Wednesday, 9 September 2009

worms and wicked plants

last decemeber i bought a few copies of : "The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms" by amy stewart. i thought they would be fun christmas presents for gardener friends and i kept one for myself. i was excited to read it, and then summarily forgot about it.

well, i picked it up a couple of weeks ago and i could not stop reading it. it was this perfect combo of science, history, and gardening. turns out that darwin, yes of the charles variety devoted the last years of his life to the study of earthworms. he believed that his last work, "The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms", would be his most important. and seeing as how it is his 200th b-day this year, it was fun to learn that we share a love for worms.

stewart explains:
  • how worms can help veggies and grass grow;
  • how they are destroying a vast forests in the mid-west;
  • their ability to revolutionize human waste management,
  • and a bit about why darwin was so enraptured by these creatures.
unfortunately, she never explained that too much liquid worm poop can kill your tomato plants. i had to learn that the hard way. but . . . i digress.

i had so much fun reading it, that i decided to see what other books she has authored and stumbled upon:

i totally judged this book by its cover and bought it. i like stewart's style AND it was a cool cover so AND an interesting topic. well i am half way through this awesome guide to dangerous plants and am learning such cool stuff.

like did you know that tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers are all in the same family: nightshade. and did you also know that the nightshade family also includes tobacco, mandrake (a narcotic), henbane (an intoxicant and poison), belladonna and dantura (both deadly)?

so got worried that i will to finish this little treat soon so i decided to stall reading to investigate more about the book . . . and tada: book has its own website. turns out that amy stewart has been interviewed on NPR and the CBS Morning Show. if you click here you can see all the videos and hear the npr piece...

so if you are interested in a little tidbit . . . you can watch her in this video

the best news of all is that amy stewart lives in eureka, ca; which just so happens to be the place where cheryl's parents are serving a mission for the mormon church. and on halloween there is a luncheon in eureka with amy. so i am thinking eureka for halloween.

i fear i am becoming a devoté of amy stewart. i have already purchased: "flower confidential: the good, the bad, and the beautiful in the business of flowers"

anyway, i just wanted to share these cool discoveries. lemeno if you pick one of these up . . .

bookclub, you have been warned.

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