Growing Things

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Can you imagine a world without plants? No grass, just dirt and rocks. No shady trees to sit under. No flowers. But worse than that, no farms and nothing to eat—not even meat, because most animals either eat plants or they eat other animals that eat plants.

Sounds a little scary, doesn’t it? Without plants, human beings could not survive on God’s earth. That’s why God created a beautiful, plant-filled world for us to share and care for. Here are some fun ways to enjoy the gift of plants!

Eat Your Plants

We all know that eating plants is healthy. But here’s a way to make it fun too! Try this the next time you have friends over for lunch.

On one half of a toasted English muffin, spread hummus or another veggie spread. Then add slices of carrots, cucumbers, black olives, red peppers, and other veggies to make funny people and animal faces.

 

Make the World’s Flattest Garden

What you need:
One clear CD case; potting soil; a small bowl; grass seeds or radish seeds

What you do:

  1. In a small bowl, mix about 1/3 cup of potting soil with a teaspoon of water. Add more water, one teaspoon at a time, until the soil is wet but not muddy.
  2. Open the CD case up. Use a spoon to fill the bottom half of ONE SIDE of the case with wet soil.
  3. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of seeds onto the top edge of the wet soil.
  4. Carefully close the empty side of the CD case over the soil-filled side.

Prop your CD garden up on a windowsill indoors. Whenever the soil starts to look dry, carefully open the case and add a little water. In about a week, your seeds should start to sprout!

 

High-Speed Radishes

Can’t wait for real plants to grow? Go online and visit Fast Seedsto watch radish seeds grow in less than one minute.

 

Jonah and the Vine

There are lots of stories about plants in the Bible. But one of the most interesting is the story of Jonah and the vine.

God said to a man named Jonah, “Jonah, go to the city of Nineveh. The people there are doing very bad things, and we need to help them stop.”

Jonah said, “No way, God!” and he ran away. You know how that ended up. Jonah got swallowed by a big fish—but after that, he decided to do what God wanted him to do.

Jonah went to Nineveh. He told the people to stop doing bad things—and they DID stop! So God forgave them, because that’s how God is. But Jonah didn’t care about the Ninevites. He wanted God to punish them. So he sat down outside the city to pout.

The hot sun beat down on Jonah. He was sweaty and thirsty and miserable. So God grew a leafy vine to give Jonah some shade. Jonah was sooooo happy about that vine. But God had something to teach Jonah.

The next day, God sent a worm to munch on the vine, and the vine died.

Do you know what Jonah did? He threw a world-class fit! He stomped and he shouted and he shook his fist.

God said, “Jonah, are you kidding me? All you care about is this one little vine? Why don’t you care about all those people in Nineveh?”

The Bible doesn’t tell us what happened next. Write your own ending to this story. Do you think Jonah learned what God was teaching him?

 

Weird Plant Names

Some plants have really strange names! Circle them in the word search below. Look up, down, diagonally, and backwards.

E S T R A N G L E R F I G S T 
B E D S Q F L I Q W W H K C N 
D L R K A T X L I C V C W O A 
S E E T U U Y S H F I X B R L 
N P E E D O S Z A H N A K P P 
E I X W D O V A C L H Z M S E 
E L A M E I O D G Y I L C E V 
Z S J L N S N L I E Y K P F I 
E W B U U A E G B W T I A L T 
W O C G S O N E H N K R B O I 
O C C N C D Q J H E O U E W S 
R B E G S K N K B C A G J E N 
T H Z E I V W B O Z J R A R E 
O B E D I E N T P L A N T R S 
E G A B B A C K N U K S T T D 

Bleeding Heart
Cheeseweed
Corpse Flower
Cowslip
Dragon Blood Tree
Hens and Chicks
Obedient Plant
Sausage Tree
Sensitive Plant
Skunk Cabbage
Sneezewort
Strangler Fig

 

Plant Puns

Q. How do you fix a broken tomato?
A. With tomato paste.

Q. Why did the banana go to the doctor?
A. Because he wasn’t peeling well.

Q. What is a vampire’s favorite fruit?
A. A neck-tarine.

Q. What did the carrot say to the tomato?

A. Nothing. Carrots can’t talk.

About the Author

Sandy Swartzentruber serves as the resource coordinator for Faith Formation Ministries and is a member of Sherman Street CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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