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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Clarity From Children

Broccoli is on the short list of green veggies my son eats without smothering with some sort of sauce. I'd like to keep it that way.

In an effort to help him become one with broccoli, we are growing some. We periodically go in the back yard to check on its progress. The two plants, like the two of us, are braced against the cold. Side shoots have formed. He cut the center heads which made our first harvest official. He dropped them into a plastic bag then we hurried inside.

Anticipation of this agricultural event caused me to open the bag as soon as my coat was off. I brought it towards my nose. I was greeted by the two small florets as though they were trying to escape. They emitted a powerful, intoxicating essence. My son said they smelled green.

I knew our broccoli would not be enough for a meal so I bought some the day before. We opened this “fresh” package. My son said it smelled like air. To be clear, the air in our house did not and does not smell like broccoli.

Later that evening my son read a poem of approximately twenty lines. Without hesitation he gave a very thorough explanation of the meaning he absorbed. He did so referencing points in the poem. He responded confidently to fleshing out questions. He's eleven and a sixth grader. It was an invigorating environment. We were as one with growing, breathing and learning. Clarity was in the air.

Related Links:

Another Dangerous Habit
Mother's Day Poem - Motherly
Pleasures Of Nature


  1. Often while preparing green leafy vegetables, I wonder what happened to that strong aroma they used to produce. The smells of the greens were strong, powerful, and intoxicating. The scent coming from the pot was so inviting and filled the house with a breathtaking aroma; I couldn’t wait to indulge on them. Now when I buy and prepare them I find myself wishing for that old familiar healthy smell which doesn’t exist in greens bought from the store anymore. I find myself wondering whether these vegetables are grown in soil or produced another way. We all need to go back to the old fashioned way of planting a garden and growing our own vegetables. We probably wouldn’t have all the health issues we have today.

  2. Yes, indeed! The aroma is part of the pleasure of food, not just the taste. The smell of homegrown veggies is an alive smell. It jumps off the veggie. If you're not used to it, the taste is almost too powerful, it's like the flavor is concentrated all in each bite.

    It's scary how food is being rushed and produced so that it ends up without a smell. Yikes! Who knows what's going on and what the real nutrional value is.

    Grab a pot of growing mix and some seeds. Leafy greens definitely can be grown inside since they don't need to flower or be pollinated by insects. They need at least six hours of light each day, even if it's from a light bulb.

  3. Hi Dad this is me. Just wanted to say that I found out what they did to the broccoli. When they harvest the broccoli from the farms in say, Northern Idaho, they ship them in air tight cotton bushels that keep the oxygen released from these nutritious plants inside it. The solution to this modern day problem would be "green bags" but in this particular case, they don't carry these particular bags on trucks which are usually shipped from a long way. Plus there are the temperature changes, which put different amounts of temperature pressure (warmth and heat) and (cool and cold) on the vegetables. The natural air fumes locked inside the ultra-trimmed fine lines of the stretchable plastic bag, collect into oxygenated clouds inside the bag, which develop an odor causing the stilled vitamin-filled resource to slightly rot in it's bare coating(skin). Then, when the shipping of the vegetable is done, let's say from Boise to Albuquerque, they (manufacturers) know the vegetable have disintegrated from it's prime. It is then thrown in a special machine, known for short as a "freshener" but is really (THIS IS WHAT COMMERCIAL AND IMPORT MANUFACTURES DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW) a zirconium powdering device, or a ZPD, for short. A thing they use to shine rocks, diamonds with. It hardens the broccoli. (Our harvested broccoli had a softer texture.) By that time, the fresh smell has made the 10 yard leap now it smells like what was said in the passage, AIR. Then it is exported and imported into stores, in airtight plastic. That explains the smell or lack of smell. That's all.

  4. I love this response. Not because it's you but because it continues, deepens and broadens the conversation in an engaging and thorough manner. We could talk about this for days.

    Yes the texture of our homegrown broccoli was like butter in my mouth compared to the other I had to chew life softened toughened plant stalks.

    Thanks for your input. Do you have links to the information you provided which could allow anyone interested to do their own discovery into aspects of this process? Looking forward to you joining these conversations in the future.


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