Planting Farm-to-Market Lessons

LBUSD Nutrition Services Director Debra Appel, center, with TOW students, from left, William Paul and Claire Wittkop, and Emmy Holtschneider.

A new seed of interest is sprouting among Top of the World students thanks to a recent arrival on campus: a garbanzo bean bush deposited by Debra Appel, the district’s nutrition services director.

After she described how garbanzo beans are a central ingredient in hummus, students sampled raw beans and asked for samples to bring home, she said.

Before taking a piece of the bush to her classroom for student study, TOW kindergarten teacher Leslie Monroe held a discussion about what kinds of foods contained  garbanzo beans. “My students were amazed to see a real garbanzo bean bush,” she said, as well as surprised to find beans in each pod. “It was a wonderful farm-to-market lesson,” she said.

TOW parent Caren Wittkop said her son William Paul couldn’t stop talking about garbanzo beans on the way home and was excited to learn there might be canned beans in the house. “But, he was most excited about the prospect of visiting the farmers market that weekend in order to look for his own garbanzo bush to add to his ever-growing collection of plants and herbs,” she said.

The school district continues to serve fresh locally grown organic fruits and vegetables, often harvested and available the same day in school cafeterias, district officials said in a statement.

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