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Ask Darcy Curl - How do plants make their food?

September 19, 2017 Phyllisia McCarthy

Summer holidays are coming to an end. And maybe like me you have been spending a lot of time in your garden, playing, exploring and eating lunch. But do you ever wonder how plants get their lunch? This week my friends from school came over to play and Taylor asked this question - How do plants make their food?

Lets find out........

On Thursday, my friends and I were playing in the garden chasing after my dog, Prince. He loves to play Catch.  After running in several circles, Prince was hungry and started begging for his food. This got Taylor thinking, what do plants do when they get hungry and how do they eat?

[caption id="attachment_143" align="aligncenter" width="422"]Darcy Curl in the garden

Exploring the garden during British summer time with Darcy Curl[/caption]

After putting food and water into Prince’s bowls, we went inside to check my science books and the internet to learn about how plants eat.

It turns out there are three things plants need to do to make their own food.

Firstly, plants make their own food through a process called photosynthesis. When we water the plants in the garden, the roots absorb the water from the soil, traveling up the stem until it reaches the leaves - a bit like a straw in your favourite drink.

The second ingredient that plants need to make food is a chemical called carbon dioxide, which is found in the air we breathe. Plant leaves have tiny veins called stomata, which absorbs the carbon dioxide.

The last ingredient is sunlight. The leaves contain tiny things called chloroplasts, which gives plants its green colour. Imagine chloroplast to be like a pot, and when the three ingredients water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight are added, you end up with glucose (which is sugar) and oxygen. Glucose is the plant’s food and provides plants with energy. Meanwhile, the oxygen is released back into the air. The extra glucose that the plant does not use right away is stored, just like how we store our leftover food.

Its really interesting to see how independent plants are making their own food with just three steps - carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight through a process called photosynthesis. I'm sure very soon my friends and I will be old enough to make our own food too, for now lets find a grow up to help with our snacks - biscuit anyone!!

[caption id="attachment_163" align="aligncenter" width="425"]Darcy Curl and her biscuits

Its snack time at Darcy Curl's after all that brain work[/caption]


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