Way off topic - Hedge apples are ripe

Pelarg@aol.com Pelarg@aol.com
Sat, 18 Oct 2008 05:45:44 PDT
Hi Mark,
Thanks, will try it on the big metal knife used to section the fruits, but  
using disposable gloves and plastic implements worked really well, 2  classes 
came up with an average seed count in the high 300's per fruit.  I  also had 
them put newspaper on the desks to keep the latex off the desks. It  works well 
as a lab, the students get really into it, b/c the fruits are so  weird and 
the counting takes some time, giving the students time to ask a lot of  
questions. They also have to get the "technique" of extracting the seeds, which  
requires breaking up the sections and squeezing the seeds out. I then have them  do 
calculations of fruit and seed set per tree, per acre, etc, and then research 
 on the net the extinct megafauna that apparently dispersed the  fruit.   I 
tell them that they are probably the only students doing a  lab on this tree in 
the whole country.  
In a message dated 10/17/2008 9:53:28 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
markmazerandfm13@earthlink.net writes:

gloves are 
>best as the latex is hard to remove and itchy to  some.  It  also destroyed 
>dissection scalpels, they  latex won't wash off with soap and  water, one 
>nasty stuff  like acetone to get it off the blades, but then the  plastic  
>handles are weakened.  So this year I am going to use a large  knife  to 
quarter the 
>fruits, and plastic disposable knives for  the students to pick  out the 


Try mineral oil (or peanut butter, but that might  prove problematic in your 
school setting)  to remove the sticky substance  from the scalpels.

Old fashioned "orange sticks", used to manipulate  cuticles during a 
manicure, were made from osage orange  wood.

Mark Mazer
Hertfor4d, North Carolina, USA   
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