Yeah, yeah, it’s been quiet here for the best part of a month. Work, you know. When you notice lack of action here, though, that doesn’t mean that I’m being completely idle. Not always, anyway. Check on Twitter and Facebook, if you dare, and you’ll see new stuff on a fairly regular basis, because that’s easier to do than a fully-fledged blog post. Anyway, what I’ll do here is a mega-Nibble hoovering up snippets from the past few weeks that I posted on social media but not here.
- Vegetable History 101.
- If you have a heirloom of one of the above to name, try this neural network approach.
- Just as long as the name doesn’t end up being racist.
- It’s too late for some German veggies. Though not, it seems, for German forests. What’s the difference?
- Not yet too late for Tanzanian wild veggies, but winter is coming. Maybe giving them cool names would help.
- And for some North American indigenous crops too, thanks to some committed people.
- And for beans in Mexico for that matter.
- Why all the above is important.
- And urgent.
- And this is the resulting problem if you ignore that lesson.
- You see, the Australians are on the case, with their bush tucker fixation.
- Mind you, it’s not all sweetness and light: the quinoa bubble bursts.
- Maybe we can make a game of this diversification lark. Oh, look, it seems we can.
- You can even breed for it.
- Wherein I pontificate about genebank data. Again.
- Maybe these guys will listen?
- These guys obviously did, and built a better peanut.
- Yeah, but can you see them from space?
- The cost of ending hunger. The cost of ensuring crop diversity conservation in genebanks seems, well, peanuts.
- The archaeology of gardens. Two of my favourite topics, combined. If only there was beer too. And peanuts.
- A banana is a banana is a banana. Not.
- All those bananas? You can help to map them.
- They’ll put them on Google Earth next, like Kew did for these beautiful natural areas, with all their crop wild relatives :)
- A Japanese agricultural encyclopaedia. Illustrated to boot.
- Or, for the more Euro-centric, food art at the Met…
- This cheese should probably be at the Met there too.
- And this weed strain may well soon be on sale in the gift shop.
- The sweet potato made it to Oceania on its own.
- Oh no it didn’t.
- On the other hand, livestock generally need to be accompanied.
- All the yeast belong China.
Attentive readers who remember our series of posts on the resurrection of Pawnee corn from almost 10 years ago may be interested in this recent Twitter thread from Prof. C.S Prakash.
For those who would prefer to stay away from Twitter, and I know there are some, I’ll take the liberty to reproduce Prof. Prakash’s text below, embedding the links for clarity, but minus the photos, alas.
- Amazing story of the revival of Pawnee Eagle Corn. Grown by native Americans, thought to be extinct. One family had saved last 50 kernels taken with them when they were exiled from Nebraska to Oklahoma in the 1870s. “It tastes like almonds with cream”.
- A farmer who grew the Pawnee Eagle and other heirloom corn 🌽. Much beauty in the biodiversity, once extinct it is lost forever. Gene banks and such farmers heroes! Vavilov is smiling!
- Deb Echo-Hawk, Pawnee tribe’s official ‘Keeper of the seeds’. When tribes were forced from state to state by the US govt — Trail of Tears — seed keepers brought their own strains of corn seeds with them, so when they settled again, they could grow food on their new land.
- Eagle corn revived from near-extinction by an unlikely friendship and determination of Native American seed saver from Oklahoma Deb-Echo Hawk along with Ronnie O’Brien, a culinary art instructor at a community college in Nebraska.
- Pawnee tribe lived along tributaries of the Missouri River in Nebraska. In 1870, ~ 12,000 people were removed from their land, forcibly exiled to Oklahoma, only about 600 survived. Eagle corn is a tragic testimony to the brutal racism Pawnee endured.
- Roger Echo-Hawk mentioned to me that as Native Americans could not get into US universities in the 19th century, black universities such as Hampton Institute educated them. Booker T. Washington who founded @TuskegeeUniv where I work, also studied there!
- Those who wish to reach Deb Echo-Hawk to learn more about the Pawnee Eagle Corn heirloom seed and check with her when the seeds would be public available may contact her through Facebook page.
- Learn more about this amazing Pawnee Eagle Corn — Workshop on ‘NATIVE CORN’ Honoring Nebraska’s First Farmers — The First Meeting on Indigenous Crops in Nebraska, April 28, 2018 at the Central Community College-Hastings, Hastings.
Sounds like a cool idea, no?
Well, maybe not so much: “context is important.”
LATER: Or maybe not so bad after all?