This story comes from NPR’s Next Generation Radio project:
Clarence Prevo begins nearly every day by walking through his garden and talking to his plants. He asks for “the Lord’s blessing” and prays for a bountiful harvest.
“He is the creator of all this,” said Prevo, 81. “Without Him, I wouldn’t be. Without Him, this wouldn’t be.”
He tends to newly sprouted red okra before watering flowers he has planted inside ice chests nearby. Eggplants, collard greens and red peppers overflow in raised wooden beds lining rows of Prevo’s Heavenly Garden in San Antonio, tucked behind Redeeming Grace church.
“This is where I belong: in the garden,” said Prevo. “This is my retirement home.”
The fragrance of mint and rosemary bushes fill the air, right by the plot where Prevo used to have dozens of tomatoes and watermelons before they got sunburnt by the year’s extreme summer temperatures and little rainfall. As summers get hotter and winters get colder, it’s becoming more difficult for Prevo to maintain his 2-acre sea of green — but that hasn’t stopped him from trying.
“San Antonio is hot, but I hadn’t experienced this type of heat in my gardening in the past,” Prevo said. “But you fight through that — you keep moving, you know, you can’t be defeated by that.”