November 14, 2009
Arboretum Library November E-News
Hello all and welcome newcomers:
The new titles list is again rich in magazine articles this month. Let me know if you are interested in any of the new titles. The item can be mailed if necessary.
I'm looking forward to “Reading the Western Landscape.” The Arboretum Library is starting a book group that will explore the portrayal of western North American landscape in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. The group will meet the 1st Thursday of the month with the initial organizational meeting on Thursday January 7, 2010, 7:00 p.m., at the Arboretum Library. We will use the Shared Inquiry™ method developed by the Great Books Foundation (see www.greatbooks.org). The first meeting will cover introductions, a brief discussion of the Shared Inquiry method, reading a short selection; having a brief discussion; determining a reading list for future months; assigning tasks and leaders, etc. Bring your enthusiasm and ideas for our explorations. If you have book suggestions now let me know at Susan.Eubank@Arboretum.org
50 Common Edible & Useful Plants of the SouthwestBy David Yetman, (Tucson, Arizona : Western National Parks Association 2009)
Arboretum Library call number: QK98.5.U58 W47 Y48 2009 Reviewed by Bill Ramsey, Library VolunteerThis is a fascinating field guide to 50 plants common in the southwest ranging from agaves to walnuts. The author has included some historical notes about who first used the plants, for what purpose, and, in the case of food, how it was prepared. Some food preparations he discusses are really different. An example is making tortillas from prickly pear seeds ground into flour. It’s just difficult to believe you can simply cut the blooms off pour the seeds out, grind them into flour and make a better-than-corn tortilla. The author dispels many myths concerning plants. For example, the barrel cactus not really a source of water as it thought to be in some quarters. He points out you can dig the pulp out of the barrel portion and squeeze out a little bitter fluid if you can cut the top off. However, cutting off the top requires an axe or machete while avoiding the tough, wire like spines, Not exactly satisfying or do-able if you’re really dehydrated.On the negative side his descriptions of the plants fall short in some instances. A novice would run into difficulty distinguishing between elderberry and graythorn unless they were very observant. In summary the book is a well-written ethnobotany of the region. It’s an easy read plus many of the recipes look temping.
The Mushroom Exhibit will be closing at the end of December. Come visit and see the models before they go back in storage.
Thanks for reading! Susan C. Eubank Arboretum Librarian Arboretum Library Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden 301 North Baldwin Avenue Arcadia, California 91007 626-821-3213 626-821-4642 (fax) Susan.Eubank@Arboretum.org