Audio Recording "I like to see things grow and I like to eat fresh vegetables."

More Resources

About this Item

"I like to see things grow and I like to eat fresh vegetables."
Contributor Names
Jones, Leonard (Narrator)
Levitas, Susan, 1961- (Interviewer)
Created / Published
Subject Headings
-  Vocational education
-  African Americans
-  Foodways
-  Gardening
-  Oral history
-  Interviews
-  Sound recordings
-  Vegetables
-  Ethnography
-  United States -- New Jersey -- Paterson
-  Interview with Leonard Jones, urban gardener, hardware store worker, motorcycle club member.
-  Summary of audio segment: (Where is the garden located and how did it come to be?) Located between Tyler and Bridge, it's to the left of Federal Supply and is owned by them. About five years ago the city said the company had to clean up the lot and boss asked me to go in and cut all the trees that had been growning up in there for the last 25 years. I did, and we chopped and shredded them and spread it all over. Wondered what's going to happen next year when the weeds grow up again? One day I said I'd put garden there and boss said I don't care what you do as long as city doesn't bother us. So I started sifting the dirt, digging up tree trunks and moving out stones and car pieces and whatever I found there. I took section by section until I covered the whole lot. (How did you know how to garden?) It was just instinct, like I can cook, that was the first thing our mother taught us; we had no sisters, so that was one of our chores, to watch her cook; never watched anyone garden; I read about them, what you read normally, I'd seen gardens. My grandfather had a farm; I like to see things grow and I like to eat fresh vegetables. Normally I planted only what I liked and later, what other people liked; I like hot peppers, and tomatoes, cucumbers, and turnip greens, and kale. I don't care too much about cabbage but I grow some for the people. Whoever asks me for something I give it to them, it's mostly senior citizens from the complex across the street. Last year they used to wait for me and I gave most of everything away last year, but I still had a lot left over, and I canned a lot; I made about twenty-five jars of salsa and I gave that away, but this year I'm going to charge them because they kept my jars and the jars cost money. We had a party here at the motorcycle club and I brought greens and tomatoes and cucumbers for the salads.
Digital Audio Tape
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1995/028: WIP-SL-A017
Source Collection
Working in Paterson Project Collection (AFC 1995/028)
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices and Privacy and Publicity Rights for additional information and restrictions.

The American Folklife Center and the professional fieldworkers who carry out these projects feel a strong ethical responsibility to the people they have visited and who have consented to have their lives documented for the historical record. The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.

Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these collection materials should contact the Folklife Reading Room for assistance.

Credit line

Working in Paterson Project collection, 1993-2002 (AFC 1995/028), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Jones, Leonard, and Susan Levitas. "I like to see things grow and I like to eat fresh vegetables.". -08-19, 1994. Audio.

APA citation style:

Jones, L. & Levitas, S. (1994) "I like to see things grow and I like to eat fresh vegetables.". -08-19. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Jones, Leonard, and Susan Levitas. "I like to see things grow and I like to eat fresh vegetables.". -08-19, 1994. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.