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In 1637, one Dutchman paid as much for a single tulip bulb as the going price of a town house in Amsterdam. Three and a half centuries later, Amsterdam is once again the mecca for people who care passionately about one particular plant—though this time the obsessions revolves around the intoxicating effects of marijuana rather than the visual beauty of the tulip. How could flowers, of all things, become such objects of desire that they can drive men to financial ruin?
In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan argues that the answer lies at the heart of the intimately reciprocal relationship between people and plants. In telling the stories of four familiar plant species that are deeply woven into the fabric of our lives, Pollan illustrates how they evolved to satisfy humankinds’s most basic yearnings—and by doing so made themselves indispensable. For, just as we’ve benefited from these plants, the plants, in the grand co-evolutionary scheme that Pollan evokes so brilliantly, have done well by us. The sweetness of apples, for example, induced the early Americans to spread the species, giving the tree a whole new continent in which to blossom. So who is really domesticating whom?
Weaving fascinating anecdotes and accessible science into gorgeous prose, Pollan takes us on an absorbing journey that will change the way we think about our place in nature.
From the Hardcover edition.
Plants are capable of interesting and unexpected things. Why do container plants wilt when they’ve been regularly watered? Why did the hydrangea that thrived last year never bloom this year? Why do slugs wipe out the vegetable garden instead of eating the weeds? Plant physiology—the study of how living things function—can solve these and most other problems gardeners regularly encounter.
In How Plants Work, horticulture expert and contributor to the popular blog The Garden Professors, Linda Chalker-Scott brings the stranger-than-fiction science of the plant world to vivid life. She uncovers the mysteries of how and why plants do the things they do, and arms the home gardener with fascinating knowledge that will change the way they garden.
For more than twenty years, mycology expert Tradd Cotter has been pondering these questions and conducting trials in search of the answers. In Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation, Cotter not only offers readers an in-depth exploration of best organic mushroom cultivation practices; he shares the results of his groundbreaking research and offers myriad ways to apply your cultivation skills and further incorporate mushrooms into your life—whether your goal is to help your community clean up industrial pollution or simply to settle down at the end of the day with a cold Reishi-infused homebrew ale.
The book first guides readers through an in-depth exploration of indoor and outdoor cultivation. Covered skills range from integrating wood-chip beds spawned with king stropharia into your garden and building a “trenched raft” of hardwood logs plugged with shiitake spawn to producing oysters indoors on spent coffee grounds in a 4×4 space or on pasteurized sawdust in vertical plastic columns. For those who aspire to the self-sufficiency gained by generating and expanding spawn rather than purchasing it, Cotter offers in-depth coverage of lab techniques, including low-cost alternatives that make use of existing infrastructure and materials.
Cotter also reports his groundbreaking research cultivating morels both indoors and out, “training” mycelium to respond to specific contaminants, and perpetuating spawn on cardboard without the use of electricity. Readers will discover information on making tinctures, powders, and mushroom-infused honey; making an antibacterial mushroom cutting board; and growing mushrooms on your old denim jeans.
Geared toward readers who want to grow mushrooms without the use of pesticides, Cotter takes “organic” one step further by introducing an entirely new way of thinking—one that looks at the potential to grow mushrooms on just about anything, just about anywhere, and by anyone.
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This fifth edition has been restructured to bring it in to line with the most recent RHS syllabus, adding new material on the basis of science for horticulturists. The book contains beginning of chapter summaries, highlighted definitions and key points, and end of chapter test your learning questions. Each chapter ends with references for further reading.
Structured to meet the needs of a wide variety of courses in horticulture at levels 2 and 3, this book is particularly suitable for the RHS Certificate, Advanced Certificate and Diploma in Horticulture, BTEC National and the City and Guilds/NPTC National and Advanced National Certificate and Diploma courses. It also supports those studying plant science and related modules for 'A' Level Biology and the Diploma in Environmental and Land-based studies.
Charles Adams BSc (Agric) Hons, Dip Applied Educ., Fellow Inst Horticulture, is a lecturer at Capel Manor College and University of Hertfordshire, an external examiner in horticulture, and also a member of the Royal Horticultural Society Qualifications Advisory Committee.
Katherine Bamford BSc (Agric Sci) Hons, Cert Ed., formerly lecturer in horticulture science at Oaklands College, St. Albans, works in the commercial sector with herbs, organic vegetables and hardy plants.
Mike Early MSc, BSc Hons, DTA, Cert Ed., formerly a lecturer in horticulture science at Oaklands College, St. Albans, now works as a landscape gardner.
R. Ford Denison shows how both biotechnology and traditional plant breeding can use Darwinian insights to identify promising routes for crop genetic improvement and avoid costly dead ends. Denison explains why plant traits that have been genetically optimized by individual selection--such as photosynthesis and drought tolerance--are bad candidates for genetic improvement. Traits like plant height and leaf angle, which determine the collective performance of plant communities, offer more room for improvement. Agriculturalists can also benefit from more sophisticated comparisons among natural communities and from the study of wild species in the landscapes where they evolved.
Darwinian Agriculture reveals why it is sometimes better to slow or even reverse evolutionary trends when they are inconsistent with our present goals, and how we can glean new ideas from natural selection's marvelous innovations in wild species.
Essential reading for food industry personnel.
*Completely revised and updated throughout
*The definative guide for process engineers and designers
*Covers a complete range of basic day-to-day operation topics
The second edition of this widely used book covers the many technological developments which have occurred since the first edition; highly sophisticated sonar and computer processing equipment offer great new opportunities and Fisheries Acoustic, 2e provides the reader with a better understanding of how to interpret acoustic observations and put them to practical use.
Well known and respected authors
Emphasis on practical acoustic methods
Detailed coverage of a commercially and environmentally important subject
A vital tool for fisheries scientists, fisheries oceanographers, environmental biologists, ecologists, population biologists, fish biologists, and marine biologists. All those involved with design and use of acoustic equipment. Libraries in research establishments, government stations and universities where fisheries science is studied or taught will find this a welcome addition to their shelves.