Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I have a few part time jobs. One of them is to water, weed, and prune the Erna Gunther Ethonobotanical Gardens at the UW's Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Also known as the "wild woman of the woods" garden.

I've already learned and memorized the plants. It takes several hours to water the garden and with the heat Seattle's had (over 100*F!) I sometimes water 3 times a week. In those hours I have started reading books again. I haven't actually read books like novels and such for a long time.

I read "Like Water for Chocolate," a humourous book set in Revolution Era Mexico about a girl whose cooking incites supernatural events. There is a movie I hope to see soon.

Then I read "The Botany of Desire." The apple chapter reminded me how much I want my own mini-farm with heirloom (non-hybrid, re-seeding) plants...especially fruit trees. The tulip chapter explained why the Dutch love tulips and some of the mystery behind beauty (at one point, a single tulip bulb would sell for the price of an entire estate. In the marijuana chapter I was reminded their exists a hallucinogenic lichen and that I appreciate having the quality of a sense of wonder. The potato chapter reminded me how amazing and fascinating genetic modification can be, but also how unstable.

My next books will be:
"Guns, Germs, Steel" by Jared Diamond
"Seed Saving"
and I'm going to finally finish the Joseph Smith biography "A Rough Stone Rolling."

Any other recommendations?



Ani said...

good books! I have been meaning to read "Botany of Desire" for some time now. I recently finished "Three Cups of Tea," and HIGHLY recommend it! That ethnobotany garden sounds awesome. We should catch up soon.

Allison said...

The Outliers ... by Malcom Gladwell. Those who have read it ... knoooow.