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Thursday, March 03, 2011

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You may be interested in a book I am reading called the Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan. One of the plants that he talks about is the Tulip.

They were traded in Europe from Turkey in 1550. The name Tulip comes from a turkish work for "turban".

For centuries, the tulip was prized for its uniform color and once the two-color tulip started to show it was found to be because of a virus that was spread from the peach potato aphid, from peach trees. And, once they discovered this in the 1920', they set out to destroy any flowers that had color breaks.

One of the first tulips to arrive in Europe in 1500's was the Carolus Clusius. It was rare, and the bulbs were coveted. These prized flowers were stolen from a collector's garden and seeds were sown all over Europe. However, tulips do not come true from seeds and bear little resemblance to the parent flower. Seedlings were born and created an abundance of different shape and color tulips.

In this book Pollan also talks about the potato, the apple and marijuana. He explores the evolution of each plant and how it is linked to human desire: sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control. Good read for all garden enthusiasts.

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Hi! My name is Martina and I have a "farm" in my New York City backyard called FarmTina.

My definition of "farm" is really just a living space that brings together home grown vegetables & fruits, animals, flowers & trees, and concoctions that use all of these ingredients together... read more