Reflections on the Importance of Plants
By Beth Mullins
“Ode to Spring” by Walter R. Brooks
O spring, O spring, You wonderful thing!
O spring, O spring, O spring!
O spring, O spring, when the birdies sing,
I feel like a king, O spring!
It’s spring—a time for enjoying the rebirth of the earth after the cold, dark winter. While walking around the NE campus lately, I’ve enjoyed looking at blooming flowers and trees and learning about new botanical happenings all around. So, maybe you say you didn’t know about any botanical news on campus? Keep reading for the rest of the story…
David Sallee, Geology Instructor – maybe you’ve seen the garden plot between the NLIB and the NIMC buildings. Did you know that David Sallee planted and tends that plot? Have you wondered why anyone would go to the time and effort it takes to plant, care for, and harvest one’s own vegetables? Read the books or articles below to find out some very good reasons.
Have you seen either of these signs on campus? Did you know about the efforts by the geology and biology departments to restore prairie plants that were native to the land the campus was built on? Meena Balakrishnan, Geology Professor recently commented: “The Prairie restoration project is a combined project by the Biology and geology departments. The area is located by the tennis courts where we have started the process. The design and phases of implementation of the project was done in collaboration with Pat Merkord of the Native Prairie Association of Texas (NPAT). This started out in 2012 when we drew out our plans – but because of the site and limited resources it has been a slow process. We have seeded the location at least 2 times before and will be doing it again this earth day (April 22).” Professor Balakrishnan; Kari Eamma, Assistant Professor Biology; and Marius Pfeiffer, Professor of Biology are also involved with the NE Campus Student Earth Advocates (SEA) organization and the Geosciences Club.
Breanna Brisco, one of our student assistants in the library, is excited about participating in a community garden in Bedford, sponsored by the 6 Stones organization. Here’s why: “As a vegetarian, fruits and vegetables are a big part of my life. I know how difficult it is to get wholesome nutrient-dense foods in this day and age. Growing things like spinach, tomatoes, berries, and pepper in my local community garden, will help not only my family, but other families in need, too. However, my biggest inspiration is my little sister, Luaryn, whose fascination with where her food comes from motivated me into starting a garden. This garden will teach her that hard work and a little patience will produce great rewards. I plan to grow leafy greens, tomatoes, berries, pepper, and watermelon during the summer and will donate half to 6 Stones Food Pantry. I will attempt to use organic chemical-free methods as well.” I’m just hoping Breanna has some extra veggies to share with her library colleagues! 6 Stones Bedford Garden
At the J. Ardis Bell Library, we have many books and articles available to read about all kinds of plants and why they are so important for nutrition and for the earth. Here are a few links to book titles and articles to whet your appetite. “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” ― Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
Chamovitz, Daniel. What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses. New York: Scientific American, 2012. Print. QK50.C45 2012
Elias, Thomas S. and Peter A. Dykeman. Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods. New York: Sterling, 2009. Print. QK98.5.U6E35 2009
Goodall, Jane. Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants. New York: Grand Central, 2014. Print. QK46.5.H85G65 2014
Grant, Greg. Texas Fruit & Vegetable Gardening. Minneapolis: Cool Springs Press, 2012. Print. SB321.5.T4G73 2012
Largo, Michael. The Big, Bad Book of Botany. New York: William Morrow, 2014. Print. QK7.L25 2014
Laws, Bill. Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History. Buffalo, NY: Firefly, 2010. Print. SB71.L39 2010
Miller, George O. Landscaping with native Plants of Texas and the Southwest. Stillwater, MN: Voyageur, 1991. Print. SB439.24.T4M55 1991
Morton, Oliver. Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet. New York: HarperCollins, 2008. Print. QK882.M88 2008
Pollan, Michael. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. New York: Penguin Press, 2008. Print.
RA784 .P643 2008
Savage, Candace. Prairie: A Natural History. Vancouver: Greystone, 2011. Print. QK110.S38 2011
Vaughan, J. G. The New Oxford Book of Food Plants. 2009. Print. SB175 .V38 2009 (Also in e-book format) e-book link
Magazine Articles and e-books:
Barnes, Kathleen. Rx From The Garden : 101 Food Cures You Can Easily Grow. Avon, Mass: F+W Media, 2011. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 16 Apr. 2016. e-book link
Dennett, Carrie. “Let Food Be Your Medicine.” Environmental Nutrition 38.7 (2015): 4. Alt HealthWatch. Web. 16 Apr. 2016. Database article link
Durkin, Pamela. “IT’S ABOUT thyme! The tiny herb with healing might.” Alive: Canada’s Natural Health & Wellness Magazine Dec. 2015: 78-83. Alt HealthWatch. Web. 16 Apr. 2016.
Database article link
Gilbert, Natasha. “Green space: A natural high.” Nature 17 Mar. 2016. Web. 6 May 2016.
Online Magazine Article link
Masabni, Joseph G. “Vegetable Gardening in Containers.” Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Web. 6 May 2016. Online Document link
In NE Library, Plants, Science & Technology, TCC, Uncategorized