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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday’s Answers

Here are the answers to yesterday’s pop quiz:

True or False – A tomato is a vegetable. The answer is false. A tomato is actually a fruit. Fruit develops from a flower and has seeds.

True or False – Most parts of the tomato plant are poisonous. The answer is true. The tomato is a member of the Nightshade family, which means that everything with the exception of the fruit is poisonous.

True or False – Tomato plants were grown primarily for ornamental purposes when introduced in England. The answer is true. The British considered the entire plant poisonous and inedible for many years. Poor Brits – that’s probably why the Italians make such great sauce.

True or False –Potatoes originated in Ireland. The answer is false. Potatoes are native to Peru/South America.

True or False – Carrots were originally used for a condiment in England. This is a trick question. In England, they may have used carrots for a condiment but they were originally used for desserts and considered a sweet.

True or False – The potato plant is a member of the Nightshade family. The answer is true. Like the tomato, all parts of the plant are poisonous except for the tuber, the potato. If a potato is not covered while growing and exposed to sunlight, this turns it green, causing it to be inedible and poisonous.

True or False – A Sweet Bay Magnolia is native to the Northeast United States. The answer is true. The town, Magnolia in the North Shore of Massachusetts was named after this beautiful rare native tree. In milder climates, it is considered a semi-evergreen. It blooms for over a month, mid-season with the most fragrant flowers and unlike its Asian counterparts, can tolerate a fair bit of shade and still bloom. It is definitely one tree not to overlook for your property.

True or False – Johnny Appleseed planted apple trees for New England grandmothers to make apple pies. This is yet another trick question because it is primarily false. Johnny Appleseed was instrumental in bringing alcohol to the frontier people in the western migration. At that point in time, the majority of apples were used to make hard cider. I’m sure the New England grandmothers decided apple pies were much more wholesome for Sunday dinners.

The inspirational gardening thought of the day is taken from a Dave Matthews’ song, “On my way came up with the answers, I scratched my head and the answers were gone.” If you enjoyed the pop quiz, I’ll do it again next week.

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)