DISCOVER THE WORLD AROUND YOU
I owe a great debt to the countless souls who have toiled, studied and sacrificed. In writing down their thoughts, discoveries and knowledge they have shared a great asset. Their books, articles and scientific papers have been for me the source of information and inspiration. Here I will start creating a list of some of my favorite titles and hope that you too are enthralled to study and discover.
—Joseph Simcox, The Botanical Explorer
“Plants, Man and Life”
by Edgar Anderson
This great little book written by the former director of the Missouri Botanical Garden is prophetic in one regard; in Edgar’s day (some 50-60 years ago) scientists traveled almost unhindered with plant genetic resources. He predicted in this book that as botany and plants became evidently more important, bureaucratic mechanisms would follow that would eventually restrict the flow of seeds and propagation materials. The book is also a condensed presentation about plants and their domestication. Easy and entertaining reading for the general enthusiast.
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Dover Publications; ILL edition (June 10, 2005)
“Eating the Landscape: American Indian Stories of Food, Identity, and Resilience ”
by Enrique Salmon
When I bought this book, I had low expectations. Not that I knew anything about the author, but I suspected it to be another contrived assemblage of “identity literature”. To my pleasant surprise it is a very readable and thought provoking book that touches the heart. Salmon does not alienate the reader with his examination of person, place and society. Rather he brings you along as a guest. Before long you too feel what he feels and the effect is well, rather marvelous. Identifying with food the way Enrique portrays it would benefit all of us. A beautiful read.
Series: First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: University of Arizona Press (May 1, 2012)
“Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine”
by Gary Paul Nabhan
Any book that introduces or discusses the life of Nikolai Vavilov is sure to have me captivated. This book by Gary is a beautiful tribute to one man’s passion and quest to understand the phenomena of food plant development. It is easy to hop on board as Gary travels around the world “following” in Nikolai’s footsteps. I believe that this book will give the curious reader a beautiful perspective of world food plants and certainly will prepare one to delve further into the mysteries of why we eat what we eat in our present day. It inspires me so much that I want to take up the torch and carry it further.
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Island Press; 2 edition (March 16, 2011)
“The Oldest Living Things in the World”
by Rachel Sussman
This new book captures your attention from the moment you see the title. For most of us growing up in the last few decades, the oldest living things in the world were sequoias, redwoods and bristlecone pines. Now it seems that these methusalahs are just “juveniles”! Not only do clonal “fairy-rings” of the Creosote Bush, (Larrea tridentata) beat the Bristlecones hands down, at almost 3 times their age: 11,000+ years, but giant expansive clones like Pando (Populus tremuloides) are reputed to be upwards of 80,000 years old! Such extraordinary age boggles the chronological perception of short lived beings like ourselves, making it easy to understand why Rachel Sussman became obsessed the more she researched these “new” oldest living things. The subject of the book is enchanting. I love the layout, the art, the presentation and believe you will too.
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1st edition (April 14, 2014)