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Agriculture at a Crossroads
The Global Report
International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science, and Technology forDevelopment
Island Press, 2009
The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science, and Technology for Development (IAASTD) looks realistically at how we could effectively use agriculture/AKST to help us meet development and sustainability goals. An unprecedented three-year collaborative effort, the IAASTD involved more than 400 authors in 110 countries and cost more than $11 million. It report on the advances and setbacks of the past fifty years and offers options for the next fifty years.
The results of the project are contained in seven reports: a Global Report, five regional Sub-Global Assessments, and a Synthesis Report. The Global Report gives the key findings of the Assessment, and the five Sub-Global Assessments address regional challenges. The volumes present options for action. All of the reports have been extensively peer-reviewed by governments and experts and all have been approved by a panel of participating governments. The Sub-Global Assessments all utilize a similar and consistent framework: examining and reporting on the impacts of AKST on hunger, poverty, nutrition, human health, and environmental/social sustainability. The five Sub-Global Assessments cover the following regions:
Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA)
East and South Asia and the Pacific (ESAP)
Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)
North America and Europe (NAE)
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)

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An Ancient Mesopotamian Herbal
Barbara Boeck, Shahina Ghazanfar, and Mark Nesbitt
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2024
A groundbreaking reassessment of existing research and new data on traditional botanical medicine.

Traditional medical systems continue to impact the lives of people around the globe. These systems vary greatly in their underlying beliefs, but all commonly rely on the consumption of plant matter as a central practice. An Ancient Mesopotamian Herbal is a new, fully illustrated book that explores the uses of plants in traditional medicine and how these botanical roots extend to modern, “conventional” medicinal treatments.

Divided into two parts, An Ancient Mesopotamian Herbal introduces the lands and ancient cultures of Mesopotamia before surveying the different forms of evidence and research methods informing this academic book. The book then looks to the modern day, focusing on thirty case studies of plant-based drugs. Bridging the divide between the humanities and sciences and using new research and data from modern-day Iraq and surrounding areas, An Ancient Mesopotamian Herbal draws on the expertise of archeo-botanists, scientists, and Assyriologists specializing in historic Mesopotamian medicine to provide new identifications of Assyrian and Babylonian herbal medicines while giving a concise overview of ancient Mesopotamian herbal lore.

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Botanical Progress, Horticultural Innovations and Cultural Changes
Michel Conan
Harvard University Press, 2007

From Roman times to the present, knowledge of plants and their cultivation have exerted a deep impact on cultural changes. This book highlights the religious, artistic, political, and economic consequences of horticultural pursuits.

Far from a mere trade, horticulture profoundly affected Jewish and Persian mystical poetry and caused deep changes in Ottoman arts. It contributed to economic and political changes in Judea, Al Andalus, Japan, Yuan China, early modern Mexico, Europe, and the United States. This book explores the roles of peasants, botanists, horticulturists, nurserymen and gentlemen collectors in these developments, and concludes with a reflection on the future of horticulture in the present context of widespread environmental devastation and ecological uncertainty.


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Chicago and Its Botanic Garden
The Chicago Horticultural Society at 125
Cathy Jean Maloney
Northwestern University Press, 2015

Formed in 1890, during the heady days before the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, the Chicago Horticultural Society boasted members with names deeply rooted in Chicago history: Buckingham, McCormick, and Palmer, among others. Today, as it leads the Garden in a model public-private partnership with the Forest Preserves of Cook County, the Society’s horticultural practices have exceeded the vision of its founders.

Chicago and Its Botanic Garden: The Chicago Horticultural Society at 125 is a lushly illustrated and thoughtful history of the Society and its evolution from a producer of monumental flower and botanical shows, through a fallow period, to the opening in 1972 of the Chicago Botanic Garden, a living museum and world leader in horticulture, plant science and conservation, education, and urban agriculture. Author Cathy Jean Maloney combines meticulous scholarship with a flair for storytelling in a narrative that will delight everyone from casual strollers of the grounds to the volunteers, professionals, and scientists who compose the influential society.


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Chicago Gardens
The Early History
Cathy Jean Maloney
University of Chicago Press, 2008
Once maligned as a swampy outpost, the fledgling city of Chicago brazenly adopted the motto Urbs in Horto or City in a Garden, in 1837. Chicago Gardens shows how this upstart town earned its sobriquet over the next century, from the first vegetable plots at Fort Dearborn to innovative garden designs at the 1933 World’s Fair.
            Cathy Jean Maloney has spent decades researching the city’s horticultural heritage, and here she reveals the unusual history of Chicago’s first gardens. Challenged by the region’s clay soil, harsh winters, and fierce winds, Chicago’s pioneering horticulturalists, Maloney demonstrates, found imaginative uses for hardy prairie plants. This same creative spirit thrived in the city’s local fruit and vegetable markets, encouraging the growth of what would become the nation’s produce hub. The vast plains that surrounded Chicago, meanwhile, inspired early landscape architects, such as Frederick Law Olmsted, Jens Jensen, and O.C. Simonds, to new heights of grandeur.  
            Maloney does not forget the backyard gardeners: immigrants who cultivated treasured seeds and pioneers who planted native wildflowers. Maloney’s vibrant depictions of Chicagoans like “Bouquet Mary,” a flower peddler who built a greenhouse empire, add charming anecdotal evidence to her argument–that Chicago’s garden history rivals that of New York or London and ensures its status as a world-class capital of horticultural innovation.      
            With exquisite archival photographs, prints, and postcards, as well as field guide descriptions of living legacy gardens for today’s visitors, Chicago Gardens will delight green-thumbs from all parts of the world.

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Discoveries in the Garden
James B. Nardi
University of Chicago Press, 2018
Every square inch of soil is rich with energy and life, and nowhere is this more evident than in the garden. At the tips of our trowels, a sun-driven world of microbes, insects, roots, and stems awaits—and it is a world no one knows better than James Nardi. A charming guide to all things green and growing, Nardi is as at home in prairies, forests, and wetlands as he is in the vegetable patch. And with Discoveries in the Garden, he shows us that these spaces aren’t as different as we might think, that nature flourishes in our backyards, schoolyards, and even indoors. To find it, we’ve only got to get down into the dirt.

Leading us through the garden gate, Nardi reveals the extraordinary daily lives and life cycles of a quick-growing, widely available, and very accommodating group of study subjects: garden plants. Through close observations and simple experiments we all can replicate at home, we learn the hidden stories behind how these plants grow, flower, set seeds, and produce fruits, as well as the vital role dead and decomposing plants play in nourishing the soil. From pollinators to parasites, plant calisthenics to the wisdom of weeds, Nardi’s tale also introduces us to our fellow animal and microbial gardeners, the community of creatures both macro- and microscopic with whom we share our raised beds. Featuring a copse of original, informative illustrations that are as lush as the garden plants themselves, Discoveries in the Garden is an enlightening romp through the natural history, science, beauty, and wonder of these essential green places.

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Environmental Safety of Genetically Engineered Crops
Rebecca Grumet
Michigan State University Press, 2010
Since the mid-1990s, when the technology was first introduced, the cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) crops has grown exponentially. In the U.S. alone, adoption rates for transgenic cotton, corn, and soybeans are between 70–90%. Across the globe, 14 million farmers grow GE crops in more than twenty countries. Yet many countries are discussing and debating the use and adoption of GE technology because of concerns about their impact on the environment and human health. Now, in this comprehensive handbook, a team of international experts present the scientific basis for GE crops, placing them in the context of current agricultural systems, and examining the potential environmental risks posed by their deployment. An integrated approach to an increasingly hot and globally debated topic, the book considers the past, present, and future of GE crops, and offers an invaluable perspective for regulation and policy development.

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Exploring Nature's Bounty
One Hundred Outings Near New York City
Rosenfeld, Lucy D
Rutgers University Press, 2012

When lifelong friends Lucy D. Rosenfeld and Marina Harrison set off on their outings in the region, they are always on the lookout for the gifts that nature offers. Exploring Nature’s Bounty, their ninth collaboration, invites us to share the rich array of agricultural delights they’ve discovered within a two-hour radius of New York City—from beautiful vineyards to the latest in hydroponic greenhouses to peach-filled orchards to community farms and historic sites. 

The places chosen all welcome visitors who will see first hand the art of agriculture, pick their own produce, help out on the farm, or simply enjoy being outdoors so close to the city. Many of them are off-the-beaten-track locations where readers and their families can walk among rows of grapes, cornstalks, apple trees, and so much more. The sites range from traditional fruit orchards to greenhouses filled with water-grown tomatoes and basil to neatly ordered herb gardens in historic settings. Local vineyards make wineries fun and glamorous places to visit, whether on the North Fork of Long Island or in the Hudson Valley. Some venues focus on crop preservation—the American chestnut, for example—while others introduce readers to honey making and maple sugaring. Those interested in taking classes or seeing demonstrations will find places to do just that, and many activities are geared toward children, from corn mazes to hayrides to pumpkin picking.  

Rosenfeld and Harrison provide a list of festivals featuring local produce and, at the end of the book, a guide to choosing an outing that will best fit readers, their families, and their taste buds. Directions are provided in each write-up as well as information on schedules, guided tours, and walks within many of the sites.

Exploring Nature’s Bounty focuses on the natural, the organic, the sustainable, and the close-at-hand. By avoiding places overrun with commercialism, it helps readers create their own adventures, enjoy time with family and friends, and connect to the farms that nourish us all.  


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A Perishable History
Susanne Freidberg
Harvard University Press, 2010

That rosy tomato perched on your plate in December is at the end of a great journey—not just over land and sea, but across a vast and varied cultural history. This is the territory charted in Fresh. Opening the door of an ordinary refrigerator, it tells the curious story of the quality stored inside: freshness.

We want fresh foods to keep us healthy, and to connect us to nature and community. We also want them convenient, pretty, and cheap. Fresh traces our paradoxical hunger to its roots in the rise of mass consumption, when freshness seemed both proof of and an antidote to progress. Susanne Freidberg begins with refrigeration, a trend as controversial at the turn of the twentieth century as genetically modified crops are today. Consumers blamed cold storage for high prices and rotten eggs but, ultimately, aggressive marketing, advances in technology, and new ideas about health and hygiene overcame this distrust.

Freidberg then takes six common foods from the refrigerator to discover what each has to say about our notions of freshness. Fruit, for instance, shows why beauty trumped taste at a surprisingly early date. In the case of fish, we see how the value of a living, quivering catch has ironically hastened the death of species. And of all supermarket staples, why has milk remained the most stubbornly local? Local livelihoods; global trade; the politics of taste, community, and environmental change: all enter into this lively, surprising, yet sobering tale about the nature and cost of our hunger for freshness.


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Fruits and Plains
The Horticultural Transformation of America
Philip J. Pauly
Harvard University Press, 2008

The engineering of plants has a long history on this continent. Fields, forests, orchards, and prairies are the result of repeated campaigns by amateurs, tradesmen, and scientists to introduce desirable plants, both American and foreign, while preventing growth of alien riff-raff. These horticulturists coaxed plants along in new environments and, through grafting and hybridizing, created new varieties. Over the last 250 years, their activities transformed the American landscape.

"Horticulture" may bring to mind white-glove garden clubs and genteel lectures about growing better roses. But Philip J. Pauly wants us to think of horticulturalists as pioneer "biotechnologists," hacking their plants to create a landscape that reflects their ambitions and ideals. Those standards have shaped the look of suburban neighborhoods, city parks, and the "native" produce available in our supermarkets.

In telling the histories of Concord grapes and Japanese cherry trees, the problem of the prairie and the war on the Medfly, Pauly hopes to provide a new understanding of not only how horticulture shaped the vegetation around us, but how it influenced our experiences of the native, the naturalized, and the alien--and how better to manage the landscapes around us.


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The Genus Agapanthus
Graham Duncan
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2021
An in-depth guide to a plant group prized for its vivid blue hue.
Renowned for its stunning blue flowers, agapanthus—sometimes known as the blue lily or lily of the Nile—is a group of rhizomatous plants native to southern Africa. First cultivated in the Netherlands in the late seventeenth century, it rose to prominence as a conservatory plant in England during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries after certain varieties were found to be hardy enough to withstand the colder climate of the British Isles. Graham Duncan’s The Genus Agapanthus provides both a revised classification of this plant group and a superbly illustrated celebration of their unique beauty. Featuring new watercolors from South African artist Elbe Joubert and color photographs showing the species in their spectacular and varied natural habitats, the book also highlights a selection of more than 150 of the most notable agapanthus cultivars from growers across Europe, Africa, and Oceania. The agapanthus’s natural history is spotlighted as well, with comprehensive descriptions of each species, maps of their global distribution, and information on how to successfully cultivate, propagate, and care for them. This book’s blend of science, horticulture, and art makes it essential for all varieties of plant lovers.

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High Plains Horticulture
A History
John F. Freeman
University Press of Colorado, 2008
High Plains Horticulture explores the significant, civilizing role that horticulture has played in the development of farmsteads and rural and urban communities on the High Plains portions of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming, drawing on both the science and the application of science practiced since 1840. Freeman explores early efforts to supplement native and imported foodstuffs, state and local encouragement to plant trees, the practice of horticulture at the Union Colony of Greeley, the pioneering activities of economic botanists Charles Bessey (in Nebraska) and Aven Nelson (in Wyoming), and the shift from food production to community beautification as the High Plains were permanently settled and became more urbanized. In approaching the history of horticulture from the perspective of local and unofficial history, Freeman pays tribute to the tempered idealism, learned pragmatism, and perseverance of individuals from all walks of life seeking to create livable places out of the vast, seemingly inhospitable High Plains. He also suggests that, slowly but surely, those that inhabit them have been learning to adjust to the limits of that fragile land. High Plains Horticulture will appeal to not only scientists and professionals but also gardening enthusiasts interested in the history of their hobby on the High Plains.

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How to Feed the World
Jessica Eise and Ken Foster
Island Press, 2018
By 2050, we will have ten billion mouths to feed in a world profoundly altered by environmental change. How can we meet this challenge? In How to Feed the World, a diverse group of experts from Purdue University break down this crucial question by tackling big issues one-by-one. Covering population, water, land, climate change, technology, food systems, trade, food waste and loss, health, social buy-in, communication, and, lastly, the ultimate challenge of achieving equal access to food, the book reveals a complex web of factors that must be addressed in order to reach global food security.
How to Feed the World unites contributors from different perspectives and academic disciplines, ranging from agronomy and hydrology to agricultural economy and communication. Hailing from Germany, the Philippines, the U.S., Ecuador, and beyond, the contributors weave their own life experiences into their chapters, connecting global issues to our tangible, day-to-day existence. Across every chapter, a similar theme emerges: these are not simple problems, yet we can overcome them. Doing so will require cooperation between farmers, scientists, policy makers, consumers, and many others.
The resulting collection is an accessible but wide-ranging look at the modern food system. Readers will not only get a solid grounding in key issues, but be challenged to investigate further and contribute to the paramount effort to feed the world. 

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How Trees Die
The Past, Present, and Future of our Forests
Jeff Gillman
Westholme Publishing, 2009
Lessons About Our Environment from the World’s Oldest Living Things
Trees have been essential to the success of human beings, providing food, shelter, warmth, transportation, and products (consider the paper you are holding). Trees are also necessary for a healthy atmosphere, literally connecting the earth with the sky. Once in wild abundance— the entire eastern North America was a gigantic forest—they have receded as we have clearcut the landscape in favor of building cities and farms, using up and abusing our forests in the process. Over the centuries, we have trained food trees, such as peach and apple trees, to produce more and better fruit at the expense of their lives. As Jeff Gillman, a specialist in the production and care of trees, explains in his acclaimed work, How Trees Die: The Past, Present, and Future of Our Forests, the death of a tree is as important to understanding our environment as how it lives. While not as readily apparent as other forms of domestication, our ancient and intimate relationship with trees has caused their lives to be inseparably entwined with ours. The environment we have created—what we put into the air and into the water, and how we change the land through farming, construction, irrigation, and highways—affects the world’s entire population of trees, while the lives of the trees under our direct care in farms, orchards, or along a city boulevard depend almost entirely on our actions. Taking the reader on a fascinating journey through time and place, the author explains how we kill trees, often for profit, but also unintentionally with kindness through overwatering or overmulching, and sometimes simply by our movements around the globe, carrying foreign insects or disease. No matter how a tree’s life ends, though, understanding the reason is essential to understanding the future of our environment.

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Marie-Antoinette’s Legacy
The Politics of French Garden Patronage and Picturesque Design, 1775-1867
Susan Taylor-Leduc
Amsterdam University Press, 2023
Challenging the established historiography that frames the French picturesque garden movement as an international style, this book contends that the French picturesque gardens from 1775 until 1867 functioned as liminal zones at the epicenter of court patronage systems. Four French consorts—queen Marie-Antoinette and empresses Joséphine Bonaparte, Marie-Louise and Eugénie—constructed their gardens betwixt and between court ritual and personal agency, where they transgressed sociopolitical boundaries in order to perform gender and identity politics. Each patron endorsed embodied strolling, promoting an awareness of the sentient body in artfully contrived sensoria at the Petit Trianon and Malmaison, transforming these places into spaces of shared affectivity. The gardens became living legacies, where female agency, excluded from the garden history canon, created a forum for spatial politics. Beyond the garden gates, the spatial experience of the picturesque influenced the development of cultural fields dedicated to performances of subjectivity, including landscape design, cultural geography and the origination of landscape aesthetics in France.

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Nourished Planet
Sustainability in the Global Food System
Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition; Edited by Danielle Nierenberg
Island Press, 2018
Mangos from India, pasta from Italy, coffee from Colombia: Every day, we are nourished by a global food system that relies on our planet remaining verdant and productive. But current practices are undermining both human and environmental health, resulting in the paradoxes of obesity paired with malnutrition, crops used for animal feed and biofuels while people go hungry, and more than thirty percent of food being wasted when it could feed the 795 million malnourished worldwide.

In Nourished Planet, the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition offers a global plan for feeding ourselves sustainably. Drawing on the diverse experiences of renowned international experts, the book offers a truly planetary perspective. Essays and interviews showcase Hans Herren, Vandana Shiva, Alexander Mueller, and Pavan Suhkdev, among many others. 

Together, these experts plot a map towards food for all, food for sustainable growth, food for health, and food for culture. With these ingredients, we can nourish our planet and ourselves.

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Organic Management for the Professional
The Natural Way for Landscape Architects and Contractors, Commercial Growers, Golf Course Managers, Park Administrators, Turf Managers, and Other Stewards of the Land
By Howard Garrett, John Ferguson, and Mike Amaranthus
University of Texas Press, 2012

Can you manage the landscape of a golf course, city park, or corporate campus without synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides? Absolutely! Organic landscaping is not only possible on a large scale, but it also makes sense both economically and environmentally. It promotes healthy soils and plants, which require less water and sequester more carbon—a winning combination for both your bottom line and the planet’s fight against resource depletion and global warming. Organic programs on a commercial scale have enormous potential to make a difference in the quality of our environment, our use of fuels, and our climate. And as those who have already converted to organics have discovered, they also cost a lot less over the long term.

Organic Management for the Professional is the first comprehensive guide to “going green” in large-scale landscaping. Nationally recognized organic gardening expert Howard Garrett, with associates John Ferguson and Mike Amaranthus, not only explains in detail how to manage projects with natural organic techniques, but also presents the material in clear, simple terms so that commercial and institutional property owners can understand what to ask of their landscape architects, contractors, growers, and maintenance people. They give detailed, proven instructions for the key components of organic landscaping—soil building, correct planting techniques, fertilizing, pest control, compost, and mulch. Then they show how to apply these organic methods in large-scale landscaping, commercial growing (orchards, tree farms, nurseries, and greenhouse operations), and recreational properties (golf courses, parks, and sports fields).


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Plant Foods of Greece
A Culinary Journey to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages
Soultana Maria Valamoti
University of Alabama Press, 2023
2024 Inaugural Mary Beaudry Book Award for the Archaeology of Food

"This comprehensive, definitive volume, the result of 25 years of research on food archaeology, archaeobotany, and ethnobotany in Greece, surpasses other works on this topic, whether regional in focus or encompassing the whole world, for its detail, clarity, and assemblage of data sources. Highly recommended." —CHOICE
In Plant Foods of Greece, Greek archaeologist Soultana Maria Valamoti takes readers on a culinary journey, reconstructing the plant foods and culinary practices of Neolithic and Bronze Age Greece. For more than thirty years, she has been analyzing a large body of archaeobotanical data that was retrieved from nearly twenty sites in mainland Greece and the Greek islands, with an additional analysis of other sites as referenced by published colleagues. Plant foods were the main ingredients of daily meals in prehistoric Greece and most likely of special dishes prepared for feasts and rituals.

Valamoti’s approach allows an exploration of culinary variability through time. The thousands of charred seeds identified from occupation debris correspond to minuscule time capsules. She is able to document changes from the cooking of the first farmers to the sophisticated cuisines of the elites who inhabited palaces in the first cities of Europe in the south of Greece during the Late Bronze Age. Along the way, she explains the complex processes for the addition of new ingredients (such as millet and olives), condiments, sweet tastes, and complex recipes. Valamoti also addresses regional variability and diversity as well as detailing experimentation and research using occasional input from ancient written sources.

Comprehensive and synthetic coverage encompasses bread/cereals, pulses, oils, fruit and nuts, fermented brews, healing foods, cooking, and identity. In addition, Valamoti offers insight into engaging in public archaeology and provides recipes that incorporate ancient plant ingredients and connect prehistory to the present in a critical way. A definitive source for a range of food scientists and scholars, it will also appeal to foodies.

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A Reunion of Trees
The Discovery of Exotic Plants and Their Introduction into North American and European Landscapes
Stephen A. Spongberg
Harvard University Press, 1990

This is a travel story of trees and shrubs—as rousing as the adventures of Marco Polo. Stephen Spongberg’s vividly written and lavishly illustrated account tells of intrepid and extraordinary explorers who journeyed to the far corners of the globe and brought back to Europe and North America a wealth of exotic plant species. It constitutes a veritable history of ornamental trees and shrubs.

In the seventeenth century, gardening in England and Europe was in the throes of revolution. Plants—no longer cultivated solely for their practical value as a source of food or medicinal herbs—were woven into the landscape for architectural effects. Flowers were grown and arranged to beautify banquet tables, and the gardens surrounding palaces and country estates became pleasure grounds, their design vying with the genius of the houses themselves. Where did these hundreds of trees and shrubs originate? Virginia creepers, American sycamores, Washington thorns, black walnuts, umbrella trees. Franklin trees, and even poison ivy are just a few of the many species that were brought to European gardens by adventurous plantsmen exploring colonial America.

Following the Revolutionary War, scientific and agricultural societies were formed in Boston and Philadelphia, botanical gardens were established in New York and Cambridge, and scientific expeditions were organized for the purpose of fostering the discovery of new plants throughout the world that could be grown in the North American climate.

Without doubt, the most fertile plant explorations by Americans and Europeans were conducted in the mysterious Orient. With the opening of Japanese and Chinese ports to foreign trade in the middle of the nineteenth century, European plantsmen were able to indulge their insatiable appetite for some of the most astounding ornamental plants the Western world had ever seen: ginkgo trees, lacebark pines, Japanese yew, honeysuckles, lilacs, crabapples, magnolias, cherry trees, to name only a few.

A Reunion of Trees focuses on the particular contribution of the Arnold Arboretum, which was established in Boston in 1872 for the purpose of displaying and studying exotic plants from around the globe. Scores of trees and shrubs on the Arboretum grounds are described and illustrated in this handsomely produced volume. The landscape designer interested in recreating period gardens will find this book a treasure trove of information about the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, while amateur and professional gardeners alike will discover a unique resource book for many unusual plants.


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Seed Testing
Principles and Practices
Sabry G. Elias
Michigan State University Press, 2012

An essential reference for students, seed technologists, researchers, and seed industry personnel, this comprehensive guide outlines the most widely performed modern seed quality tests, explores the principles behind them, the history of seed testing, why seeds are tested and when, and sampling, sub-sampling, seed laboratory management, accreditation, and seed quality assurance programs. The authors describe statistical applications to seed testing and tolerances, and they provide a detailed morphological and structural description of seed formation and development. The book examines the testing of genetic traits and transgenic seeds, including DNA and protein genetic purity tests, and cultivar purity identification for conventional seeds. In addition to the most common seed purity and viability tests, tests for seed and seedling vigor, seed-borne diseases and seed moisture determination are also discussed.


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A Memoir
Richard Gilbert
Michigan State University Press, 2014
Upon moving to Appalachian Ohio with their two small children, Richard Gilbert and his wife are thrilled to learn there still are places in America that haven’t been homogenized. But their excitement over the region’s beauty and quirky character turns to culture shock as they try to put down roots far from their busy professional jobs in town. They struggle to rebuild a farmhouse, and Gilbert gets conned buying equipment and sheep—a ewe with an “outie” belly button turns out to be a neutered male, and mysterious illnesses plague the flock. Haunted by his father’s loss of his boyhood farm, Gilbert likewise struggles to earn money in agriculture. Finally an unlikely teacher shows him how to raise hardy sheep—a remarkable ewe named Freckles whose mothering ability epitomizes her species’ hidden beauty. Discovering as much about himself as he does these gentle animals, Gilbert becomes a seasoned agrarian and a respected livestock breeder. He makes peace with his romantic dream, his father, and himself. Shepherd, a story both personal and emblematic, captures the mythic pull and the practical difficulty of family scale sustainable farming.

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Silviculture and Ecology of Western U.S. Forests
John D. Bailey
Oregon State University Press, 2015
Silviculture, once regarded solely as reforestation and growing trees for timber, is understood today as also maintaining forest health, reducing fire potential, benefitting wildlife and aesthetics, and ensuring multiple options for the future against the uncertainties of a changing climate.

Silviculture and Ecology of Western U.S. Forests, Second Edition, is a text for students, professional forest managers, and scientists that summarizes both early and contemporary research and principles relevant to the silviculture, ecology, and multi-purpose management of western U. S. forests. Based on its authors’ significant experiences and contributions in the field, as well as nearly 1000 additional references, Silviculture and Ecology remains the only text that focuses on silviculture in western U.S. forests—providing background and basis for current biological, ecological, and managerial practices.

Detailed chapters on fire, tree growth, and management of complex stand structures, as well as shrub ecology and an ecosystem framework, are bolstered in the second edition. A new series of case studies illustrates how silvicultural practices are developed and modified as forests grow and new challenges and opportunities occur. Contemporary silvicultural practices, particularly pertaining to fire use, vegetation management, soil fertility, and fertilization have been updated, and modifications that enhance standard practices are demonstrated throughout the text.

In this comprehensive reference, readers entering the field will come to understand the significance of carefully managing forests by conscious design, and experienced silviculturists will benefit from the edition’s up-to-date information, providing forest users with a greater range of ecosystem services and consumable products alike.

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Soybeans and Their Products
Markets, Models, and Policy
James P. Houck, Mary E. Ryan, and Abraham Subotnik
University of Minnesota Press, 1972

Soybeans and Their Products was first published in 1972. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

This is the report of a comprehensive study designated to identify and measure empirically the forces, interrelationships, and processes which shape the behavior of the total soybean market. The research focused on the years from 1946 to 1967, a period when the soybean economy developed from its small beginnings to its present magnitude. Soybeans are now the leading oilseed in world trade; soybean oil is the most prominent among the many edible oils available in the world; and soybean meal stands first in importance in world markets for high-protein livestock feeds. As a top cash crop in U.S. agriculture soybeans are rivaled only by corn.

Much of the remarkable surge in soybean and related markets in recent years can be explained and analyzed by using the concepts of demand growth and commodity substitution developed in this book. In addition to serving the specific interests of commodity experts, the study will be useful to econometricians and price analysts as an example of empirical investigation of a major agricultural and industrial raw material.

The research was carried out through close cooperation between the University of Minnesota's Department of Agricultura and Applied Economics and the Economic and Statistical Analysis Division of the Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.


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Technology and the Garden
Michael G. Lee
Harvard University Press

Technology is the practice and activity of making, as well as the tools that enable that making. It is also the realm of ideas behind those endeavors, the expanse of technical knowledge and expertise. At once material, intellectual, active, and social, technology is the purposeful organization of human effort to alter and shape the environment. Gardens, like other designed landscapes, are products of a range of technologies; their layout, construction, and maintenance would be unthinkable without technology. What are the technologies of garden making, what are the concepts and ideas behind garden technologies, and what is the meaning and experience of those endeavors?

Technology and the Garden examines the shaping and visualization of the landscape; the development of horticultural technologies; the construction of landscape through hydraulics, labor, and infrastructure; and the effect of emerging technologies on the experience of landscape. These essays demonstrate how the techniques of the garden can be hidden or revealed, disguised beneath the earth or celebrated on the surface. How designers have approached technology, in all historical periods and in a diversity of places and cultures, is a central question in landscape studies.


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Trees of Alabama
Lisa J. Samuelson, with Photographs by Michael E. Hogan
University of Alabama Press, 2020
An easy-to-use guide to the most common trees in the state

From the understory flowering dogwood presenting its showy array of white bracts in spring, to the stately, towering baldcypress anchoring swampland with their reddish buttresses; from aromatic groves of Atlantic white-cedar that grow in coastal bogs to the upland rarity of the fire-dependent montane longleaf pine, Alabama is blessed with a staggering diversity of tree species. Trees of Alabama offers an accessible guide to the most notable species occurring widely in the state, forming its renewable forest resources and underpinning its rich green blanket of natural beauty.

Lisa J. Samuelson provides a user-friendly identification guide featuring straightforward descriptions and vivid photographs of more than 140 common species of trees. The text explains the habitat and ecology of each species, including its forest associates, human and wildlife uses, common names, and the derivation of its botanical name. With more than 800 full-color photographs illustrating the general form and habitat of each, plus the distinguishing characteristics of its buds, leaves, flowers, fruit, and bark, readers will be able to identify trees quickly. Colored distribution maps detail the range and occurrence of each species grouped by county, and a quick guide highlights key features at a glance.

This book also features a map of forest types, chapters on basic tree biology and terminology (with illustrative line drawings), a spotlight on the plethora of oak species in the state, and a comprehensive index. This is an invaluable resource for biologists, foresters, and educators and a great reference for outdoorspeople and nature enthusiasts in Alabama and throughout the southeastern United States.

front cover of Yam in West Africa
Yam in West Africa
Food, Money, and More
Felix I. Nweke
Michigan State University Press, 2015
Yam in West Africa examines a crop that has been sidelined and ignored for too long while being central to the existence of so many and consumed worldwide. In this book, Felix Nweke attempts to unravel the contradictory nature of the yam crop sector in West Africa by looking at the largest issues in the problematic industry.

Yam production is concentrated in West Africa, which is responsible for more than 90 percent of the 50 million tons produced annually around the globe. Though the crop can attract high prices, too often its producers live in penury. Regional issues drive up labor costs of food crops because of dependence on obsolete technology. In addition, certain agronomic practices that are peculiar to yam production remain unchanged, and pests and diseases still ravage the crop. Yam in West Africa investigates solutions to these problems with the aim of expanding yam production, increasing sales, helping farmers, and bringing more of this staple food to those who need it. The future of the yam is bright; this book aims to make it more so.

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