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"We Grew It -- Let's Eat It" ()

Garden Gives City Kids A Taste For Veggies

by NPR Staff
Jun 12, 2010 (Weekend Edition Saturday)

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City kids learn a lot of valuable tools for survival, like how to ride subways and push the buttons on elevators. But a lot of city kids think that green is just the color of a streetlight. Not Annie and Veda, two 5-year-old girls living in Washington, D.C., who now know that fresh vegetables don't just come from the market.

They've written a book called We Grew It, Let's Eat It by Annie and Veda as told to their mother, who happens to be Justine Kenin. Her name might be familiar to you from the production credits of our show.

Annie and Veda's garden welcomes visitors with a Gerber daisy gateway. Buds dot the raspberry bushes, and the broccoli is just coming into season. Annie bites into a freshly plucked stalk. "It's good," she confirms.

Their garden belongs to Rhoda Trooboff, an avid gardener and former teacher who's been growing veggies on this patch of land since the '70s.

"We started gardening here because our kids thought vegetables and food came from stores," Trooboff says. "We wanted to teach them, my husband and I, that it comes from the land, comes from the ground, and it takes work, and it takes patience, and then the pleasure of enjoying the results of your work is intensified, because you know you did it yourself."

She says Annie and Veda are accomplished weeders. She calls out to them, "Where do we put the weeds after we pull them out?"

"Compost!" they chime. If you're looking for advice on weeding, they've got it. "You dig up the weed, and put it somewhere else." Enough said.

Annie's favorite thing to grow is squash. Veda prefers onions. What do they really wish they could grow in the garden? "Ice cream plants!"

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We Grew It, Let's Eat It!
By Annie and Veda, as told to Justine Kenin,
Paperback, 50 pages
Tenley Circle Press: $15

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