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Native American Farming: Enduring Seeds; Native American Agriculture and Wild Plant Conservation.
by Gary Nabhan. North Point Press, 850 Talbot Ave., Berkeley, CA 94706. 1989. 256 pp. Hardcover. $18.95.

With Gathering the Desert (University of Arizona Press, 1985) Gary Nabhan, Assistant Director of the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, and co-founder of Native Seeds/SEARCH, emerged as an important natural history writer. The book won the John Burroughs Medal for natural history -- in essence the "Pulitzer Prize" for nature writing. Many books have explored the subject of native American contributions to modern crops. With Enduring Seeds, Nabhan explores the history, present, and future of North American agriculture in the context of native American farming methods. The book celebrates diversity and traditional wisdom, while exposing the downfalls of out-of-context biotechnology. From wild rice to wild turkey, Nabhan calmly makes modern agriculture eat its own folly. But the folly is not that of a "faceless they..." If you eat food from the grocery store, you, too, are part of modern agriculture. This book should be required reading for all who eat. The most successful inventi ons are discoveries of the obvious. Gary Nabhan chronicles obvious wisdom lost in the malaise of our technological arrogance, while invoking the true wisdom locked in a dormant seed. Beyond the deep message, Nabhan's writing is a pleasure to read.

Article copyright American Botanical Council.