One morning, there was a very serious meeting at the orchard. Eloise Carrot, in a solemn tone, addressed the rest of the vegetables in the veggie box that fresh morning: “Good morning vegetables big and small, green, red, yellow, orange and every color. It is with deep sadness that I must inform you that, for the second consecutive week, Paul has decided to only eat…” -she paused, took a deep breath, closed her eyes and said: “Bread.”
Gasps were heard all over the orchard. This was so deeply saddening and even worrisome. From the corner of the box, the deep voice of papa tomato was heard: “May I ask… why?” Eloise Carrot shook the leaves on her head “I don’t know!” she said “I know Paul’s mom has tried everything in her power! She’s made carrot puree, steamed broccoli, lettuce wraps… Even guacamole!... To no avail.” her eyes saddened.
“What’s going to happen to us?” asked Felicia Lettuce. An even deeper gasp filled the veggie box this time. All the vegetables had that secret fear: that little Paul would live on a bread diet forever, getting rid of all of them despite mom’s gardening efforts. “That can’t happen!” yelled Cali Cauliflower in desperation “If he only eats bread, he will not get the energy and nutrients he needs! We must do something! We love Paul!”
Later that day, at dinner time, Paul’s mom served him a cute platter with a smiley face made from carrots, peas, lettuce, and tomatoes. She left all kinds of dressings handy for little Paul to try with his veggies… but little Paul lifted one piece of a carrot… smelled it… scratched it… and with a suspicious expression on his face, he put it back on the platter “Err… Is there any bread?”
From the window, Cali Cauliflower, Papa Tomato and Eloise Carrot were observing the scene with deep concern. “See?” Said papa tomato “It’s not the presentation!”
“Yes!” said Cali Cauliflower “He had said that it’s the texture or the shape or the color or the smell... but it seems like it’s something else!”
“I have an idea!” said papa tomato.They all scrummed together like a football team, whispering a plan and giggling.
The next day, little Paul got a mysterious note under his door that read: “Dear Paul, please join us in the veggie box! Love, Papa Tomato, Cali Cauliflower, Eloise Carrot and the rest of the veggies”
Paul couldn’t believe his eyes, but still went to the veggie box in his orchard. There he found another note that said: “We come from small seeds. Please sow us in this rich soil” The note also contained some tomato seeds.
Paul was very intrigued, so he did as the note asked, sowing the tiny seeds in the tomato corner of the veggie box.
Then, he saw another note: “Water us, add some sun and we will grow!” He raised his sight and saw beautiful lettuces and herbs sprouting from the soil.
And then, another note:
“Water + sun + love and repeat… soon we’ll be ready for you!”
He looked and saw, glossy tomatoes, beautiful strawberries and amazing green beans. He couldn’t resist smiling. And then, another note: “Some of us are not so obvious, look underground!”
He saw the top of a carrot sticking out of the dirt. He gently pulled and got the freshest carrot he’d ever seen!
Paul’s dad walked towards him “What are you doing, kid?” “I don’t know but… can we have a salad?” he asked intrigued and surprised. Dad happily obliged. When they finished their salad, he asked Paul: “What made you change your mind?” “I… I just think I didn’t understand veggies. But they are actually pretty awesome!” Said Paul, excited. And that is how a wonderful relationship with food started.
In a corner of the orchard, vegetables big and small, green, red, yellow, orange and every color cheered in joy, as they always do when a kid tries them.