About Us

First graders at Riverside Elementary School take notes on the growth of new additions to their native plant courtyard.

By the year 2050, the world’s population could reach 10 billion people. As a result, we will need to produce 60% more food on the same land area, while decreasing our dependence on fertilizers and pesticides that upset ecosystems already suffering from human interference. Not enough people are considering the enormity of this challenge.

Mark Eastburn with a Venus flytrap, one of his all-time favorite plants.

This website is dedicated to the premise that plant science is essential for all people (and especially younger generations) to appreciate, because our food–and many other essentials of human existence–ultimately depends on plants. The founder of this site, Mark Eastburn, is a teacher, scientist, and author of the children’s novel Earning My Spots. He has an undergraduate degree in biology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and a Master’s of Science (M.S.) degree in biology from Villanova University, where he conducted research on insect-plant-spider systems in Central America, primarily focusing on the world’s only known vegetarian spider, Bagheera kiplingi.

Mark Eastburn conducting research on plant-ant-spider relationships in Panama. The rubber gloves are because these ants can sting!