Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fruits of Warm Climates by Julia Morton - An Economic Botanist's Legacy

Green bananas just two days ago - ripened into the lovely fruits, below

I'd love to share a wonderful resource with you.  This is for all who live in warm climates and who love to grow their own.  I just harvested some rare small bananas from my garden today (unknown variety) and received an email query from a Guild member, asking for an ID on a sour orange someone had given her.  She intends to macerate the skin in some fixed oil.  I sent her the link with a joke - more info than you ever need to know!

Yummy hand of organic small bananas harvested 
today, Dec. 27, 2011 in Miami 
- some missing because the cook had dibs.
In 1977/78, as I was in my senior year at the University of California, Riverside, one of the world's great think tanks, I asked my major professor, Dr. Gene Anderson, if I could obtain a change of major from anthropology (ethnobotany), which I was working on under him, to economic botany, since I felt closely aligned with Julia Morton, who had been named the Society of Economic Botany's first Economic Botanist.  Gene helped me navigate the system via an appeal to the University of California Board of Regents, and I was awarded the first-ever degree in economic botany from UCR in 1978.

Imagine my delight, years later, when I got to meet Dr. Morton at several Miami events, and obtained a signed copy of her most well-known work, Fruits of Warm Climates.  I've since lost the book, but love that it is available online, free of charge.  You can access it here.  I hope it is of help to some of you, and that you find the perfect lemon, lime, fig, cherimoya or other fruit here :-)

These bananas will be ripening in a day or two.  Banana bread, banana pudding, bananas in the freezer, too!

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