Of all the extraordinary and obscure plants that have been fermented and distilled, a few are dangerous, some are downright bizarre, and one is as ancient as dinosaurs—but each represents a unique cultural contribution to our global drinking traditions and our history.
This fascinating concoction of biology, chemistry, history, etymology, and mixology—with more than fifty drink recipes and growing tips for gardeners—will make you the most popular guest at any cocktail party.
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.
Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and their communication abilities; he describes how these discoveries have informed his own practices in the forest around him. As he says, a happy forest is a healthy forest, and he believes that eco-friendly practices not only are economically sustainable but also benefit the health of our planet and the mental and physical health of all who live on Earth.
Just as he demystified the soil food web in his ground-breaking book Teaming with Microbes, in this new work Jeff Lowenfels explains the basics of plant nutrition from an organic gardener’s perspective. Most gardeners realize that plants need to be fed but know little or nothing about the nature of the nutrients and the mechanisms involved. In his trademark down-to-earth, style, Lowenfels explains the role of both macronutrients and micronutrients and shows gardeners how to provide these essentials through organic, easy-to-follow techniques. Along the way, Lowenfels gives the reader easy-to-grasp lessons in the biology, chemistry, and botany needed to understand how nutrients get into the plant and what they do once they’re inside.
Read an Interview with Dr. Resh here
With Dr. Howard Resh’s help, you’ll learn:
Background information on how hydroponics evolved The nutritional and environmental demands of plants and how to control these factors How to provide formulations of nutrients optimal to the plants you wish to grow The many different hydroponic systems you can purchase or build for yourself Designs for different types of greenhouses with components to fit your personal taste and budget Crop selection and step-by-step procedures, including seeding, transplanting, training, pest and disease control, and harvesting—along with when to plant and when to change crops How you can grow microgreens on your kitchen counter
The book includes an appendix with sources of seeds and other supplies, along with helpful websites and lists of books, articles, and conferences on growing hydroponically and caring for your crops. By following the guidelines in this book, you’ll understand everything you need to know to get your home-growing operation up and running in no time.
Practical Botany for Gardeners provides an elegant and accessible introduction to the world of botany. It presents the essentials that every gardener needs to know, connecting explanations of scientific facts with useful gardening tips. Flip to the roots section and you’ll not only learn how different types of roots support a plant but also find that adding fungi to soil aids growth. The pruning section both defines “lateral buds” and explains how far back on a shoot to cut in order to propagate them.
The book breaks down key areas and terminology with easy-to-navigate chapters arranged by theme, such as plant types, plant parts, inner workings, and external factors. “Great Botanists” and “Botany in Action” boxes delve deeper into the fascinating byways of plant science. This multifaceted book also includes two hundred botanical illustrations and basic diagrams that hearken to the classic roots of botany.
Part handbook, part reference, Practical Botany for Gardeners is a beautifully captivating read. It’s a must for garden lovers and backyard botanists who want to grow and nurture their own plant knowledge.
Employment of biological scientists is projected to grow 21% over the next decade, much faster than the average for all occupations, as biotechnological research and development continues to drive job growth.
Botany For Dummies gives you a thorough, easy-to-follow overview of the fundamentals of botany, helping you to improve your grades, supplement your learning, or review before a test.Covers evolution by natural selection Offers plain-English explanations of the structure and function of plants Includes plant identification and botanical phenomenon
Tracking a typical course in botany, this hands-on, friendly guide is your ticket to acing this required course for your major in biology, microbiology, zoology, or elementary education.