On July 9th, 2022 students from University of Minnesota’s Applied Plant Science graduate club came to share their joy of plants with the Midtown farmers market.
A big part of plant science is development of large, nutritious crops for human and animal consumption. Have you ever wondered where your favorite crops came from? Crops come from domestication of wild plant species and take many years to develop. For example, bananas took thousands of years to domesticate! To demonstrate just how far plant breeding has come we played a fun game called “Guess the Crop”.
Can you guess what crops these are the progenitors of? (Check for answers at the end!)
There is a program at the University of Minnesota called the Forever Green Initiative. This program is domesticating new crops for a more sustainable agriculture system. One star of this initiative is Kernza®, an intermediate wheatgrass, which is the first commercially available perennial grain crop in the U.S. Perennial crops are important because they can help to improve our soil and water quality while adding more diversity to our landscapes.
Just like with people and animals, plants are also very diverse! To demonstrate the large diversity within crops, we displayed different types of seeds. Midtown market goers especially enjoyed seeing the differences between the different types of corn.
Plants are very important and provide many benefits for our planet and its inhabitants. We asked market goers “Why are plants important?” and got some thoughtful, creative and all around amazing answers!
Why are plants important to you?
Answers to “Guess the Crop”: A )Corn. B)Watermelon. C) Banana. D) Carrot