Sunday, February 10, 2008

How Cork-y

Of all the strange places to learn something new, today's place was definitely unlikely! I learned something from Bob the Builder. My three year old was watching the show on PBS. She enjoys the show but we don't watch it that often. In today's episode, they ran out of lids for some bottles. They came up with a solution and it involved harvesting cork off of some trees for making bottle stoppers. My husband and I both looked at each other with eyebrows raised and asked, "Did you know that?" Neither of us had ever even thought about where cork comes from. If I had thought about it, I would have guessed that it was make out of a shredded lightweight wood like balsa and formed into corks with some sort of rubbery adhesive. That would be my guess...that guess would be completely wrong. Bob the Builder was right. We did a google search and found out that cork comes from the bark of oak trees. It was really fascinating to learn about the regions in which the trees grow, the amount of time it takes for a tree to grow the cork, and how the cork is harvested.

We also learned about a cork byproduct....cork flooring. The bottle corks are punched out of sheets of cork and what you have left is a sheet of cork with a bunch of holes in it. This is not thrown away, it is used to make cork flooring. We are both intrigued by this. Now we want cork flooring for our home. Ah, you can aways dream!

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