Gardener Story: Candy De La Fuente

Hi there! My name is Candy and this is the first true garden experience for my family and I. My husband and I have always dabbled in a little gardening and only lucked out in creating an abundance of tomatoes one year, which was wonderful chaos. (Ironically our tomatoes have struggled this year). We were so incredibly excited when we found out about Build it Up, and doubly so when we were accepted. In true Neeley-Fuente family fashion, we went big in the beginning and put in the effort of building three raised bed gardens after going to many community workshops and doing the research. We have a slanted backyard so that presented a couple of obstacles which the raised beds have helped with. With our good foundation down, we put to work all the supplies and knowledge that were gifted to us by BIU. 

Thus far, our gardens have yielded what we consider a pretty bountiful harvest. Our yellow squash and bell peppers are doing fabulously and we’ve been able to enjoy them in some of our favorite meals like yellow curry and southwestern stuffed bell peppers. Our sweet potatoes and cucumbers are also doing well as are our herbs. 

Honestly, this COVID-19 pandemic has affected how much time I truly have to dedicate to our garden after running back and forth to the hospital all day, but I love that although it may not be as much growing as I originally intended for us to do, our garden is still a family hub for us. It is a place that we check several times a week and exclaim excitedly every time we see something new sprouting. (We learned how broccoli grows!). Our garden is a beautiful little project where we can tangibly reap the rewards and it’s so uplifting through these times. I love that I know we can always reach out to Lexy, Rosie, and the BIU support system to make the best of our garden. I hope that we can continue to participate in the future seasons of BIU and are incredibly grateful for everything. 

More images from the Candy’s garden!