CRF Blog

The Germinator

In The Germinator for the New York Times Book Review, Mark Kurlansky reviews The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History by Thor Hanson.

Along the way we learn about rat-proof shells, the purpose of the hot taste of pepper, the role of caffeine in coffee beans, why fruit tastes so good (and why it doesn’t when the seeds aren’t ready for germination). We learn how to grow a seedless watermelon, and about seeds that crossed an ocean, and a seed that was dormant for two millenniums before sprouting — which brings us to the concept of dormancy. As Hanson puts it, “dormancy allows seeds to disperse through time.” [more]