The Botany of Desire: The
Terms & Concepts Define
or describe the following. Can you give an example?
Pollan argues that �flowers and spuds have manipulated human desires �
conscious or otherwise � to help them be �fruitful�.� (p xv) And he
wonders, �Did I choose to plant these potatoes, or did the potato make me do
it?� (p xv) He further states that his book ��is as much about human
desires that connect us to these plants as it is about the plants
themselves.� (xvii) And, he sees �...plants instead as willing partners in
an intimate and reciprocal relationship with us.� What does he mean by all
of this? Do you agree?
Pollan describes plants as �nature�s alchemists.� Do you agree with this
description? Offer a hypothesis why might this have evolved? (xix)
Recall the plant way of life? Since plants are stationary they have had to
evolve some strategies for a non-motile lifestyle. Identify some
�Design in nature is but a concatenation of accidents, culled by natural
selection until the result is so beautiful or effective as to seem a miracle
of purpose.� (xxi) Do you agree?
Describe Johnny Appleseed.
Explain why it is incorrect to call apples, �The American Fruit.�
What does it mean that apples don�t �come true from seed?�
What is hard cider? How is it made? What is applejack?
Apple seeds contain a metabolic poison. Identify this poison. Why do they
possess such chemicals? How is the poison formed? Why don�t the plants
are apples propagated?
What is the scientific name of the wild apple? cultivated apple?
Pollan described Johnny Appleseed as the �American Dionysus.� Who was
Dionysus? What is the connection? Do you agree?
When the settlers arrived in North America, what sweeteners did they
you agree that �sweetness is a force in evolution� (19) and �Could it be
that sweetness is the prototype of all desire?�
What is your favorite variety of apple? Do a search and learn where this
Have we always knows that �An apple a day keeps the doctor away?�
you agree with Pollan�s argument that Catholics embraced the grape while
Protestants the more wholesome apple?
What is a germplasm bank? Why is it important
was Vavilov? (53)
you agree that apples are the �true democratic fruit?� (48)
- Were apples part of the �the Garden
- I have placed a Powerpoint on
"apples" in our Public Folder.
02/23/2005 � Copyright by SG