Botanical studies are the study of plants. Not many people are interested in it, which is surprising since botanical biology is easily one of the interesting subjects on planet earth. Through this, you are not only learning directly about plants but also indirectly about various abiotic (water, wind, rocks, mineral, the formation of the forest) and biotic (animals, ecology, fauna and even us).
In case you want to learn more about Earth, there are few projects to attempt!
Thing You Need: Chart paper, butter paper, glue, pen, a pair of scissors, a notebook and stems with leaves and flowers on it.
- Find stems with leaves and flowers attached to it. Using a pair of scissors, cut it up. If there are any thorns, do not remove them. Just be careful not to get pricked.
- Take a notebook. Carefully, insert the stem in between the pages. Make sure none of the parts of stem gets broken, bent or curved.
- Leave it be for several days.
- Take a chart paper and cut it into appropriate size. Insert a butter paper between. Glue all these sheets together.
- Take out the dried up stem and stick it with glue on to the chart paper.
- Write the following things onto it:
- Scientific name
- Classification (Kingdom, Division, Genus, Species, etc.)
- The location where you found it
- Founders’ name
2. Kitchen Garden
The kitchen garden is easily one of the most useful projects you can make. It not only gives you food but also saves money. And do not forget the clean air! Since you are the one growing the garden, you can be sure of its purity, keep it free from chemicals and enjoy eating what you have prepared. There are plenty of tutorials online showing methods of creating your kitchen garden. Not only can you grow plants from seeds, but also roots, stems, leaves, etc. It is fun to try and create these with vegetative propagation.
Watch your babies grow up into adults in your kitchen garden. You can grow tomato, radish, carrot, onion, garlic, cherry, pumpkin, gourd, bitter gourd, brinjal and various other herbs. Grow medicinal plants like Aloe Vera, Tulsi, etc., which will keep your health and skin looking young. You can also search up reasons why it is so. This way, you can also grow your organic chemistry knowledge.
Begin experimenting with the food you eat by preparing alga and fungi along with vegetables like potato, okra, sweet potato, spinach etc. You can use them in soup or other side dishes. These are pretty tasty and healthy for you. Not only that. You can also experiment with the way you prepare your basic, regular vegetables by smoking them in bamboo or steaming in banana leaf.
The amazing skill of plants, their versatility will surely enamour you, leading to at least even a little interest in botanical studies.
Here are a few recipes you can try!
- Wrap sandwiches in a nori sheet.
- Add spirulina in your smoothie
- Add spirulina to homemade sweets.
- Pair kelp with pesto and sprinkle cheese on top.
- Make an alga salad. Take dry seaweed in a bowl and pour cold water on top. Soak it for a few minutes. Drain out the excess water. Now add whatever you usually add in a salad.
- Make miso soup or any soup with an alga.
- Make veg sushi by replacing fish with an alga.
- Makes dishes with mushroom.
4. Go Hiking to Collect Ingredients for Your Kitchen
Go to the nearest hiking spot with a botany book and begin collecting eatables. Carry the book, so you do not end up getting a poisonous mushroom, eat it and end up dead. Check with a local authority to see if you can, indeed, bring the things you collected in the city or town, that is, whether it is permitted or not.
Do not try to smuggle it in because it can prove fatal to the environmental conditions of your city and town. Think Water hyacinth, which is dubbed the terror of Bengal. Why? Search for it yourself. Ask questions and search for its answers. If you do not find it online or from others, hypothesise.
5. Get a microscope
The thing you will need: Slide, coverslip, blade, glycerine, stain microscope, plant stem/leaf/flower/ovary
- Cut a very thin, transverse section of plant stem/leaf or flower.
- Rest it on a slide.
- Using a brush, add glycerine to it.
- Then stain it with a stain.
- Add a coverslip on top of it.
- Adjust the microscope.
- See the slide you prepared underneath the microscope.
- Observe the internal structure, anatomy, cell reproduction, etc.
6. Dig in
Take a little shovel and begin digging in the soil where a tree or plant stands. Be careful, so you do not end up damaging the root of the plant and hence, the plant itself. You might observe various fauna living underneath. Some you probably would not have seen on top of the earth. They might seem an alien-like, disgusting and gooey mess. They also might seem very interesting to you.
You can also take a binocular and look at various branches of trees to make out strange birds, their nests and eggs. You can also note several mammals like a squirrel jumping from one tree to another. While you are at it, make birdhouses to see various birds and animals visiting and it. Observe their habits along with plants. This way, you can learn about pollination, why plants are growing from buildings and other interesting things! Just make sure you do not end up disturbing them by touching their eggs. What you might consider harmless can be detrimental to the existence of these animals. Watch from a distance. And that is not it. There are various other ways you can inculcate knowledge of botany within you or others. It is one of the most underrated sites of education, requiring more attention than it is usually granted.