Posts Tagged ‘vegetables’

We’ve taken a look at grocery store botany in this column before. This week we return to the produce section of the grocery store to explore an online resource that can be used in anywhere there is Internet access.

Garden teachers, science teachers, scout leaders, botanical artists and more will appreciate the educational resource, Supermarket Botany, on the website of the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation. It is a free interactive tool helping students explore the botany behind the plants we store in our refrigerators.

Created by professors Geoff Burrows and John Harper, Supermarket Botany is very easy to use. The platform is composed of two parts. In one section, students can learn about plant morphology by viewing labeled photographs and reading concise descriptions. This review of plant morphology prepares students for The Challenge!, an engaging activity that makes up the other section of this resource.

The Challenge! is an exploration of 15 fruit and vegetables commonly found in the grocery store. When students begin the game, they are presented with shelves of fruit and vegetables and are asked to respond to the prompt, “What’s on the shelf?”. Students select a fruit or vegetable (i.e., plant part) and must decide if their selection is a root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit or seed. If students choose the correct answer, they are guided to a section where they can learn the technical reasons why their item is either a fruit or a vegetable. If students choose a wrong answer, a pop-up box appears explaining why their fruit or vegetable is not the option they selected. It is this part about this activity that I find especially useful. Students advance through the game understanding why their fruit or vegetable is not a root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit or seed.

Burrows and Harper designed handouts to go with students’ use of their online resource. Teachers can download these handouts free of charge.

Would you like to take The Challenge! yourself?

Go to Supermarket Botany


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Shawn Sheehy will teach his pop-up classes at several locations this year. Here is the latest at Classes Near You for California, Illinois and Minnesota.

Shawn Sheehy

A Chicago book artist and paper engineer whose work incorporates ecological principles observed in nature. Sheehy’s art reflects his interests in ecosystems, natural resources, population biology and evolution. Shawn was the featured guest for September 2012. Here is what we learned when he stopped by to visit.

    Chicago Botanic Garden
    Create pop-up cards featuring native wildflowers of the Midwest.
    April 5: Pop-Up Wildflowers, Beginners (View Details/Register)
    April 12: Pop-Up Wildflowers, Advanced (View Details/Register)

    California Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers

    May 4-5: Pop-Up Wildflowers
    The venue for this workshop will be announced at a later date. Check back for this update.

    Grand Marais Art Colony

    Create a pop-up book featuring North American wildflowers.
    Grand Marais, MN
    August 9-11: Pop-Up Wildflowers (View Details/Register)

    Chicago Botanic Garden

    August 24-25: Pop-Up Heirloom Vegetables
    (check the calendar for details)

Visit my Shawn’s redesigned website at www.shawnsheehy.com to see images of the vegetable pop-ups for his workshop, to learn about his new book and to view his workshop schedule for 2013.

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How great is this sale?

HUGE. Big time. It sold out in 3 hours last year.

In anticipation of yet another record turnout, the Contra Costa Master Gardeners have grown 10,000 tomato plants over the past year and have added eggplant, peppers, artichoke and tomatillo to the mix. Thousands of heirloom plants, representing more than 40 proven varieties from Ace to Zebra, will be on sale.

The Great Tomato Plant Sale is an educational event for the entire family. Experts will be on hand to provide advice about plant selection, site location and preparation, planting, fertilizing, pruning, and harvesting. Avid gardeners can get specific questions answered and learn about strategies to minimize plant disease and maximize production.

This event will be held on Saturday April 6, 2013 at the “Our Garden” Master Gardener demonstration site located at N. Wiget Lane and Shadelands Drive in Walnut Creek, CA (map). Sale hours are 10 AM – 4 PM. Proceeds are returned to the community through the staffing of the Master Gardeners’ Help Desk, Speakers Bureau, Our Garden, School Gardens, Farmers’ Market and other activities.

Start that garden! Support the Master Gardeners! Enjoy homegrown fruit and vegetables and discover that irresistible heirloom tomato you just have to paint!

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Colored pencil paintings and drawings of edible plants, both wild and cultivated, are the focus of Botanical Edibles…Wild and Cultivated, a new exhibition featuring the work of SUNY ULSTER Artist-in-Residence, Wendy Hollender. Tomorrow’s opening festivities will include a special slide presentation by Wendy that will be followed by an opening reception in the Muroff Kotler Gallery.

Wendy Hollender is a botanical artist, teacher, author and organic farmer living in New York. Learn more about the exhibition and the programs Wendy will conduct during her residency on her website at Drawing in Color.

Botanical Edibles…Wild and Cultivated

January 26 – February 17, 2012
Ulster County Community College
Stone Ridge, NY 12484
View map

Opening Reception

Slide presentation by Wendy Hollender, 7 PM (Student Lounge VAN 203)
Gallery Reception in Muroff Kotler Gallery begins after Wendy’s presentation


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A Celebration of Edibles
Members: $56 / Non-members $62
Register Here

Spend an afternoon drawing vegetables and herbs with Wendy Hollender. This workshop will be taught in the gazebo in the Home Demonstration Garden at the New York Botanical Garden on Thursday, July 23, 2009 from 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM.
Direct all questions to wendyhollender@gmail.com

After class, spend the evening Grilling from the Garden. Learn how to grow your own edibles and sample culinary treats prepared by celebrity and local chefs. Download the Edible Evenings PDF under the “See It” tab for details.

Update 7/21/09

Sign-up for the drawing class and receive complementary tickets to the Edible Evening event.

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