One of the world’s most common, most beloved vegetable — the potato — can be used in some surprising ways!
1. Wear Them (the flowers, that is).
Potatoes are the fruit from a nightshade plant, Solanum tuberosum, which has white, pink, red, blue or purple flowers. When many people were starving, Marie Antoinette wore potato flowers in her hair, and her husband King Louis XVI would don them in his buttonholes. The flowers became a favorite of the French nobility for awhile, but the peasants were upset that the upper class were trying to coerce them to farm this foreign (from the New World,) crop.
2. Make Electricity Like Ben Franklin!
If you are in a situation, let’s say you got no power, or you are preparing for a zombie apocalypse, you will do well to know that a potato is a natural battery. With just a few materials, (wire, copper (pennies), a zinc coated nail), you can power things such as a clock, a light bulb and other small electronics.
3. Space Gardening!
Way back in 1995, I was born. It was also the year that the potato became the first vegetable grown on a space shuttle. Raymond Bula of the University of Wisconsin lead a project to grow potatoes in space. Monitoring the experiment from Wisconsin, his team stayed in constant contact with NASA, and the crew of the space shuttle. After arriving back home, they were pleased to find that potatoes actually grew. If this sounds like a great hobby for you, please take me with you aboard your spacecraft!
4. Grow Roses (!?)
A trick for renegade gardeners, it is possible to insert rose cuttings into a potato, then planting it all as if it were a seed / bulb. The potato is rich in nutrients and will help provide moisture and food to the growing plant. This gives the rose cutting a much better chance to survive.
5. Create Plastic!
Lately, cool people have been making bio-plastics, from things such as corn, wheat and yes, potatoes! It’s because the spud has a concentration of starches and cellulose which are great for this new trend. Plastic made from potatoes can be burned and composted with much less environmental impact.
6. Measure Time!
The Incas in what is now Peru, used potatoes for many things during the height of their civilization. Not only did they have progressive agricultural practices, they also utilized the potato as a way to measure time.
7. Get Rid of That Rust!
If your knife is troubled by rust spots, insert the knife into the potato and let it be; this alone will work well to remove the rest. Potatoes contain oxalic acid, a rust dissolver, which is one of the main ingredients in household cleaning products. Larger surfaces that have rusted can be attacked by cutting the potato in half, (sprinkling baking powder or dipping it in dish soap,) and using it to scrub.
8. Mail Someone It!
For just $9.99, Mail A Spud, let’s anyone mail a potato to friends, family (enemies!) across the U.S.A. This is pretty unbelievable, but sounds remarkable. What the heck would you do, if you got a potato in your mailbox!?