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BoysGrow teaches inner city youth much more than farming

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Tomatoes, peppers, melon and squash are just a few of the crops grown on 10 acres of land near Grandview, Missouri. The farmers, so to speak, are 13 to 16 year old boys, learning to grow, and so much more.

Brandon Lane, 13, didn't even know what kale was before he signed up to work the fields at BoysGrow. Now he knows how to grow it and cook it.

"I normally put it in with steak seasoning and olive oil and sauté it," said Lane.

Twenty-four boys from the inner city work together, earning wages and learning together as part of the program.

"They do everything it takes to get our 10 acre farm into local restaurants.  They do harvesting, marketing and delivery, and everything that it takes," said John Gordon, Jr. of BoysGrow.

It’s not just the crops; it’s also goats and chickens too. The boys gather eggs and then learn to cook them. It’s a program build around education, character and entrepreneurship. And it caught the attention of chef and restaurant owner Lydia Bastianich.

"She is a refuge from Italy.  They had to grow their own produce to feed themselves its near and dear to her heart," said Matt Green, General Manager of Lidia's of KC.

So this week Bastianich and her crew are bringing the table to the farm, cooking up a gourmet meal using produce from BoysGrow. It will celebrate success and raise money to fund the future.

Cabelas and a local labor union are also pitching in to help. Live on our air together they donated $9,000 for a greenhouse, all to help boys like Brandon grow.

"It’s changed my life because it takes a lot of time and effort. That is something I'm willing to give," said Lane.

There are still tickets available for the Farm to Table Feast out at BoysGrow this Thursday, October 16.

If you are interested, in going, you can learn more at www.boysgrow.com.

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