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.
For the first time, the University of California Press is offering this resource as an e-book. The Digital Jepson Manual provides an unparalleled new level of interactivity, portability, and convenience. Extensive linking and e-book–friendly illustrations make it easier for users to learn about plant characteristics and identify the native and naturalized plants of California—all in a format ideally suited for use in the field. Using readily available e-book readers, field researchers, students, and enthusiasts can click on links to rapidly navigate through keys to families, genera, species, and subspecies or varieties. Specific features of The Digital Jepson Manual include the following:
—Keys link forward and backward to other taxonomic levels.
—Plate references in taxonomic treatments link to plates for rapid reference.
—Plate captions link to taxonomic treatments.
—Individual taxon figures appear next to species descriptions, and full plates are gathered in a special section.
—Glossary terms link to any relevant illustrations.
—List of families links each family to its taxonomic treatment.
—Index is fully linked to taxonomic treatments.
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.