Category Archives: Plants

Trees

  Trees are wonderful, life-giving, magical, legendary, spooky, and just plain interesting. Think of the Ents from The Lord of the Ring, the dryads of Narnia, Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest, Harry Potter’s Whomping Willow, and Bilbo Baggins’s Party Tree. See below for the science of trees, tree stories, tree poems, tree art projects, mathematical trees, […]

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Celebrating Carrots

  April 4th is International Carrot Day. February 3rd is National Carrot Cake Day. January is National Carrot Month. Summer is when carrots actually grow in the garden. And you can eat them, of course, all year round. In other words, almost every day is Carrot Day.     Listen to the National Carrot Day […]

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Apples All Year Round

  Golden apples, poison apples, pie apples, Newton’s apple, and, of course, Johnny Appleseed… APPLES AND APPLE TREES   In Harriet Zeifert’s One Red Apple (Blue Apple Books, 2009), a big red apple is picked and taken to market, then bought and eaten by a little girl who throws away the core. A bird finishes […]

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Gourds: Birdhouses, Banjos, Stars, and the Blood of a King

  Growing gourds – inedible hard-shelled cousins of the pumpkin and squash – is a wonderful gardening project for kids. Gourds come in all shapes and sizes, have catchy names, are simple to prepare (you pick them and let them sit), and just one hill or two will supply you with lots. And you can […]

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Famous Potatoes

  We’ve got a National Potato Month (September) and a National Potato Day (August 19), but potatoes, frankly, are interesting (and fun) any time of the year. Famous incidents in the life of the potato include Richard Dreyfuss’s mashed-potato sculpture in Close Encounters of the Third Kind; Dan Quayle’s career-crushing 1992 misspelling of POTATO(E); the […]

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Gardening

  When our kids first started gardening, they wanted to grow doughnuts and bluebirds. If only we could, I thought. Luckily there are many other possibilities for kids, parents, grandparents, teachers, and gardens.   My latest non-fiction book, How Carrots Won the Trojan War (Storey Publishing, 2011) is an award-winning science and history of garden vegetables. It’s […]

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