Saturday, June 27, 2009

seeds of discontent

Harry Eyres, Slow Lane columnist for the Financial Times Life & Arts section, wrote on the weekend of June 13/June 14 2009 an extended review-essay of three new books on seeds - including a biography of Luther Burbank (1849-1926), who while working in a plough factory in Massachusetts found a two-year-old book by Charles Darwin on animal and plant breeding. The result is edible history - hybrids developed by Burbank in his 50 years in Santa Rosa, California, are still commercially important. Tho Monsanto seems to have taken some of his initiatives a bit farther and around a bend ...

An Orchard Invisible: A Natural History of Seeds by Jonathan Silvertown (The University of Chicago Press)

The Garden of Invention: Luther Burbank and the Business of Breeding Plants by Jane S. Smith (The Penguin Press)

Forgotten Fruits: The Stories Behind Britain’s Traditional Fruit and Vegetables by Christopher Stocks (Windmill)


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