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Kids' Style

August 09, 1992

Children's imaginations have no limits, and so some parents are providing their kids with indoor and outdoor spaces where young spirits can soar. The helping hand of Mom or Dad is obvious--few youngsters could spot a Pendleton blanket or tell an eggplant sprout from a budding artichoke--but most parents agree that you can't force kids to live with a design that doesn't suit them. Genuine cowboys are born, not created, and a true princess would never be caught dead in Catwoman's vinyl jumpsuit.

Room to Romp

Six-year-old Katie Bloch knows what a carrot goes through on its trip from the seed pack to the dinner table. Since she was 4, she has raised bunches of them in her own little pea patch--along with cucumbers, eggplants, beans and artichokes.

"She loves growing things," says her mother, Nancy, a Brentwood horticulturist and garden designer. "It's given her an understanding of the whole cycle of life. She also sees what she's created." Nancy Bloch, who transformed two back-yard ivy beds into the pint-size farm, now takes Katie nursery-hopping in quest of ever-changing winter and summer crops. Together, they plant, weed and practice humane organic pest control, which Katie insists on, Bloch says, because "she can't bear to kill anything."

What Katie does enjoy is harvest time, when she and her friends have been known to strip the vines clean if no one's watching. Otherwise, Katie's sure and steady with a spade; in fact, Nancy Bloch has found fertile ground for her own '60s-era, back-to-the-land sentiments in her child of the '90s. "Kids today have a lot of eco-consciousness," she observes. "But to really appreciate and protect the earth, they need to work the earth--to be a part of it."

Produced by Barbara Thornburg; stylist: Julie Hill/ Dorie Sherman; hair and makeup: Renata Elden

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