The Plant Messiah

Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species

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Author: Carlos Magdalena

Publisher: Doubleday

ISBN: 038554362X

Category: Nature

Page: 272

View: 6019

An impassioned memoir of saving extraordinary plants on the brink of extinction, by a scientist who has been called a "codebreaker" (Telegraph) and "an inspiration" (Jane Goodall) Carlos Magdalena is not your average horticulturist. He's a man on a mission to save the world's most endangered plants. First captivated by the flora of his native Spain, he has travelled to the remotest parts of the globe in search of exotic species. Renowned for his pioneering work, he has committed his life to protecting plants from man-made ecological destruction and thieves hunting for wealthy collectors. In The Plant Messiah, Magdalena takes readers from the Amazon to the jungles of Mauritius to deep within the Australian Outback in search of the rare and the vulnerable. Back in the lab, we watch as he develops groundbreaking, left-field techniques for rescuing species from extinction, encouraging them to propagate and thrive once again. Along the way, he offers moving, heartfelt stories about the secrets contained within these incredible organisms. Passionate and absorbing, The Plant Messiah is a tribute to the diversity of life on our planet, and the importance of preserving it. *Featuring 16 pages of color photos*

The Plant Messiah

Adventures in Search of the World’s Rarest Species

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Author: Carlos Magdalena

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0241979307

Category: Science

Page: 240

View: 5078

Passionate, forthright and enthusiastic, Carlos Magdalena is a world-renowned horticulturist - known both for his charisma and his conservation work. The Plant Messiah follows Carlos' dreams and disappointments; from his days as a school boy in the death throes of General Franco's Fascist dictatorship, to his advent as The Plant Messiah at the forefront of conservation, backed by the reputation and resources of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and enthused by the potential that lies beyond. The book discloses for the first time the details behind his 'codebreaking' exploits and the secret stories behind his work; his genius, lateral thinking and steadfast belief that everything is possible.

The Plant Messiah

Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species

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Author: Carlos Magdalena

Publisher: Doubleday Books

ISBN: 9780385543613

Category: Nature

Page: 272

View: 5788

An impassioned memoir of saving extraordinary plants on the brink of extinction, by a scientist who has been called a "codebreaker" (Telegraph) and "an inspiration" (Jane Goodall) Carlos Magdalena is not your average horticulturist. He's a man on a mission to save the world's most endangered plants. First captivated by the flora of his native Spain, he has travelled to the remotest parts of the globe in search of exotic species. Renowned for his pioneering work, he has committed his life to protecting plants from man-made ecological destruction and thieves hunting for wealthy collectors. In The Plant Messiah, Magdalena takes readers from the Amazon to the jungles of Mauritius to deep within the Australian Outback in search of the rare and the vulnerable. Back in the lab, we watch as he develops groundbreaking, left-field techniques for rescuing species from extinction, encouraging them to propagate and thrive once again. Along the way, he offers moving, heartfelt stories about the secrets contained within these incredible organisms. Passionate and absorbing, The Plant Messiah is a tribute to the diversity of life on our planet, and the importance of preserving it. *Featuring 16 pages of color photos*

The Food Explorer

The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats

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Author: Daniel Stone

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101990589

Category: Botanists

Page: 416

View: 5286

David Fairchild, a young botanist with an insatiable lust to explore and experience the world, set out in search of foods that would enrich the American farmer and enchant the American eater. Fairchild's finds weren't just limited to food: From Egypt he sent back a variety of cotton that revolutionised an industry, and via Japan he introduced the cherry blossom tree, forever brightening America's capital. Along the way, he was arrested, caught diseases, and bargained with island tribes. Through him, America transformed into the most diverse food system ever created.

Deep-Rooted Wisdom

Skills and Stories from Generations of Gardeners

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Author: Augustus Jenkins Farmer

Publisher: Timber Press

ISBN: 1604696001

Category: Gardening

Page: 248

View: 4193

We have begun to lose some of the most important skills used by everyday gardeners to create beautiful, productive gardens. With a personality-driven, engaging narrative, Deep Rooted Wisdom teaches accessible, commonsense skills to a new generation of gardeners. Soulful gardener, Augustus Jenkins Farmer, profiles experienced and up-and-coming gardeners who use these skills in their own gardens. Enjoy this chance to get planting, propagation, and fertilizing knowledge handed down directly from the experts in the field.

The New Farm

Our Ten Years on the Front Lines of the Good Food Revolution

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Author: Brent Preston

Publisher: Abrams

ISBN: 1683353021

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 8944

ADVANCE PRAISE “A must-read story told with honesty, humor, and humility by a passionate farmer who reminds us what our food system can and should be about.”—Daniel Boulud “Preston uses brilliant storytelling and brutal honesty to describe what it takes to create both a viable organic farm and a more meaningful life for himself and his family. The New Farm is the kind of book that will inspire people to make positive change.”—Arianna Huffington “Both a book about the food system and a tell-all of his journey. . . . The ups, and mostly downs, he describes might have been a trial but they do make for a good read.”—The Globe and Mail After years of working at the ends of the earth in human rights and development, Brent Preston and his wife were die-hard city dwellers. But when their second child arrived, the shine came off urban living. In 2003 they bought a hundred acres and a rundown farmhouse and set out to build a real farm, one that would sustain their family, nourish their community, heal their environment, and turn a profit. The New Farm is Preston’s memoir of a decade of grinding toil and perseverance. Farming is a complex and precarious business, and they made plenty of mistakes along the way. But as they learned how to grow food, and to succeed at the business of farming, they also found that a small, sustainable, organic farm could be an engine for change, a path to a more just and sustainable food system. Today, The New Farm supplies top restaurants, supports community food banks, hosts events with leading chefs, and grows extraordinary produce. Told with humor and heart, The New Farm is a joy, a passionate book by an important new voice.

Montage

Life, Politics, Cinema

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Author: Mrinal Sen

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780857424983

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 360

View: 6598

One of the greatest ambassadors of Indian cinema on the global stage, Mrinal Sen has always seen his life and work as part of the social and political fabric of his time. Considered the enfant terrible of Indian cinema when he broke on the scene in the 1960s and '70s, Sen today is known for his films that capture moments of truth in the ordinary lives of ordinary people. His masterfully subtle and nuanced portraits of urban class tension, leftist politics, and the city of Calcutta itself--which Sen has called his El Dorado--set his cinema apart from that of his contemporaries. Montage encapsulates half a century of filmmaking. A first-of-its-kind anthology, it includes original writings--memoirs, letters, musings on politics, literature, theater, and cinema; critiques of contemporaries such as Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, as well as inspirations such as Charlie Chaplin and a host of international filmmakers, especially those from Latin America--and intensive interviews with scholars and critics. The result is a unique montage, revealing both the filmmaker and the man, mapping a unique creative landscape, and offering valuable insights into his acclaimed films.

Inheritors of the Earth

How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction

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Author: Chris D. Thomas

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1610397282

Category: Nature

Page: 320

View: 4328

Human activity has irreversibly changed the natural environment. But the news isn't all bad. It's accepted wisdom today that human beings have permanently damaged the natural world, causing extinction, deforestation, pollution, and of course climate change. But in Inheritors of the Earth, biologist Chris Thomas shows that this obscures a more hopeful truth--we're also helping nature grow and change. Human cities and mass agriculture have created new places for enterprising animals and plants to live, and our activities have stimulated evolutionary change in virtually every population of living species. Most remarkably, Thomas shows, humans may well have raised the rate at which new species are formed to the highest level in the history of our planet. Drawing on the success stories of diverse species, from the ochre-colored comma butterfly to the New Zealand pukeko, Thomas overturns the accepted story of declining biodiversity on Earth. In so doing, he questions why we resist new forms of life, and why we see ourselves as unnatural. Ultimately, he suggests that if life on Earth can recover from the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs, it can survive the onslaughts of the technological age. This eye-opening book is a profound reexamination of the relationship between humanity and the natural world.

The God Species

Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans

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Author: Mark Lynas

Publisher: National Geographic Books

ISBN: 142620891X

Category: Nature

Page: 280

View: 2500

Lynas argues that we can sustain a world of nine billion at higher living standards than today, but only if we take a more scientific approach to recognizing the real ecological limits of Earth. And that means taking a clear-eyed, rational look at a host of issues such as organic farming, genetically engineered crops, and nuclear power.

Plants of the World

An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Vascular Plants

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Author: Maarten J. M. Christenhusz,Michael F. Fay,Mark W. Chase

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022653670X

Category: Nature

Page: 816

View: 6676

Plants of the World is the first book to systematically explore every vascular plant family on earth—more than four hundred and fifty of them—organized in a modern phylogenetic order. Detailed entries for each family include descriptions, distribution, evolutionary relationships, and fascinating information on economic uses of plants and etymology of their names. All entries are also copiously illustrated in full color with more than 2,500 stunning photographs. A collaboration among three celebrated botanists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Plants of the World is authoritative, comprehensive, and beautiful. Covering everything from ferns to angiosperms, it will be an essential resource for practicing botanists, horticulturists, and nascent green thumbs alike.

The Triumph of Seeds

How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History

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Author: Thor Hanson

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465048722

Category: Nature

Page: 288

View: 3220

"The genius of Hanson's fascinating, inspiring, and entertaining book stems from the fact that it is not about how all kinds of things grow from seeds; it is about the seeds themselves." --Mark Kurlansky, New York Times Book Review We live in a world of seeds. From our morning toast to the cotton in our clothes, they are quite literally the stuff and staff of life: supporting diets, economies, and civilizations around the globe. Just as the search for nutmeg and pepper drove the Age of Discovery, coffee beans fueled the Enlightenment and cottonseed sparked the Industrial Revolution. Seeds are fundamental objects of beauty, evolutionary wonders, and simple fascinations. Yet, despite their importance, seeds are often seen as commonplace, their extraordinary natural and human histories overlooked. Thanks to this stunning new book, they can be overlooked no more. This is a book of knowledge, adventure, and wonder, spun by an award-winning writer with both the charm of a fireside story-teller and the hard-won expertise of a field biologist. A fascinating scientific adventure, it is essential reading for anyone who loves to see a plant grow.

Plant Conservation

Why It Matters and How It Works

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Author: Timothy Walker

Publisher: Timber Press

ISBN: 1604695692

Category: Gardening

Page: 304

View: 9989

Plants’ ability to turn sunlight into energy makes them the basis for all life; without them there is no life. And they are more than just a food source—they provide us with fuel, fibers, and pharmaceuticals. Global warming and the destruction of natural habitats are a serious threat to many plants, and there are worldwide efforts to mitigate the disaster. Plant Conservation tackles this essential topic head on. Timothy Walker, as the director of the Oxford Botanical Garden, a leader in the field of plant conservation, plays a key role in this effort. He highlights what is happening now, from cataloging the world’s flora to conservation efforts like protecting plants from overcollecting. He also shows home gardeners how they can become involved, whether by growing their own food to decrease reliance on large agriculture or by making smart plant choices by growing natives and avoiding invasives. Plant Conservation treats a critical topic in an accessible and optimistic way. It is required reading for students, professionals, and anyone with a keen interest in the importance of plants.

I Love Dirt!

52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature

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Author: Jennifer Ward

Publisher: Shambhala Publications

ISBN: 1590305353

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 153

View: 6453

Provides fifty-two outdoor activities for families to help engage children in discovering and learning about nature, including observing ants, tracing stars, and cultivating a garden.

Ginkgo

The Tree That Time Forgot

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Author: Peter Crane

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300190476

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 2985

DIVPerhaps the world’s most distinctive tree, ginkgo has remained stubbornly unchanged for more than two hundred million years. A living link to the age of dinosaurs, it survived the great ice ages as a relic in China, but it earned its reprieve when people first found it useful about a thousand years ago. Today ginkgo is beloved for the elegance of its leaves, prized for its edible nuts, and revered for its longevity. This engaging book tells the full and fascinating story of a tree that people saved from extinction—a story that offers hope for other botanical biographies that are still being written./divDIV /divDIVInspired by the historic ginkgo that has thrived in London’s Kew Gardens since the 1760s, renowned botanist Peter Crane explores the evolutionary history of the species from its mysterious origin through its proliferation, drastic decline, and ultimate resurgence. Crane also highlights the cultural and social significance of the ginkgo: its medicinal and nutritional uses, its power as a source of artistic and religious inspiration, and its importance as one of the world’s most popular street trees. Readers of this extraordinarily interesting book will be drawn to the nearest ginkgo, where they can experience firsthand the timeless beauty of the oldest tree on Earth./div

Birdbrain

Go Ahead. Love Your Planet. Just Not Too Much.

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Author: Virginia Arthur

Publisher: BookBaby

ISBN: 1495117758

Category: Fiction

Page: 355

View: 2672

Set at the dawn of America's environmental consciousness, late 1970's, early '80's, in Part I, pretty Ellowyn Kelsey is a redneck girl living the pretty redneck life in rural Michigan. This includes waiting for her roofer husband to come around, maybe notice the new curtains she put up, or even the flowers in her hair. Her self-imposed lobotomy ends simply enough--she shows up at the wrong time for a church picnic and ends up with a bunch of birders. Peering through a pair of borrowed binoculars, she realizes the love between a mating pair of bluebirds is more profound than what she shares with the bonehead she's married to. Something in her breaks. She's young, naive, and despite that everyone else around her recognizes what she is going through, she doesn't--until the depth of her pain and emotion holds her captive. She doesn't understand it, the end of her empty marriage and she really did try to cuss less though hanging around with her best friend Patty didn't help. What did he want from her exactly? Did he even love her? Everyone knew her marriage to Eddie was doomed before she did. How can she be the last to know? She is indignant, hurt. She has no idea how to process the emotional sideswipe. Her loss and pain is expressed through the crazy narcissistic melodrama of youth, justified or not. Her reluctant yet unabashed accomplice is Patty. Part II finds her experiencing yet another major loss. This time, it forces her to grow up, evaluate. She finds refuge in nature, in her birds, in science, making true her mother's prediction--a chasm may form someday between her new and old life, between she and Patty. Her new life is about ecology, birding, nature, science--getting out of her rural town, maybe even going to college. As the narcissism of her youth, her "prior" life wears off, so grows the divide between the people in her town. She starts to care about something bigger than herself (God forbid!)--her ailing planet. This only serves to amuse the "rednecks and assorted white trash" of her rural town who waste no time labeling her as their own "token environmental wacko". She stays focused. She loves ecology, birds, but wait a minute, what's that strip mall doing there? She meets Kate, one of the first female biologists to be hired by the state Fish and Game Department. In addition to enduring her role as a trailblazer in a male-dominated profession (i.e. the spontaneous massages, etc.), Kate has spent her life fighting to "protect the environment". It hasn't really worked out. Kate's really angry and nobody likes Kate. Who wants to end up like Kate? Is this the price you pay for caring about something bigger than yourself? Ellie wonders if she shouldn't head back to the fart jokes, Foosball,and Budweiser; but the barbecues just aren't as much fun anymore. She meets someone at one of those infamous barbecues. He likes her. She runs like hell, and she keeps running, to the other side of country. She leaves her boring rural life in Michigan to travel "out west" where she has some very unexpected experiences: roaming spirits in the desert, accidental crusades against development at her sister's place in San Diego, geographically diverse sexual encounters that include a "real cowboy" and a "real Indian", a Miwok/Paiute BLM park ranger out of Mono Lake. Then there are those amazing sandhill cranes--and who is this guy in my tent? She can't dodge it try as she may--the inevitable grief life thrusts upon all of us, including the grief of watching nature get destroyed by her own species. And then there's the dog. Her wonderful wonderful dog. She passes through all the stages every aware person passes through, some staying in one stage, comfortably or not, while others stay stuck in despair, hopelessness...alcohol and drugs always optional. Major influences: Ed Abbey, Tom Robbins, John Irving, Rachel Carson, T.C. Boyle, J.D. Salinger, Pam Houston, Kurt Vonnegut, many others.

Fortress Plant

How to survive when everything wants to eat you

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Author: Dale Walters

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191062839

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 8109

The survival of plants on our planet is nothing short of miraculous. They are virtually stationary packages of food, providing sustenance for a vast array of organisms, ranging from bacteria and fungi, through to insects, and even other plants. But plants are master survivors, having coped with changing environments and evolving predators over much of the history of life on earth. They have surveillance systems and defences that would put most modern armies to shame. They need to have a formidable armoury, because their enemies have sophisticated weaponry of their own. In this often hostile world, battles are fought daily, often to the death. These battles are not trivial - they matter, because life on this fragile planet of ours depends on plants. In this book Dale Walters takes readers on a journey through these battlefields, exploring how predators try to fool plants' surveillance systems and, if they manage to do so, how they gain access to the nourishment they require. Incredibly, successful attackers can manipulate plant function in order to suppress any attempt by the plant to mount defensive action, while at the same time ensuring a steady supply of food for their own survival. Walters shows how plants respond to such attacks, the defences they use, and how the attacked plant can communicate its plight to its neighbours. These skirmishes represent the latest stage in an unending evolutionary war between plants and organisms that feed on them. These battles might be on a micro scale, but they are every bit as fierce, complicated, and fascinating as the battles between animal predators and prey.

Wilding

The Return of Nature to a British Farm

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Author: Isabella Tree

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 1509805117

Category: Nature

Page: N.A

View: 6885

'The remarkable story of an astounding transformation' George Monbiot, author of Feral. In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the ‘Knepp experiment’, a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope. Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy clay of their land at Knepp was economically unsustainable, Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell made a spectacular leap of faith: they decided to step back and let nature take over. Thanks to the introduction of free-roaming cattle, ponies, pigs and deer – proxies of the large animals that once roamed Britain – the 3,500 acre project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife numbers and diversity in little over a decade. Extremely rare species, including turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons, lesser spotted woodpeckers and purple emperor butterflies, are now breeding at Knepp, and populations of other species are rocketing. The Burrells’ degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again, heaving with life – all by itself. Personal and inspirational, Wilding is an astonishing account of the beauty and strength of nature, when it is given as much freedom as possible.

The Moviegoer

A Novel

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Author: Walker Percy

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1453216251

Category: Fiction

Page: 191

View: 5626

In this National Book Award­–winning novel, a young man, torn between the forces of tradition and change, searches for meaning in postwar America. On the cusp of his thirtieth birthday, Binx Bolling is a lost soul. A stockbroker and member of an established New Orleans family, Binx’s one escape is the movie theater that transports him from the falseness of his life. With Mardi Gras in full swing, Binx, along with his cousin Kate, sets out to find his true purpose amid the excesses of the carnival that surrounds him. Buoyant yet powerful, The Moviegoer is a poignant indictment of modern values, and an unforgettable story of a week that will change two lives forever. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Walker Percy including rare photos from the author’s estate.

The Physics of Superheroes

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Author: James Kakalios

Publisher: Avery

ISBN: 1592405088

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 424

View: 5573

An exploration of the science behind the powers of popular comic superheroes and villains illustrates the physics principles underlying the supernatural abilities of such characters as Superman, Magneto, and Spider-Man.

Pandora's Seed

The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization

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Author: Spencer Wells

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 9780679603740

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 8680

Ten thousand years ago, our species made a radical shift in its way of life: We became farmers rather than hunter-gatherers. Although this decision propelled us into the modern world, renowned geneticist and anthropologist Spencer Wells demonstrates that such a dramatic change in lifestyle had a downside that we’re only now beginning to recognize. Growing grain crops ultimately made humans more sedentary and unhealthy and made the planet more crowded. The expanding population and the need to apportion limited resources created hierarchies and inequalities. Freedom of movement was replaced by a pressure to work that is the forebear of the anxiety millions feel today. Spencer Wells offers a hopeful prescription for altering a life to which we were always ill-suited. Pandora’s Seed is an eye-opening book for anyone fascinated by the past and concerned about the future.