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OBSERVE HOW CARROT ROOTS WORK

Can anybody think of a good way to find out how water travels to the stem and leaves of a carrot plant? We could look for a talking carrot, and ask. We could bite into a carrot and try to decide where it is the wettest. Maybe we could find a map that shows the carrot's rivers. These are great ideas, but they probably wouldn't work. If carrots could talk, they could probably talk themselves out of being peeled and eaten!

The best way to find out how water travels through a carrot is to pull up one from the soil, and stand it up in a glass of water with red or blue food coloring in it. Blue would be easiest to see. (Some carrots have so much iron in them, they are almost red inside.)

In two days time, the carrot will have taken up quite a bit of the blue water. This fact is very easy to determine. Look at the glass. There will be a line on it where the blue water was before the carrot started drinking it, and there will be less water in the glass. (A small amount of water will have evaporated.) It would not hurt anything to wait three, or even four days.

We'll cut the carrot in half, crosswise, and look for the blue rivers. Then another cut will slice half of the carrot lengthwise, and we can learn even more about the way the water has gone on its trip to the stems and leaves. Looks like the water comes into the carrot from the little branch roots (the ones we don't eat) to the main root (the one we do eat--yum--), and then up to the foliage. SINCE SOME PEOPLE ARE ALLERGIC OR SENSITIVE TO FOOD COLORING, WE WILL NOT EAT THE CARROT FROM THIS PROJECT.

 
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