Local Gonzales man Brian Jurek showed off the true beauty and exponential growth of his massive garden; a true utopia ranging from pumpkins, squash, cantaloupe and many other delicious fruits and vegetables.
Gardening began as a hobby, but became much more after Jurek became medically disabled after an incident at work.
“I got everything over here. I mean, whether it's in the soil or what, not sure, but I have got great soil. A lot of people have said this growth and resulting produce is incredible,” Jurek said.
In an area dealing with drought, Jurek’s gardens are surrounded by trees and shade and he has been constantly watering his garden enough to attract local bumblebees. He attributes these factors to his success. Jurek describes seeing the bees hovering over his gardens as a utopia and the most beautiful thing to see.
“I love it. I mean, my mother was like this. She loved beauty [of nature] and stuff. And that's me. I mean, I love seeing all this stuff,” Jurek said.
Jurek brought in Gayle Bludau, family community agent for Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, and she was surprised by the nature of Jurek’s garden and the number of bees flying in and out.
“There were so many bees in the cantaloupe patch. It was amazing. It was actually unbelievable, because we talk about there being shortages of bees, but not in Brian's garden,” Bludau said.
Usually during the summer months, Bludau would see many gardens sustain heat damage, but she was surprised to see summer vegetation blooming in this garden.
“It looks like his cantaloupes are just about to take off and his pumpkin patch looks like it increased 10 feet since I saw it 10 days ago,” Bludau said.
Jurek’s tip to other gardeners in Gonzales is not to use chemicals, but use Miracle Gro, Epsom Salt, and ammonia and water.
“If you have bugs, you take Epsom salt, because regular salt will not produce the same effects, and put in a little spray bottle with water, and spray it on there and bugs don't like that,” Jurek said. “It's a natural chemical to put Epsom salt around there, ammonia and Mastiff, and then, boom, it sprouts up.”
Bludau and Jurek are planning future work to help make community gardens for students.
“He understands how important it is to have a successful gardening project at school. If we're working with children, the project really needs to be successful.” Bludau said. “If it's not successful, we have to make children understand that as much as you want a project to be successful sometimes, you have to deal with Mother Nature or wildlife, meaning deer.”