Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
know where our food comes from.
on April 8, 2012
This is a fascinating read and is for anyone moved to educate themselves on the preservation of the diversity of our food sources. What is compelling is the tribute and tracking of the intrepid Nickolay Vavilov who in Russia in the 1920s served his country and humankind by ethnobotanical field studies of the preservation of seed on 5 continents. His ironic death at the hands of Stalin for not staving off the starvation of the Russian masses is a travesty and tragedy and a harsh lesson not only politics, but ecology and botany. Gary Nabhan traces the history and work of this great Russian way-shower and points out the superb quest for preserving diversity from the hands of mono-cropping capitalist giants. It is not a political rant, as much as a sober tour of the greatest hotspots of remaining diversity, and a marvelous examination of seeds and culture as they pertain to landraces. If ever there is a precursor to taste of place and preservation of culture, it lies in the secrets revealed in this book.Terroir is not just seed and climate but the peoples and their linguistics and rituals around growing their plants, naming them and the rituals of preparing them. I personally feel this is a foundational book for the burgeoning seed library movement. It is also one of many greats by Nabhan who writes beautifully and understands the material so well. He is doing much for the revivification of our good sense and ecological wellbeing. After all we are the first generation ever that has been well and truly dislocated from their food sources.