Brainfood: Silkworm, Donkey, Cat, Chicken, Neolithic, Shamans, Locusts

Nibbles: Indian millets, Coconut breeding, Bhutan seed systems, Bangladesh gardens, Innovea coffee breeding network, Israel and NZ genebanks

  1. India decides to export millets. How about conserving them?
  2. India releases a new coconut. How about new millets?
  3. Bhutan BOLDly studies its seed systems. Maybe even including some millets.
  4. Bangladesh revives floating gardens. No millets.
  5. Coffee gets an international breeding network. Do millets have one?
  6. Israel‘s and New Zealand‘s genebanks make the news. How about millet genebanks?

Nibbles: Ancient oils, “AGRA”, Seed libraries, Tonka bean, MGIS, Wild Arachis

  1. Remember the book on ancient Mesopotamian cookery in the last Nibbles? Ok well here’s a website on Vegetable Oils And Animal Fats In Early Urban Societies Of Syro-Mesopotamia. Esoteric? Moi?
  2. To come back down to earth, you could always read this hot take on the AGRA rebranding.
  3. Couldn’t be more down to earth than community seedbanks, aka seed libraries.
  4. The seeds of Dipteryx odorata will make your head float.
  5. The latest news from the Musa Germplasm Information System may float your boat. It did mine. But I’m into esoterica, didn’t you know?
  6. Nothing esoteric about wild peanuts any more.

Sharing a hot plant pinup

The latest Eat This Newsletter is out. Here’s a taster. Do subscribe, well worth it. BTW, Jeremy has form on this topic.

The Plant Humanities Lab at Dumbarton Oaks apparently features the chilli pepper as its plant of the month this month, but as I cannot find a link there, I’m sending you to the version syndicated to JSTOR Daily. It’s a bit of a once-over-lightly, with little new for any reasonably well-informed chilli-head. While I’m carping, although the article says the seeds of wild chillies are spread by birds, it doesn’t mention any potential evolutionary advantage offered by capsaicin, the source of the heat. Clearly birds aren’t put off by it and humans can come to like it, but what is it actually for?