Consider Wheat – 1

Consider The Wheat - 1“Wheat is one of the world’s most important food crops. It is believed that wild relatives of wheat first grew in the Middle East. Wheat was one of the first plants to be cultivated. It was grown about 11,000 years ago.

Enormous changes in people’s lives occurred because of wheat being grown. People began growing their own food and no longer needed to wander in search of food. Permanent settlements were established because wheat provided people with a stable food supply. Soon people grew enough wheat to feed people from other lands. Once there was extra wheat available, trade between various cultures developed.

By 4,000 B.C. wheat farming had spread to Asia, Europe and North Africa. New species of wheat developed because early farmers probably selected kernels from their best wheat plants to use as seeds for planting the following year’s crop. That way, only the best wheat qualities were passed from one generation to the next. Soon wheat became an important world wide crop.”

http://library.thinkquest.org

Consider The Lemon – 3

Consider The Lemon - 3
Ode To The Lemon – Pablo Neruda

“From blossoms
released
by the moonlight,
from an
aroma of exasperated
love,
steeped in fragrance,
yellowness
drifted from the lemon tree,
and from its plantarium
lemons descended to the earth.

Tender yield!
The coasts,
the markets glowed
with light, with
unrefined gold;
we opened
two halves
of a miracle,
congealed acid
trickled
from the hemispheres
of a star,
the most intense liqueur
of nature,
unique, vivid,
concentrated,
born of the cool, fresh
lemon,
of its fragrant house,
its acid, secret symmetry.

Knives
sliced a small
cathedral
in the lemon,
the concealed apse, opened,
revealed acid stained glass,
drops
oozed topaz,
altars,
cool architecture.

So, when you hold
the hemisphere
of a cut lemon
above your plate,
you spill
a universe of gold,
a
yellow goblet
of miracles,
a fragrant nipple
of the earth’s breast,
a ray of light that was made fruit,
the minute fire of a planet.”

Consider The Squash – 4

Consider The Squash - 4
“The English word “squash” derives from askutasquash (a green thing eaten raw), a word from the Narragansett language, which was documented by Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, in his 1643 publication A Key Into the Language of America. Similar words for squash exist in related languages of the Algonquian family such as Massachusett.”

Wikipedia

Consider The Gourd – 1

Consider The Gourd - 1
“A gourd is the hollow, dried shell of a fruit in the plant family Cucurbitaceae, to which squash belong. There are edible gourds (squash), and those non-edible varieties used as vessels, musical instruments and for decor. Gourds are believed to be the earliest plant domesticated by man, in Africa, where they were used as bowls and bottles (they are still used today to drink yerba maté in South America). The rattling dried seeds inside enable gourds to be used as percussion instruments; even today, gourds are used as resonating chambers on certain stringed instruments and drums, especially in the Caribbean.”
http://www.thenibble.com

Consider The Avocado – 2

Consider The Avocado - 2

“The avocado is also known as an alligator pear, because of its shape, green skin, and rough texture of the Haas variety. (The Florida avocado has a shiny, smooth surface.)”

“There are more than 80 varieties of avocados. The most common is the year-round Hass avocado, whose original mother tree still stands in California.”

http://www.webmd.com

Consider The Tomato – 12

Consider The Tomato - 12
“The obvious distinguishing feature of a yellow tomato is the color, which may be anywhere from an almost creamy yellow to bright, electric, school bus yellow, depending on the cultivar, the time of year, and when the tomato is harvested. Like their red cousins, they also come in an assortment of sizes, shapes, and flavors, from tiny sweet ones that can be used in salads to big yellow beefsteak tomatoes that are ideal for sauces.

The difference in color is not just superficial. The nutritional profile of these tomatoes is slightly different from that of red ones. Yellow tomatoes have lots of niacin and folate, less vitamin C, and less lycopene than red tomatoes. Perhaps most importantly, they are lower in acid than red tomatoes, and some companies have even developed almost acid-free varieties.”

http://www.wisegeek.org

Consider The Squash – 2

Consider The Squash - 2

Attack of the Squash People

And thus the people every year
in the valley of humid July
did sacrifice themselves
to the long green phallic god
and eat and eat and eat.
They’re coming, they’re on us,
the long striped gourds, the silky
babies, the hairy adolescents,
the lumpy vast adults
like the trunks of green elephants.
Recite fifty zucchini recipes!

Zucchini tempura; creamed soup;
sauté with olive oil and cumin,
tomatoes, onion; frittata;
casserole of lamb; baked
topped with cheese; marinated;
stuffed; stewed; driven
through the heart like a stake.

Get rid of old friends: they too
have gardens and full trunks.
Look for newcomers: befriend
them in the post office, unload
on them and run. Stop tourists
in the street. Take truckloads
to Boston. Give to your Red Cross.
Beg on the highway: please
take my zucchini, I have a crippled
mother at home with heartburn.

Sneak out before dawn to drop
them in other people’s gardens,
in baby buggies at churchdoors.
Shot, smuggling zucchini into
mailboxes, a federal offense.

With a suave reptilian glitter
you bask among your raspy
fronds sudden and huge as
alligators. You give and give
too much, like summer days
limp with heat, thunderstorms
bursting their bags on our heads,
as we salt and freeze and pickle
for the too little to come.

Marge Piercy

Consider The Cucumber – 1

Consider The Cucumber - 1
“The cucumber is listed among the foods of ancient Ur, and the legend of Gilgamesh describes people eating cucumbers. Some sources also state it was produced in ancient Thrace, and it is certainly part of modern cuisine in Bulgaria and Turkey, parts of which make up that ancient state. From India, it spread to Greece (where it was called “σίκυον”, síkyon) and Italy (where the Romans were especially fond of the crop), and later into China.”

Wikipedia