Growing up in the Silicon Valley I remember all those open fields around my neighborhood. Back in the early 60s these open fields were filled with these little yellow flowery plants called wild mustard greens. I remember there were Italian people picking these plants because it reminded them of a similar plant growing wild in the countryside of their home country. I believe it was the Italians who showed the Asians how to pick and cook these plants.


Silicon Valley Wild Mustard Fields

As an Asian kid in a predominantly white and Mexican neighborhood when we used to play make believe Army-men I was usually on the other side for target practice. Yes I was the neighborhood gook and I relied on those yellow flowery mustard plants to hide behind.

Before all those High Tech companies were built these plants thrived in open undeveloped fields. I remember my parents and a lot of other Asians would go out to these fields and pick the leaves from the young wild mustard plants.

Studies have shown that mustard greens have anticancer effects, are low in calories and contain a large amount of antioxidants. They provide an excellent source of vitamins B6, C, and E, folic acid, calcium, carotenes, manganese, copper, and fiber. They also offer a very good source of phosphorus, vitamins B1 and B2, magnesium, protein, potassium, and iron. 

The wild mustard plants grew rampant out in the open fields of the Silicon Valley's Golden triangle. This area is between highways 101, 880, and Interstate 237. The area is occupied now by Mission Community College, Our Lady of Peace Catholic church, Levi Stadium - home to the 49ers, Great America theme park, Santa Clara convention center and a whole bunch of tech companies and hotels.

Every now and then I go back to my old neighborhood sometimes for work, sometimes for trade shows at the Santa Clara convention Center. Sometimes I go back and check on the old neighborhood. I reminisce as a kid about all those fun times playing and running around in those open fields.

The fields are gone now replaced by hi-tech companies. There's a lot more Asians in the neighborhood with a few Mexican and white kids playing at the park. Kind of makes me want to get the kids together and play make-believe Army-men again. This time it's payback with all the new Asian immigrants. There's no need to hide behind thee wild mustard plants anymore. This is redemption, hahahaha!

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