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Are You Ready for the Harvest Festival October 19?
Are You Ready for the Harvest Festival October 19?

Check these 10 fast facts to see how much you know about the PDS Garden and Greenhouse before the upcoming Harvest Festival:

  1. Plants can perceive sounds! In one study, mustard plants were played the sound of caterpillars chewing. The plants responded to this sound by producing elevated levels of an insecticide like chemical that repels caterpillars.
  2. Some plants can easily perceive and respond to being touched. Sensitive plants receive electrical signals when touched that trigger motor cells, called pulvinus cells, to release their water and the leaves droop.
  3. Our new greenhouse took five years to complete from conception to construction.
  4. Orchids are found on every continent including Antartica.
  5. Venus flytraps are carnivorous. They can count how often the trigger hairs are tripped inside their traps. This helps them increase the chances that they will catch prey.
  6. The bark of the cinchona tree is harvested to make quinine. This anti-malarial drug has saved countless lives from a disease that is still one of the world's most dangerous diseases.
  7. The 2019 Ostro grant helped us bring in a garden curriculum consultant to work with all the MS science and 6th grade humanities teachers. For the first time, all MS students have science lessons in the garden.
  8. All the music at this year's Harvest Festival will be provided by students.
  9. The queen bee will stop laying eggs when nearing winter to get rid of current bees and make room for new ones. The PDS bee hives currently have around 50,000 bees!
  10. Vanilla extract is made from beans produced by the orchid Vanilla Planifolia. Each flower is hand pollinated and 6-8 months later one bean can be harvested to make vanilla extract.

Registration for the Harvest Festival is open now! Don't miss out!