Planning a #Plantsgiving

We interrupt your weekly issue of Underfoot to share this festive, botanical activity as a means of staying connected this Thanksgiving holiday, courtesy of Bucknell University.

To help get your (cranberry) juices flowing, Susan Sprout shares some #Plantsgiving tips and insight on some not-so-noticeable plants that are likely to be apart of your Thanksgiving meal.

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Lewisburg, PA — Given concerns over COVID-19, people all over the U.S. are making the tough choice to avoid gathering in large groups this Thanksgiving. Bucknell Professor Chris Martinebiology, and his botanical colleagues suggest that one way to still bring everyone together for the holiday is to join them in the 2020 edition of #PlantsGiving, a social media campaign in which people challenge one another to count the number of plant species used in their Thanksgiving meal.

Biologists around the country have played along the last two years, but this year they want to include anyone who hopes to connect with people during this unusual holiday season. Students in Martine’s Bucknell courses this semester will report their families’ counts for homework, joining those who are participating in research in his lab this semester as well as students involved in The Bucknell Farm and the Lewisburg Community Garden. “It’s kind of the perfect assignment for this holiday,” Martine says. “But my real hope is that all sorts of other folks will join in. I am 100% certain that people will be really surprised by how quickly their plant numbers go up once they start counting.”

According to Martine, the typical meal can include 15 or 20 different plant species without much trying. Side dishes like potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn and green beans are obvious, but others may be a surprise. “We’ve had dozens of species reported from individual meals, with a dinner last year hosted by a professor at the University of Arizona that included 122 species!” he says. To join in, just count the plants you’ve used in your Thanksgiving meal and then use the #PlantsGiving hashtag to post your report on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. CONTACT: Martine, 570-577-1135, chris.martine@bucknell.edu@MartineBotany

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