February 27, 2012

Gonzo gardening with Garza

By Nathan Douglas–

I met Jordan Joel Garza at a seed-starting workshop that he was leading. My first impression was that he was some sort of gardening prophet or wizard. He’s a lifelong Louisville native and a liberal studies major in the final semester of his senior year. Garza is a genuinely good dude, and I think “good dude” is just about as accurate of a statement as any to embody his persona.

Q: If a bear was approaching you in the wild, what is one thing you’d want to have?
A: A Shotgun?

Q: What’s your favorite part about school?

A: Learning. I think learning’s a good thing. I also like looking at people. When I’m not in school. I live with people who are in their late 20’s and 30’s and the social scene is totally different. When I come back to school, it’s just like, in the spring I get bisexual whiplash, all these beautiful people, and you know that they’re trying. It’s kind of nice.

Q: What animal would you be?

A: Cuttlefish. Bottom-feeder, mind-melder and a cephalopod… are really cool.

Q: What’s your favorite fruit?

A: Pawpaw. It’s from here. It’s the only species in its genus that’s not a tropical plant. It grows between here and northern Indiana and it grows along the riverbanks. They grow these little things that are like blue-green mangos and they taste like a banana mango custard kind of stuff.

Q: Place you’d like to travel?

A: I’d like to go to South America. I’d also like to go to Bhutan. I did this garden internship through Catholic Charities, and I was working with these people from Bhutan. They were the friendliest people you’ve met in your whole life. They barely spoke English, but they were super quick to make friends and I was like, if there is an entire country full of people who were this stoked about life, I want
to go there and see what they’re up to.

Q: Last meal you ate?
A: A mozzarella sandwich from the Tulip Tree Café and some peppermint licorice tea.

Q: What household appliance best describes you?
A: Garbage disposal.

Q: Anything you live by?

A: I try not to build up resentment. When I have something I need to talk to someone about, something I sort of reflect on it and think about what my part is in the situation and then try to have an honest conversation with them. I kind of follow this path of non-attachment. I’m not into long-term relationships or holidays. I take everything evenly; I take things as they are. In that way, people generally open up to me. Also, the university is a cash cow; you are the target market. Everyone wants to sell you something.

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Photos: Nathan Douglas/The Louisville Cardinal

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