LEWISBURG, Pa. — As we gear up for the Thanksgiving holiday, Bucknell University Professor Chris Martine, biology, and his botanical colleagues suggest that one way to still bring everyone together for the holiday is to join them in the 2021 edition of #PlantsGiving. #PlantsGiving is a social media campaign in which people challenge one another to count the number of plant species used in their Thanksgiving meal.
Given concerns over COVID-19, people all over the U.S. may still be making the tough choice to avoid gathering in large groups this Thanksgiving. Biologists around the country have played along the last three years, but this year they want to include anyone who hopes to connect with people during this unusual holiday season.
According to Martine, the David Burpee Chair in Plant Genetics & Research, the typical meal can include 15 or 20 different plant species without much effort. Side dishes like potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn and green beans are obvious, but others may be a surprise. “We’ve had dozens of species reported from individual meals, with a dinner two years ago hosted by a professor at the University of Arizona that included 122 species!”
While this stemmed from a classroom homework assignment, Martine says, “My real hope is that all sorts of other folks will join in. I am 100% certain that people will be really surprised by how quickly their plant numbers go up once they start counting.”
To join in, just count the plants you’ve used in your Thanksgiving meal and then use the #PlantsGiving hashtag to post your report on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.