GARDENING WEEK 11 PEOPLE NEED PLANTS!

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1 GARDENING WEEK 11 PEOPLE NEED PLANTS! What we would like you to learn: 1. Understand what plants provide people: food, clothing, shelter and more. 2. Learn about the different parts of plants and their functions. 3. Learn about the edible parts of plants.

2 People need plants! Everything we eat and most things we use come directly or indirectly from plants. All animals, including humans, depend on plants for survival. Plants not only provide oxygen, but are also at the bottom of the food chain. This means that not only do we eat plants but we also eat other things (fish, chicken) that also eat plants. Remember that in Lesson 1, we listed many things that are a part of our everyday lives that come from plants. Here are some of those things: Food Medicine Shampoo, toothpaste, cosmetics Oxygen Paper, books, pencils Energy sources Clothing Building supplies Shelter Farming has played a very important role in California s history. In the 1800s many farmers left their fields elsewhere in the country and headed west to California. Today, California is the top agricultural state in the nation. The Central Valley of California grows a lot of the food that people eat in this country and in other countries. In class activity Discuss the origin of the plant product that the teacher gives you. Think about what we use this plant product for: shelter, food, clothing or something else.

3 Parts of a plant Roots The part of the plant that usually grows underground. Plant roots have two main functions: 1) to take in water and nutrients from the soil and 2) to anchor the plant in the soil. Some roots also store sugars and starches. People eat some roots for nutrients and energy Examples of plants that we primarily eat their roots: carrots, radishes and beets. (6) in diagram above

4 Stems One part of the plant that grows above ground and that is responsible for a plant s length. Stems have two main functions: 1) to support leaves, flowers and fruit and 2) to transport water, nutrients and food throughout the plant. Stems of some plants are edible. Examples of plants that we primarily eat for their stems: celery, asparagus and sugar cane. (4) in diagram above Leaves Leaves usually grow from the stem of plants. The main function of leaves is photosynthesis: the process by which plants capture light and convert it to food for the plant. Many plants are grown for their edible leaves, but not all leaves are edible. Examples of plants that we primarily eat for their leaves: lettuce, cabbage, parsley, spinach and Swiss chard. (1) in diagram above Flowers Flowers are the reproductive parts of plants. Flowers produce seeds. Some flowers have colorful petals and fragrances that attract bees, butterflies and birds. Flowers develop into fruit. Examples of plants that we primarily eat for their flowers: broccoli, cauliflower and artichokes. (2) in diagram above

5 Fruits Fruits usually surround and protect plant seeds until they are ready for dispersal. Many plants - trees, shrubs or vines - are grown for the fruit the produce. Examples of plants that we primarily grow for their fruit: apples, apricots, avocados, cherries, figs, grapes, guavas, kiwi, lemons, mangoes, olives, oranges and pears. (3) in diagram above Let s define the following terms: Edible: Describing anything that is fit to be eaten. Photosynthesis: The process in which plants use light energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugar and oxygen. Disperse: To spread or distribute over a wide area. There are many ways that seeds are dispersed including by wind, water, birds, animals and gravity. FUN Facts of the week: Animals can move around to search for their food, but green plants must stay in one place and therefore make their own food. Bell peppers are usually sold green, but they can also be red, purple, orange or yellow. California produces almost all of the broccoli sold in the United States. Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins A and C.

6 Test yourself: Match each following plant part on the left with a vegetable on the right corresponding to what we primarily eat. Root Stem Leaf Flower Fruit Plant Part Vegetable Pear Chamomile (tea) Rhubarb Radish Spinach On your own: When you go home tonight or before our next class, look around your home. Notice as many things as you can that you see that come from plants either directly or indirectly. Next, think of a plant from which we get at least five products. What is your favorite vegetable? What part of the plant is this?

7 GARDENING WEEK 12 TIME FOR HARVEST!

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