Core blimey!

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 it does show that you can still discover (or re-discover) new things even in such a well-researched crop as apples in the UK. Of course, for every upbeat story, there’s a depressing one.

Pharaonic medicine

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.

Woodlands as players in human history

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 has only one subject, woodlands is it, and how trees are not “merely 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.” There’s an admiring and knowledgeable review here.

Ancient Greek wine

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.