Here a Plant, There a Plant, Everywhere a Plant, Plant! (Hardcover) by Robert Quackenbush. Santa Rosa, California: Luther Burbank Home & Gardens, revised edition 1995. ISBN: 0963788310. pp: 34.
Ages: 6-10, gr: 1-4
original edition Prentice Hall (October 1, 1982), ISBN: 0133872661

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Summary

Luther Burbank knew at a very young age that he wanted to make plant breeding his life’s work. He was born in 1849 in Lancaster, Massachusetts, the 13th of 15 children. Luther experimented with potatoes until he finally developed the Burbank potato. Today, millions of these potatoes are sold, but Luther sold his new variety for $150. This allowed him to move to Santa Rosa, California, where the weather was conducive to his experimenting all year long. He developed many new vegetables, fruits, flowers, trees, grains, and grasses and improved many plants and trees already known. Luther had thousands of experiments, and many successes, some of which we still enjoy today.

Activities

  1. Luther Burbank moved to Santa Rosa, California in 1875. Go to the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens website to view the house in which he lived:

  2. Learn more information about Luther Burbank from this Luther Burbank website. Compare the information from this site with Robert Quackenbush’s book.

  3. Take a virtual tour of Luther Burbank’s gardens, greenhouses, and experiments. Compare and contrast the Present tour with the Past tour.

  4. Learn more about the Burbank Russet potato. What kind of potatoes are mostly used for French fries?

  5. Plant your own spineless cactus from a pad, or thalli. Chart its growth.

  6. Learn about the Potato Famine in Ireland in the late 1840s. How did Luther Burbank help the country of Ireland?

  7. Find an easy potato recipe and make it in your classroom.

  8. Look through some of Luther Burbank’s experiments. Choose one that interests you. Draw a picture of the results and write a paragraph about the experiment.

  9. Luther Burbank was a horticulturist. Read about the job of a horticulturist today. Would you like to be a horticulturist? Write why or why not?

  10. Grow two different kinds of flowers. Mix the pollen of both plants. Grow the new seeds and see what results you get.

  11. California plants a tree each year on Luther Burbank’s birthday, March 7. People throughout the United States plant trees on Arbor Day, which is April 28 this year. Raise money so that you can plant a tree in honor of someone in your community. If you don’t have a place to plant a tree, let the Arbor Day Foundation plant one for you.

About the Author

More for the teacher

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