last time I was here was 3 years ago and I feel like it’s changed a lot since then. There’s so much more green now! Do you feel like its changed since then?
Carolina: There was nothing, then! We moved a lot of things...There’s now compose for the Earth and all this beautiful delicious produce.
Lena: What’s your favorite thing about Huerta? Or, one of your favorite things about it?
Carolina: One of my favorite things is that it’s relaxing. It's part of my life. I remember when I was a little girl and learned to garden with my dad. And now, I teach it to my son and my daughter. When I was young, my dad came and saw me gardening a little herb. He said that it was a toy for me. In Mexico, my dad had acres. I love gardening. it's one of my inspirations.
Lena: What's your idea of a garden?
Carolina: The circle of life. We have a circle: birth, reproduction, growth, and death and the plants are like these. it's beautiful when you plant a seed and it grows up and gives its fruit and dies.
Lena: What’s your favorite dish, meal, or piece of vegetable?Carolina: I love strawberries and I love cactus. Right here, we’re planting onions, tomatoes, cilantro -- a complete salad with cactus! I love it and it’s a healthy dish.
Lena: How did you hear about Huerta when you first started? Carolina: I love to share when my produce comes. Strawberries, guava, canes, whatever I find. Sometimes, I cut down all my canes into little pieces and people can come and eat it. I share it with everyone and I feel so good. I feel great sharing parts of my produce for free! It's a beautiful moment when you grow something and can share it with other people.
Lena: What have you learned through your time at Huerta?
Carolina: Each day, I learn and discover new things. Each day new and new and new things that I never knew. I discover a new plant, new friends, a new culture! People are coming from different places. For example, someone from Russia says, “In Russia, I did that one” or from Salvador, they say they planted like this, too. Every day I learn and learn and learn and we don’t usually stop to learn. Also, I love the natural look of the beautiful butterflies. Different styles of butterfly. We have the monarch butterflies that love it. The hummingbirds love it. It’s amazing. I love it.
I’m a person with a lot of activities. My husband says that the day has 24 hours and I have activities for 36 hours of the day. I go to the school, I’m a volunteer for the school, I come into the garden, I’m an Aztec dancer. That’s why this space [Huerta] is relaxing. I feel so comfortable right here. Look at it...how beautiful, the trees. The flowers are probably coming in 2 months.
Lena: What are some of your dreams for the future of this garden?Carolina: Continue to plant, continue to learn, and probably expand. Each day I learn and learn and learn. I have an open mind. When you learn more and more things, you are more empowered. Questions and answers, let’s go! That’s the idea for me. It’s part of my life.