Broccoli is December's Harvest of the Month 
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Broccoli is related to both cabbage and cauliflower. It was once known as "Italian asparagus" and come from "brocco", the Italian word meaning "sprout". There are many types of broccoli: Sprouting Broccoli, Broccoli Raab, Chinese Broccoli and Big Head Toad Broccoli. Broccoli colors can be deep sage, dark green and purple-green. California produces almost all of the broccoli sold in the United States of America. Americans eat an average of four pounds of broccoli a year! Broccoli is obviously very good to some people. 
Broccoli is a good source of:
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin K
• Potassium

• Fiber

Did you ever wonder why your parents tell you to always eat your broccoli? Well, it is very heathy for you! The Vitamin C in broccoli helps your body build collagen, which aids in tissue and bone formation and helps heal cuts and wounds. One of broccoli's coolest benefits is that it has cancer-preventing properties and builds strong hearts. 
There are millions of broccoli recipes. I like to grill broccoli with lemons for a citrusy taste. 
GRILLED BROCCOLI AND LEMONS
1 bunch broccoli, cut into 8 spears
2 lemons, quartered  
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Heat grill to medium. In a large bowl, toss broccoli and lemons with oil and seasons. Grill under tender and lightly charred, about 10 minutes. Squeeze the lemons over broccoli and drizzle with additional oil. You can also "grill" broccoli in the over with the broiler. 

Thank you to the Buford Broc 'n Roll class for researching and writing this month's backpack flyer!

Broccoli can germinate in soil with temperatures as low as 40 degrees fahrenheit. It can grow outdoors from seeds but is more often started indoors as a seedling. Broccoli thrives in cool weather. For fall planting, start seeds 85-100 days before your average first fall frost. Broccoli requires full sun and moist, fertile soil that is slightly acidic. Work in 2-4 inches apart so that the plants have room to grow.

This month's broccoli was sourced through the Local Food Hub and provided by the following local farms: Kirby Farms, Walnut Winds Farm, Critzer Family Farm, and Holland's Three Rivers Farm. We are so grateful for our wonderful local farmers!

Top photos: students at Venable Elementary School enjoying December's Harvest of the Month snack - roasted broccoli! Middle & bottom photo: students at Clark Elementary School loving their broccoli snack!

Broccoli - Trivia and Facts

   
Fresh Broccoli was sourced through the Local Food Hub and prepared by Charlottesville Central Kitchen staff with the help of CSG staff and board members! Left to right - Ms. Virginia, Ms. As. Ivonia, Ms. Ashia & Mr. John.
 
TRIVIA OF THE MONTH: “This vegetable is one of the few flower parts that people eat. It grows during the spring and fall, and can be eaten raw, steamed, sautéed, or roasted. It looks like a tree, but isn't nearly as tall"

FACTS:
  • Broccoli is in the Brassicacea (Mustard) family, along with collards, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and bok choy. 
  • If you leave a plant form the Mustard family, such as broccoli, in the garden it will flower and set seeds. These seeds can then be used to make your own homemade mustard
  • The part of the broccoli plant we most commonly eat are the florets, which are unopened flower buds.  
Read more about this month's Harvest of the Month snack delivery on our blog!
 
Extra broccoli from this month's Harvest of the Month was donated to Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry.
Harvest of the Month is a program that highlights a locally available crop each month by providing a fresh, healthy snack in all six Charlottesville Elementary Schools. Students also learn about the crop in their schoolyard garden and classroom. Information on growing, nutrition, and preparation of the crop is shared with teachers and families. The goal of Harvest of the Month is to support healthy living skills that strengthen our youth and community. 

It takes a community to make Harvest of the Month happen! City Schoolyard Garden is grateful to work in collaboration with Charlottesville City SchoolsLocal Food Hub, and Charlottesville Move2Health. Supported with funds through the Thomas Jefferson Health District of the Virginia Department of Health and other generous donors. Thanks to rock paper scissors for their design work & Whitney McDermott for her beautiful illustrations. 

    Donate to keep Harvest of the Month growing!

City Schoolyard Garden is an independent, non-profit organization and your tax deductible donation makes a difference. Join us investing in our children's future, and providing them with a foundation for learning about health, nutrition, sustainability, and community. Click on the apple to donate or send a donation to our address below. Thank you!
P.O. Box 5285, Charlottesville, VA 22905
 
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