After listening to this audiobook I am certain they are and that certain plants have been extremely successful at manipulating us humans. This book is a fun and thoughtful journey through the more recent history of a few very popular plants the apple, the tulip, the potato, and marijuana.
I had no idea that apples and prohibition were connected in any way, or that a barefoot man wearing a sack as a shirt and pot on his head was hugely responsible for spreading apple seeds far and wide from Pennsylvania to across the Ohio valley.
I love this book for the fact that it explores different reasons why certain plants became all the rage. The best part about this book, and the stories told, is that some of the reasons plants thrive are truly rational and some seem downright absurd! Potatoes and apples being the rational and the historical tulip craze being the absurd. More on this further on.
I am listening to The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan for the second time. I don’t believe that I listened to it during the spring season the first time. I found myself thinking about it again as the daffodils are springing up everywhere and I am waiting for my tulips to appear. Did you know that during a specific point in history a certain variety of tulip was worth more than gold?!
Anyway, I got this audiobook again because I was so entertained by it the first time, I wanted to revisit the stories. Plus I couldn’t remember where the apple tree museum was and I’d really like to visit it sometime (although it doesn’t seem to be open to the public from what I can find).
Here is an article that was published in the NY Times by the author of this same book. Breaking Ground: The Call of the Wild Apple is an article Michael Pollan wrote about his experience at the Living Apple Tree Museum in Geneva, NY. I am enjoying the audiobook rendition of this experience more than I enjoyed this article but I was excited to see this article supporting biodiversity. If you don’t know why this is important, it’s time for you to get this book!
I have been enjoying listening to all the fascinating ways these plants have captured man’s hearts across the centuries, while I pull weeds and toil in my gardens. I can’t imagine a better fitting book to be reading, or listening to, during planting season but if you know of any please share!
Thanks so much for reading with me today. I hope planting season is going well for you all, and that your weeds are few, your blooms beautiful, and your harvest season bountiful!
PS. If this book sounds fun don’t forget to add it to your Amazon cart or search for it at your local library.
Rainy Day in Spring (Every once in awhile I do write poetry) –
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