Seeds

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Why Do Plants Bear Fruit?

Why Do Plants Bear Fruit?

Do you like fruits? Have you ever wondered why plants produce fruits? Is it only because nature wants you to enjoy eating its fruits and sing its praises? The answer is no. Plants are much smarter than what you think they are. They actually use human beings, animals and birds who eat their fruits to propagate their kind. In other words, disperse their seeds. The fruit serves as a mother’s womb where the embryo of a baby plant is nurtured....

Can Plants be Parasites?

Can Plants be Parasites?

All living things are dependent either on other animals or plants for their food. Animals must constantly go in search of food. But plants remain fixed at one place. Some plants make their own food by using energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide from the air and water from the soil to make sugar. Green leaves of the plants contain chlorophyll that carry out this process called photosynthesis. But a large number of plants are unable to produce their own food because of the absence of chlorophyll....

The Mysterious Case of the Neem Tree

The Mysterious Case of the Neem Tree

For thousands of years, the neem tree has been a familiar friend to the people of India. A native of India and Burma, every part of this tree, from its root to bark, leaves and seed, has been used for medicinal purposes. It has been used to cure illnesses. It has also been used for preventing infection, or repelling insects that attack grains or people, like mosquitoes. It is very interesting that the neem’s botanical name, Azadirachta indica, has come from a Persian description of the tree....

Why do People Kiss Under the Mistletoe?

Why do People Kiss Under the Mistletoe?

In millions of homes in Europe and America, a sprig of mistletoe with berries is hung outside the doorway at Christmastime. According to custom, a man is allowed to kiss a girl if she is standing under the mistletoe. Why do People Kiss Under the Mistletoe? Legend has it that when Balder, the son of the Norse goddess Frigga was killed by an arrow made of mistletoe by Loki, an evil spirit, Frigga wept tears of white berries which brought him back to life....

Don't Throw the Seeds Away...

Don't Throw the Seeds Away...

It makes you healthy, It gives you energy, An apple or a guava An orange or a papaya Eat a fruit everyday But don’t throw the seeds away. Here’s a simple thing you can do You could tell all your friends too! Plant the seed in the soil (It doesn’t take much time or toil) Pour a little water there A young shoot will soon appear. In time it’ll become a big tree – Which gives so much to you and me!...

Where did Coffee Originate?

Where did Coffee Originate?

The aroma of coffee beans was one of the earliest smells to intoxicate me as a child – such was its flamboyant richness. That, and the lush sight of frothy white milk becoming creamier as it mixed with the nut-brown coffee decoction, served in steel tumblers, was perfect happiness. It is a memory shared by many Indians living in the southern states, the main coffee growing as well as drinking regions in the country. The pleasure that the beverage gave was so intense that it never occurred to me that coffee could have originated anywhere but in India....

The Tiny World of Ants

The Tiny World of Ants

It is believed that ants evolved from wasps and have lived in the Earth for at least 100 million years. It is said that at any one time there are at least 1 quadrillion living ants on the Earth. Ants are no doubt the most successful of all social insects of Hymenoptera, an order that also includes wasps and bees. Ants are colony makers and their colonies may contain from a few to 20 million individuals....

How Humans Got Eyes

How Humans Got Eyes

Retold from ‘When the World was Young’ by Verrier Elwin When God created humans, he forgot to add eyes so that they could see. Most people had a very tough time as a result. They couldn’t walk without tumbling and tripping over each other. Life was so difficult. People couldn’t see where they were going, what they were eating, who they were meeting. The Earth used to be beautiful then. There were fragrant flowers, colourful birds and butterflies, dense, green forests, and clear, gurgling streams....

A peep into the future of food

A peep into the future of food

My dream of India in the 22nd century shows water of our five great rivers of the north, harnessed into one great canal, which in turn, distributes water to every corner of the country. I dream that our future generations will never have to face the agony of a flood or drought. In fact, farmers would probably have capsules which when sown alongwith seeds, will collect water from the atmosphere like the nitrogen fixing bacteria. Maybe these capsules will react with soil chemicals to produce h2o!...

Prabhu and the Prawns

The still, muddy water glistened with oil. There were no signs of any life as Prabhu stood by the side of the narrow canal and squinted hard, anxiously searching the depths of the murky pool. But the slick surface made it hard for him to see anything beneath the surface. Fear crossed the eight-year-old’s face. If he couldn’t find what he was looking for, there would be no meal tonight. Prabhu and the Prawns [Illustration by Anup Singh] Prabhu is a shrimp seed collector....

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