Feasting on Flowers at Bryson Elementary
One of the greatest shocks in gardening class to students is that broccoli–the “tree” part of the vegetable, anyways–is a flower.
“It’s a flower that just hasn’t bloomed yet.”
There’s a pause.
Then sometimes before tasting the broccoli from the garden, someone asks worriedly, “Will it bloom in my stomach?”
Rest assured that it will not bloom in their stomach, students encounter another shock: when picked straight from the garden, the broccoli has a tastier stem than flower.
What is not as shocking to them is that broccoli is good for them–“So that we can grow.” But the students at Bryson learned a great deal more from Meghan, a nutrition major from CalState LA and EnrichLA volunteer. It not only has vitamins A, B, and C, she told them, but also iron and protein,
“Why’s that important?” I ask, playing the saleswoman.
“Iron is important because it improves the circulation of your blood, which in turn, gives you energy.”
“Ooooh, energy. Who wants energy? To play and have recess?” I ask.
When nobody raises their hand, I say to their teacher, “I guess they can go without recess, then.”
“Well, eat your broccoli, then.”
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