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As biological diversity continues to shrink at an alarming rate,
the loss of plant species poses a threat seemingly less visible than the loss of animals but in many ways more critical. In this book, one of America's leading ethnobotanists warns about our loss of natural vegetation and plant diversity while providing insights into traditional Native agricultural practices in the Americas.
Gary Paul Nabhan here reveals the rich diversity of plants found in tropical forests and their contribution to modern crops, then tells how this diversity is being lost to agriculture and lumbering. He then relates "local parables" of Native American agriculture--from wild rice in the Great Lakes region to wild gourds in Florida--that convey the urgency of this situation and demonstrate the need for saving the seeds of endangered plants. Nabhan stresses the need for maintaining a wide gene pool, not only for the survival of these species but also for the preservation of genetic strains that can help scientists breed more resilient varieties of other plants. Enduring Seeds
is a book that no one concerned with our environment can afford to ignore. It clearly shows us that, as agribusiness increasingly limits the food on our table, a richer harvest can be had by preserving ancient ways. This edition features a new foreword by Miguel Altieri, one of today's leading spokesmen for sustainable agriculture and the preservation of indigenous farming methods.
"This collection of essays from one of the foremost ethnobotanists in the United States is an enjoyable and intriguing documentation of a field of conservation generally ignored by the environmental mainstream: the preservation of gene pools from ancient domesticated and semi-domesticated plants." GreenWave.com"A rich, complex book-wise, personal, and beautifully written." Sierra "A gem of a book: scientifically sound, ethical, full of interesting and timely information about one of the paramount yet neglected environmental issues of our times." Garden "A stirring report about lost and almost-lost plants, and one which Indians and non-Indians alike would be wise to heed." Native Americas"Extremely thorough researched . . . written with an accessible and easy-to-read style . . . a must for all teachers, lecturers, and students studying indigenous farming practices with a view to their conservation and who wish to understand the importance of sustainable ecosystems to modern agriculture." Geography