The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: A leek question....  (Read 8957 times)

Offline Alandriel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 522
  • Thanked: 2 times
    • View Profile
    • Some of my photography
A leek question....
« on: 09/10/2007 11:16:42 »
I' ve always wondered why leeks do this



when they stay in the fridge a couple of days.

Salad onions (same family I think) also do that.


Just what's going on? Do some layers grow while others shrink??  ???

Someone please enlighten me  ;D


 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
A leek question....
« Reply #1 on: 09/10/2007 19:34:53 »
I believe they just continue to grow. They can be grown during the winter and server as a source of vitamins during the cold.
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
A leek question....
« Reply #2 on: 09/10/2007 19:38:51 »
Of course, they could also be an alien life form that we have yet to realize is intelligent.
 

Offline eric l

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 514
    • View Profile
A leek question....
« Reply #3 on: 10/10/2007 08:22:10 »
Have you ever measured the length ?  Maybe it is the outer layers drying out faster and shrinking lengthwise because of that !
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
A leek question....
« Reply #4 on: 10/10/2007 16:33:05 »
I believe they just continue to grow. They can be grown during the winter and server as a source of vitamins during the cold.

Server - goodness - did I have my email problems on my mind or what? It is serve !!!!!!
 

Offline Alandriel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 522
  • Thanked: 2 times
    • View Profile
    • Some of my photography
A leek question....
« Reply #5 on: 10/10/2007 21:22:50 »
Quote from: JimBob
.....and server as a source of vitamins during the cold

Hope your technical problems are a thing of the past  ;D ;D

Quote from: JimBob
Of course, they could also be an alien life form that we have yet to realize is intelligent

Hmmmmm - now there's a thought.

**Goes and puts a spy camera in the vegie box of her fridge ****

.... DO!.......

** Exchanges it for one that has night vision ******

 ;D


Quote from: Eric
Have you ever measured the length ?  Maybe it is the outer layers drying out faster and shrinking lengthwise because of that !

You know.......................... no! Didn't think of that

My scientific brain (or what little there's left of that) functions the least well when I'm in the kitchen.

Excellent point!

Sunday is market day. Will set up a nice little experiement!

HA!
 ;D
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
A leek question....
« Reply #6 on: 10/10/2007 22:18:34 »
If the outer part does shrink it is most likely that it is doing so because it is being used as the nutrient source for the growing part.

The night vision - hope it wasn't infrared. Everything is so cold in the fridge. blue to black film.
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
A leek question....
« Reply #7 on: 12/10/2007 00:50:06 »
I' ve always wondered why leeks do this



when they stay in the fridge a couple of days.

Salad onions (same family I think) also do that.


Just what's going on? Do some layers grow while others shrink??  ???

Someone please enlighten me  ;D

doesn't bambo grow similarly at the joints!
 

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
A leek question....
« Reply #8 on: 12/10/2007 03:50:21 »
I do the opposite when I sleep in the fridge for a few days !!
 

Offline kdlynn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2851
    • View Profile
A leek question....
« Reply #9 on: 12/10/2007 03:53:51 »
poor sheepy
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
A leek question....
« Reply #10 on: 12/10/2007 04:22:17 »
I' ve always wondered why leeks do this

<Delete image>

when they stay in the fridge a couple of days.

Salad onions (same family I think) also do that.


Just what's going on? Do some layers grow while others shrink??  ???

Someone please enlighten me  ;D

doesn't bambo grow similarly at the joints!

Those are not joints. The top of the leek was cut off so that only the edible part is sold. The upper part is like chewing plastic.

In the original store bought version of the leek, all of the top was flat due to cliping.
 

Offline Alandriel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 522
  • Thanked: 2 times
    • View Profile
    • Some of my photography
A leek question....
« Reply #11 on: 18/10/2007 14:25:17 »
         Weeeeell ..........................


         - no, this ain't gonna go away

         only if you close your eyes very hard.....


I can be very tennacious (or was that tedious) ?
I blame syntax confusions on English not being my native tongue
 ;D

             
Quote from: JimBob
In the original store bought version of the leek, all of the top was flat due to cliping.

Am I not lucky that I get my leeks from a farmers market?! ;D So, yes,my leeks come with the chewy plasticy part still attached, plus roots full of dirt. Happy leeks!  :)

So, I took my leeks..........

Scrutinized them ...........
...


Very carefully selected one, of approximately average size and thickness compared to the rest of the bunch

washed them

scrubbed them (gotta get rid of all that grit)

placed one of them in quaranteene in a seperate plastic bag on a seperate shelf


away from all the others
no direct contact was possible

not sure about xtraterrestrial type of comm



leek measured at start of experiment (Sunday) 18cm

leek measured at end of experiment (Thursday) at shortest segment (see piccie above) 18cm, next 'skin' at 18.7cm, next 'skin' 19.2cm, third 'skin' 19.7cm and final 'skin' came in at just under 21

so - no shrinkeage

but quite a markeable 'growth' - if that's what it is - under near freezing conditions and no light


,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, any more guesses ? ???

yes - you can of course also tell me to zzzzzzip it



 

Offline eric l

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 514
    • View Profile
A leek question....
« Reply #12 on: 18/10/2007 16:18:18 »
Great work so far !  Have you also weighed your "specimen" to see if it dries out or grows ?
 

Offline Alandriel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 522
  • Thanked: 2 times
    • View Profile
    • Some of my photography
A leek question....
« Reply #13 on: 18/10/2007 16:30:49 »
**** slaps forhead *****

I forgot to tell you, didn't I ?!

For yes indeed did I weigh it.  ;D runs to get notebook

At start, leek weighed..... let's see, ah, here it is : 22g

and now

runs to the fridge, retrieves leek, notices a bit of condensation in the plastic bag, grabs scales, weighs...

and now, the leek comes in at ....... 22g




is that good..................... or is that bad?
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
A leek question....
« Reply #14 on: 18/10/2007 18:09:34 »
It's good - it is growth

Potatoes left in the fridge will also grow, the body being cannibalized to support the growing part. Same with the leek. How else could it survive and be the national veggie of Wales?
 

Offline eric l

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 514
    • View Profile
A leek question....
« Reply #15 on: 18/10/2007 18:13:17 »
It's neither good nor bad.  It's an observation.  Of course, observations have to be precise, repeated and if possible by different observers on different occasions...
Next you come up with a hypothesis, a possible mechanism to explain the observations.  That's how science works.
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8665
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
A leek question....
« Reply #16 on: 18/10/2007 21:11:22 »
Actually from one point of view it's good. Any observation is worth a whole thread full of empty speculation. Well done Alandriel for doing some science.
Somebody already came up with a hypothesis "Maybe it is the outer layers drying out faster and shrinking lengthwise because of that !" (You might recognise that bit eric)
A perfectly fine hypothesis and testable too.
Someone did the test and now we know it's a false hypothesis.
That leaves us to come up with other hypotheses. My favorite is that the plant tries to grow in the same way it usually does. If that's true then the normal growth pattern for a leek shoud be that the outer bits dont do a lot but the middle gets taller.
Does anyone have any leeks growing of which they can measure the heights of the leaves?
It might be easier to take a series of pictures (nice and warm and indoors) and measure them.
 

Offline Alandriel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 522
  • Thanked: 2 times
    • View Profile
    • Some of my photography
A leek question....
« Reply #17 on: 30/10/2007 17:53:32 »
Yeah..... this is back again......  ::) ;D


and yes, before you ask, I do have better things to do but..... it's back anyway... just to pester you.....



It's good - it is growth
Potatoes left in the fridge will also grow, the body being cannibalized to support the growing part. Same with the leek. How else could it survive and be the national veggie of Wales?

National veggie of Wales, aye? I never knew that. This 'cannibalization' thing is interesting - I never considered that.
I'm sure however that you don't mean to imply that the Welsh......  ;D

Anyways..... why I'm bringing this back is that I think JimBob is totally right with his observation/suggestion (hypo - hyper..thesis?)  ;)

What happened to that leek only happens to a really fresh one, on that still has some 'life force' (YAY! Don't shoot me) left in it, unlike some store bought leeks that spend x weeks in storage before they hit the shelves. The last few leeks I bought came from the local supermarket and NONE of them grew in any way, rather, they just shrivelled up miserably, dried up and shrank...   :-\

But why don't all (fesh) vegies do that? E.g. I've never experienced carrots growing more roots or shoots, though, yes potatos can do shoots (more though if they're stored in the cellar, not quite the fridge).

What other vegies cannibalize?


[edited - repeatedly  :o as I still can't spell]


« Last Edit: 30/10/2007 17:55:52 by Alandriel »
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8665
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
A leek question....
« Reply #18 on: 30/10/2007 19:22:04 »
You never grew carrot tops as a kid?
Weird!
Anyway here's how.
http://www.bigeyedowl.co.uk/activities-growing.htm

Most plants will grow given half a chance- they don't have a lot to lose.
Anyway, I don't think it's any mystery life force (feel free to shoot me I'm just words on a screen I don't really exist so it won't work) I think what the tired leeks are missing is water.
If you are feeling inspierd try putting a leek in some water- the roots are missing so it might struggle a bit.
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
A leek question....
« Reply #19 on: 30/10/2007 21:13:13 »
National Veggie of Wales

To quote http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leek

"The leek is one of the national emblems of Wales, whose citizens wear it on St. David's Day. According to legend, King Cadwallader ordered his Welsh soldiers to identify themselves by wearing the vegetable on their helmets in an ancient battle against the Saxons that took place in a leek field. This story may have been made up by the English poet Michael Drayton, but it is known that the leek has been a symbol of Wales for a long time; Shakespeare, for example, refers to the custom of wearing a leek as an "ancient tradition" in Henry V. In the play, Henry tells Fluellen that he is wearing a leek "for I am Welsh, you know, good countryman". The 1985 and 1990 British One Pound coins bear the design of a leek in a coronet, representing Wales."
 

Offline Alandriel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 522
  • Thanked: 2 times
    • View Profile
    • Some of my photography
A leek question....
« Reply #20 on: 31/10/2007 18:48:30 »
How come you know so much about Wales and the Welsh JimBob?
Very unusual for an American... ;D


Quote from: Bored chemist
You never grew carrot tops as a kid?
Nope. Makes me almost feel deprived now.....

Quote from: Bored chemist
Weird!
Definitely! I'm glad you noticed. ;D

Quote from: Bored chemist
Most plants will grow given half a chance- they don't have a lot to lose.
I'm with you on that.... BUT.... there comes a time when a plant does not grow anymore, no matter how much water (care and attention) you lavish on it.

Just when exactly do you classify a plant as 'dead'?


When you harvest it - certainly not dead as it can grow again as we've discussed and seen
When it's growing mold - but surely that's a little late
Sometime in between - quite obviously and also obviously depending on a number of factors

I've felt inspired many times to put veg in water to keep them fresher longer and this does not always work. Sometimes it has worked with plant matter I'd never have thought would 'perk' up again yet they did. At other times I've put e.g. parsnips in water only to have them go soggy and horrible.

 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8665
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
A leek question....
« Reply #21 on: 31/10/2007 20:08:05 »
"Just when exactly do you classify a plant as 'dead'? "
That's probably a more difficult question than it looks- just like establishing death in people. I guess a plant is dead when you can't get it to grow- even slightly mouldy might not count as really dead, after all plenty of plants survive fungal attack.
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
A leek question....
« Reply #22 on: 31/10/2007 20:56:00 »
How come you know so much about Wales and the Welsh JimBob?
Very unusual for an American... ;D

After the Norman invasion, William gave a small holding in Wales to a freelance sword. That is the first record of our family name - it is somewhat unusual but has persisted. I am also fascinated by history and enjoy recreational reading in history books. See PM

 

The Naked Scientists Forum

A leek question....
« Reply #22 on: 31/10/2007 20:56:00 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums