Day 145: Carlos, Director of Grounds

[ By on May 21, 2013 ]

What do I think about while I am working? Mainly about my duty, what I need to do to maintain the property at the standard that is expected. There is not much time to think about anything but what I need to do. There is a lot of planning ahead; I need to analyze the soil to see what kind of fertilizer to use, figure out when to re-seed the fields, plan big projects like re-doing a whole field, orchestrating the work in such a way that it is not going to affect what people need to do here. And that’s just the fields. I work on all these plants that you see, too. I see myself as an artist, and I paint on the canvas and something comes up. If I trim the plants in a certain way, it looks better. I like doing this work because it is close to nature. I am a religious person, and nature is close to God, so in a way I am close to God. I can say I am an artist, but of course I can’t do anything without God who created it all.

Working with plants and growing things is not something I was born with, it’s something that I liked, and I learned. I got my Masters degree in Agriculture, and I have thirty years of experience, working at places like Disney World and in Central Park. I keep up with my career, going to seminars to see if the newest solutions are things that I like. I don’t use any chemicals or pesticides here, nothing that would hurt the people who use the fields. I use only organic stuff, products that are green, eco-friendly, so that there are no repercussions to anybody. Because of that, there’s a threshold of tolerance; it’s not going to be perfect, but with good management, we can control most things. You see the grass at Shea Stadium, it’s perfect, but they’re using chemicals. I have to manage things very carefully, with different heights of cutting, frequency of cutting, different types of fertilizers, but I would rather not use chemicals or pesticides. I communicate all the time with my bosses, trying to figure out if what they see is OK, or if I need to make it better. This is the way I do it, this is what I think about while I am working.

Carlos lives in Queens with his wife Susan. He has three grown children, and when he is not working, he loves to travel.

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