Did you know...
is collection of weird and wonderful facts from around the world.........
The earliest recorded greenhouse was built about 30 A.D. for the Roman emperor Tiberius. Because glass had not been invented, the greenhouse (called a specularium, from the Latin "to look") was made of small clear pieces of mica, a naturally occurring mineral. It was quite time-consuming to build and was devoted to growing delicate citrus fruits. For the next 1,500 years, the wealthy people who did own greenhouses raised exotic fruits and flowers. From the 1800s on, developments in technology provided new materials at lower cost and higher efficiency.
In nature, flowers are pollinated by insects, wind, birds, bats, and so on. Without natural pollinators in greenhouses, who does the work of moving pollen from the male to the female flower parts, so fertilization and fruit and seed production can occur? Fortunately, many crops that produce edible fruits or seeds have both stamens (male parts) and pistils (female parts) in the same flowers. Pollination occurs easily since the parts are arranged to facilitate pollen transfer. Greenhouse crops such as tomatoes, peppers, and beans are in this category. You can help pollinate them by shaking them gently from time to time. Special European varieties of greenhouse cucumbers are designed to bear fruit without pollination.
- Lettuce is a member of the daisy family
- 50 percent of the corn grown in the United States is used to feed livestock
- The largest edible fungi was 8 feet 8 inches tall the longest living bristlecone pine tree is about 5000 years
- The fastest growing tree grows at a rate of 2.5 feet per month
- The largest tomato ever grown weighs at 7pounds 12ounces
- Pumpkins were used to treat snakebites
Trees can reduce utility bills (air conditioning in summer, heating in winter) when planted properly:
- Heating: Using trees as windbreaks allows savings of 10% - 20%.
- Cooling: Shading windows and walls can lower AC costs by 25% - 50%."
A research project in Australia, entitled "The Congruent Garden: an Investigation into the Role of the Domestic Garden in Satisfying Fundamental Human Needs," interviewed gardeners on the values of gardening in their everyday lives. The researcher, Mike Steven, established that gardens have the potential to satisfy nine basic humanneeds (subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, leisure, creation, identity, freedom) across four existential states(being, having, doing and interacting.)
Mike Steven, Lecturer in Landscape Studies,
University of Westen Sydney, Australia
- Nearly 97% of the world's water is salty or otherwise undrinkable.
- Another 2% is locked in ice caps and glaciers. Only 1% can be used for all agricultural, residential, manufacturing, community and personal needs.
- It's estimated that less than one percent of insects are pests.
- Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on 1 acre of land: 20,000
- The eggplant is a member of the potato family, and is also known as a garden egg, melanzana or aubergine
- There are more than 1,000 varieties of tomatoes currently being grown in the U.S.
- Cool as a cucumber? It's true ... the inside of a cucumber on the vine measures as much as 20 degrees cooler than the outside air on a warm day.
- Asparagus and rhubarb are the only vegetables that can reproduce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year.
- The Daisy got its name because the yellow center resembled the sun. It was commonly known as the "day's eye" and over time, was eventually called daisy.
- The world's largest flower, Rafflesia, can measure up to three feet across. A snail can sleep for 3 years
- Eighty percent of the world's rose species come from Asia
- Bananas are considered the world's largest herb. They are related to the lily and orchid family.
- Rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme and marjoram all belong to the mint plant family.
Every plant in Tomorrowland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, is edible
- Early varieties of cucumbers often did not grow straight. To solve this problem, the Chinese grew their cucumbers on a trellis and suspended stones from the ends of the fruit to ensure a nice, "straight" cucumber!
- The Pilgrims considered growing tomatoes an abomination - equal to dancing, card playing and theater going. Those caught with the fruit were often displayed in the public square and ridiculed!
While the radish of today is quite small and used primarily as a garnish, the ones grown by the early Greeks and Romans often weighed between 40 and 100 pounds!
- Eggplant was once believed to cause fever, epilepsy and insanity. This misconception was circulated by Sir John Mandeville, a fourteenth century traveler, who also told tales of meeting mermaids and monsters in his many journeys.
- Lettuce has been in cultivation since at least 550 B.C.! Herodotus tells of it being served at the royal banquets of Persian kings during this time period.