The Botanical Adventures of E

Dear P,

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When I was twelve, I had an obsession with Venus flytraps. I killed my first quickly (I tried to feed it too often) but managed to keep the second alive for several months. You are supposed to put them in the refrigerator during winter and feed them hot dogs to supplement the lack of insects.

Venus flytraps get most of their energy from photosynthesis, like most other plants. They are carnivorously inclined to satiate their appetite for nitrogen and other essential nutrients.

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The summers when I was fourteen and fifteen, I lived on a small fishing village in Greece called Antikyra. There were a lot of interesting flora and fauna, with one of the most fascinating being the caper plant. It grows as a weed in Greece- everywhere. And you can pick off the little buds and they have the same, caper-y taste everybody knows and loves, even before they are pickled.

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When I was seventeen, my brothers and I grew strawberries. Non-commercial strawberries are small, sweet, and beautiful. They only produce fruit every two years, so tending to them is a labor of patience and love, qualities often forgotten when it comes to food in the U.S. today.

Humans have an egotistical tendency to believe that they are the most evolved organisms on the planet, but plants have such vast repertoires of interesting and delicious adaptations that science fiction writers barely scratch the surface.

Happy gardening!

E

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