BOTANY NEWS

Botanical Information

Welcome to this twelfth edition of Botany News!

TOPICS:

1. A note from the editor

2. Plants grown in northern greenhouses: Tomatoes.

3. Fossil plants - what do they tell us?

4. Green tabloid: The concerned citizen

5. A special announcement to Icelandic readers

6. The flower box Have you not subscribed yet? Join us now:

A note from the editor Welcome to Botany News. Happy winter season! This winter why not plan to read a book on gardening or just take a walk outside enjoying the evergreen trees, shrubs, ferns and mosses in your neighbourhood. Alternatively, stroll along trails and paths in the countryside. Visit a botanical collection or flower stores. Cook a lunch with all the wonderful dried herbs and greens from the summer and feed starving bird in you garden. This is a good time to join a botanical, horticultural or outdoor club. You are welcome to send us a line, a letter or brief article, related to the general content of this newsletter. Find out how you can forward this site to your friends using your own social media or blog sites. All suggestions for improving this ezine and the Eco-Logy.com website are welcome. Please, take the survey to help improve the newsletter. Enjoy reading Botany News a growing ezine! And why not print out all the issues of Botany News and share them with your best friend!

Plants grown in northern greenhouses: Tomatoes Tomatoes originate in South-America. The Maya people of Central America were very fond of tomatoes, they cooked and ate tomatoes. Today the tomato is an important ingredient in our everyday live and culture, whether we live in South America or not. Most people living nowadays have tomatoes, and while tomato is a big favourite among most people, the occasional few find it disagreeable. Tomato is the fruit of the Tomato plant (Solanum lycopersicum), a member of the family Solanaceae. Most varieties of tomatoes are spherical in shape, while pear-shaped varieties are also cultivated. Organic tomatoes are also widely available in supermarkets. Perhaps, the best way to serve tomato is as fresh vegetable on its own or as an ingredient of tomato salad or mixed salad. However, tomato is also a favourite ingredient of many dishes, ranging from casseroles, tomato sauce, pickles and chutneys. Fresh tomato juice is healthy addition to your diet. Tomato plants are grown in heated greenhouses in Iceland, supplying the population of Iceland with a large percentage of the tomatoes they need. The greenhouses are heated geothermally, but the lamps in greenhouses use electric energy. At the end of December or in early January the tomatoes are sown and subsequently planted out inside the greenhouses. The plants are planted out on rock wool, sod or pumice and cultivated in limited space. These twining plants grow up along wires that support them. Bumblebees are used to fertilize the plants, using their natural instinct to gather nectar and pollen.

Fossil plants - what do they tell us? Plants are preserved in the Earth's crust in various ways. Often a compression is formed when a plant or its parts are buried or covered in sediments. Types of sediment matrices include shale, sandstone, volcanic ash and diatomaceous earth. Delicate leaf and other plant tissue material showing the anatomy of ancient plants are of great interest to paleobotanist. Coal is an important type of preserved plant material. Coal is formed under substantial pressure. Detailed investigation shows coal to be composed of spores, wood fragments, bark fragments, cuticles and resins. Plants growing in regions where sediments are accumulating could become future fossils. Water, whether fresh, brackish or marine also often provides conditions for fossil formation. The geological record in Iceland shows that birch forests were widely spread during two periods within last ten thousand years, while wetlands, with characteristic sedges were more widely spread during other periods.

Green tabloid: The concerned citizen Many people around the globe are already devoting efforts to improve the planet’s wildlife and natural environment. Your contribution may be as simple as planting a native tree or shrub in your backyard. If you choose this approach, please, choose your tree varieties with care. Also, make sure forests, orchards and old trees are not destroyed without a reason in your neighbourhood. Another simple step you can take is to be more active in the recycling efforts in your community. Work against the incineration of rubbish, known to produce poisonous fumes. Help put the small jewels of nature on the map, with signposts, environmental art and maps of important places and landmarks. Encourage open areas with natural and semi-natural vegetation to benefit wild animals, such as birds and butterflies. Educate yourself about the environment, by reading more and considering some active positive steps you can take to improve the environment. Look after you local waterways, riverbanks, and beaches and consider participating directly in clean up efforts where they are needed. Emphasize repairing, replacing and redecorating, as just buying new things has a higher environmental cost. Finally you can move to the next step of trying to influence the decisions of your local government.

A special announcement to Icelandic readers: - Tilkynning! Sendið okkur bréf og greinar um gróður til birtingar í næsta hefti Gróðurfrétta (Botany News), þið getið líka skoðað og leitað í fyrri heftum og greinar úr vefritinu. Þá er mögulegt að hafa tengla á ykkar vefsíður í blómakassa (flower box) fréttabréfisins eða á tenglasíðunni. Miðlið af ykkar eigin fróðleik til lesenda Gróðurfrétta (Botany News) um efni eins og jurtir og tré, ræktun plantna og plöntuskoðun. Þá má senda okkur tilkynningar og greinar um fjölbreytt efni tengt náttúru landsins, ferðalögum og garðyrkju. Sendið okkur endilega myndefni til birtingar frá síðastliðnu sumri af garðinum ykkar eða blómunum sem þið skoðuð í sumar. Að þessu sinni er í netritinu áhugavert efni um tómata og tómataræktun, plöntusteingervinga og hvernig ábyrgir borgarar geta stuðlað að bættu umhverfi. Skoðið líka meira um skóga, gróðurnýtingu og gróður hérlendis. Kynnið ykkur möguleikann á að panta Gróðurferðir fyrir næsta sumar fyrir klúbbinn, félagið, fjölskylduna eða vinina. Ef til vill hafið þið áhuga á náttúrlegum gjafavörum og þá má skoða á sölusíðu Þundar, te og jurtavörur frá Þund henta vel í gjafapakkann! Ekki er úr vegi að setjast á góðan stað með bolla af heilsutei frá Þund! Vinsælu heilsutein frá Þund eins og Bláa teið, Streitute og Yerba mate fást nú og þá er bara að panta!

The flower box Botany News welcomes communications from persons working on all aspects of botany and biology. We welcome input from persons working for botany, biodiversity and plant conservation around the world. Please, feel free to suggest new links to interesting botanical and green sites for the next Flower Box section. Contact us about booking one of our Botanical Tours in Iceland and feel free to ask us to assist you with your travel logistics in Iceland. Readers located in Iceland are reminded to check out Thund's sales page for fresh herbal and black teas and other products. Why not send us a letter or short articles on botany, horticulture and the many uses of plants. Or send us a review on recent developments in your area of interest and upcoming botanical events. The articles/announcements need be no longer than five lines. We accept relevant articles in Icelandic, English and Spanish. However, articles that do not fit the profile or purpose of Botany News are not published. When included your article is still yours and you keep the full copyright. Submit your Botany News article or announcement!

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Best wishes, Soffia Arnthorsdottir BOTANY NEWS is published by Thund, Reykjavik, Iceland.

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November 6, 2009 -- Botany News, Issue #012



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