I spent the last few days in Portesham, Dorset (thanks, Lorna and Geoff!), which made it all the more weird to come across this article reprinted in a newspaper in Dubai, where I had to transit for a few hours on the way out there. But itÂ doesÂ show that you can still discoverÂ (or re-discover) new thingsÂ even in such a well-researched crop as apples in the UK. Of course, for every upbeat story, there’s a depressing one.
Not much detail in this press release from the University of Manchester, but the idea to document what plants were used – and how – by the ancient Egyptians for medicinal purposes sounds great.
National Public Radio has a nice piece on making and tasting olive oil in Italy.
The great Cambridge botanist Oliver Rackham has a new book out, called “Woodlands.” Insofar as it is fair to say that the life work of such a Renaissance Man hasÂ only one subject, woodlands is it, and how trees are not â€œmerely part of the theatre of landscape in which human history is played out, or the passive recipients of whatever destiny humanity foists on them . . . (they are) actors in the play.â€ There’s an admiring and knowledgeable review here.
Check out this interesting article on the surprising properties of some of the wines produced in some regions of ancient Greece as a result of the addition of various herbs. I wonder if there is enough information in the relevant texts to reproduce some of these concoctions.