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Ancient Plants

To tell the truth, modern plants are almost the same as the old ones.  One difference however, is that many plants are used differently.  A plant though is still a plant.  Plants then had roots, and leaves and stems, just like now.  Actually, I think it is the other way around.  Plants today are like the old ones then.  Anyways, I have arranged the plants into five groups: food, spices, flowers, trees, and everything else.  There isn’t any other way to sort them.  I should get on with this report and not take all day.

First of all, as I said, there is, food.  Remember that some plants that seem to be food, according to me, seem to fall under a different category.  I know someone else is doing food so I won’t go into to great detail with this section.  Food was an export as well as an import.  Wheat, millet, and barley were all crops grown for grain. Peas, onions, lettuce, leeks, and turnips were some of the many vegetables they grew.  They also grew chickpeas and lentils for variety.  Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans.  Ancient people used palm trees to protect their gardens from the sun, the wind, and sand storms.

Apples, dates, figs, grapes, pears, and pomegranates are several fruits off trees.  Now, most of you probably have no idea what a pomegranate is, but I will get to that later.  I know you all know what an apple is.  (Key Q)  Figs were eaten three ways: fresh, dried, and pressed.  I brought a few dried figs.  I myself don’t think they taste good.  Grapes can also be eaten different ways: fresh, dried as raisins, or be drunk as wine.  Back to pomegranates.  A pomegranate is a bittersweet fruit full of seeds.  I have had one myself.

Nuts, as you probably already know also grow on trees.  Almonds and pistachios were common. Olives come off of olive trees and have multiple uses.  (Key Q)  Most important is olive oil.  Olive oil is not a food, but it is a plant-made cooking material.  Olive oil was a major trade item.  The olive tree itself can be used for fuel.  Well, I guess that is all I have to say about plant foods.  On to spices!

In addition to food I also have spices.  In this section I will also add in herbs.  I have a good reason to.  Though most spices are herbs, not all herbs are spices.  For several of these spices I brought a sample in.  You can take a sniff, but keep in mind that I don’t want the whole class sneezing.  Also some of these spices may be in glass jars, and I don’t think that Mrs. _______ wants a powdered carpet.

To begin you should know that there were, and still are, many different herbs and spices around the world, and it is not likely that I have all the countless spices and herbs.  Except someone, I don’t know whom, probably has counted them.  I don’t think that the herbs and spices are actually countless.  Around the world they were used for trade.  There was no refrigeration so people needed to preserve food and mask spoiling food.  In any case, I should get on with the information.

First up, cumin!  Cumin grew and still does grow.  I mean it’s still grown today.  That’s why I brought it in.  For coriander I know a bit more.  Coriander is a spice related to cumin.  Coriander is a spice made from the seeds of a plant. These seeds come off of a plant commonly known as cilantro.  Both coriander and cilantro are used today.  Hyssop is another herb.  Hyssop is supposed to be the plant that, in bunches, was used to brush doors of the Israelites with blood as a sign to an angel to pass over their houses.  Mustard is a spice made from the mustard plant’s seeds.  Cinnamon was a commonly used spice.  Actually cinnamon was imported from India.  Frankincense was another important herb.  Frankincense is a gum that when burned creates a sweet sent.  (Key Q)  Frankincense was a gift from a wise man to Jesus when he was born.  Myrrh was the other plant gift to Jesus at his birth.  Myrrh is a yellow gum.  It had medical properties and, therefore it was used as a painkiller.  Myrrh also was used as holy oil in temples.  Myrrh was used to wrap in with the bodies in burial cloths.

Now, without delay, flowers.  In old days there were no flower gardens.  “In the old days.” I sound like an old grandma!  It’s true though!  Long ago there were no flower gardens.  There wasn’t enough time to grow flowers. So, after the herbs and food crops and trees people used are considered, there were only wildflowers left. I think that might explain why all flowers were usually called lilies.  A field of “lilies” might have had pea blossoms, tulips, narcissus, poppies, and daisies.

At this time I will quickly let you know about trees.  In this part all the trees were used for building houses, carts, boats, barrels, wheels and so on.  Remember, there was no plastic, no concrete, no cars, or metal machinery.  (Key Q)  Oak, fir, and ebony were some of the carpenter’s favorites.   The acacia tree’s wood was especially useful for boat making.

Now all you have left are odds and ends.  Left over plants that don’t fit in any category.  Papyrus is a plant that changed history.  Plants can do that you know, change history.  There were many uses of papyrus.  Papyrus made… Actually, papyrus can’t make anything.  Papyrus was made into baskets, ropes, sandals, and little toy boats.  (Key Q)  However the most important papyrus reed invention was paper.  I think you’ll agree that’s most important.  Without paper this report wouldn’t work.

Aloe is also a multipurpose plant.  Aloe was used for perfume and resin.  I know that it is still used today for treating burns and is drunk as a healthful tonic.  Seeing that I have already seem to have taken nearly too long, I‘ll wrap-up my speech.

Introduction

Many may already know this, but for those who don’t you will need to know what this report is about.  It’s about something no one could live without.  They provide food, toys, and construction materials.  There is a lot about food in this report.  After all we eat animals that eat plants, or just eat plants ourselves.  Oh yes! I never clearly stated that my speech is about plants.  If you remembered all that you are amazing!  Now don’t start making a ruckus notifying everyone that your amazing because I’m sure a few of you did follow that all.  I think I have your attention just as well as if I had chosen some dramatic attention getting topic sentence.  Even though I didn’t start off very interesting.  Anyways, what I want you to know is that plants are important!

As I give my speech I would like you to think about my key questions.  You will need to listen very carefully to find some of these answers.  I can, though I don’t usually, talk to fast.  Back on task.  First, I will ask you to give an example of a wood used for construction.  Also, try to find three ways figs were eaten.  Give the most important way papyrus reeds were used.  In addition, tell me the two gifts given to Jesus by wise men at his birth.  Finnally, what were olives made into?

I hope you will enjoy my stupendous, marvelous, fabulous, wonderful, fantastic, magnificent, undeniably great report on plants.  Of course how excellent it is an opinion.

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