Monday, April 6, 2009

Amy Stewart

For those of you who haven't picked up one of Amy Stewart's bestselling garden books It might be time to reconsider. If you haven't heard of Amy Stewart she is a garden writer with several articles and four books under her belt.
--Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers
This work poses some of the same questions about flower production books like Plenty and The Omnivores Dilemma do about food production. Should we be concerned about genetically engineering flowers to be free of pollen, or to be blue? Should we care that flowers are grown with thousands of gallons of pesticides, and then flown thousands of miles on chilled cargo plans to provide us with summers beauty year round? Which makes her January 2007 op ed piece for NPR all the more perplexing.... A response to the word "locavore" making word of the year, Stewart's response was "It's Time for 'Locavores to Shut up and Eat." Locavores beware! One note, Stewart's (lets say snarky) comments for this NPR piece were more than two years ago. All signs seem to indicate that plenty of other people recognize the importance of preserving agricultural land, the environment, natural resources, our health, and our connection to the land as well as the wonder that major improvements in all these areas can be accomplished through what she calls "just grocery shopping".

--The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms
An excerpt from her website says, quote: The New York Times called it "a completely original combination of science and passion." This is a fascinating exploration of the underground world and one of its most amazing denizens. The earthworm may be small, spineless, and blind, but its role in the ecosystem is profound. It tills the soil, destroys microscopic organisms that cause plant disease, breaks down toxins, and turns the ground into rich compost, creating the most fertile areas on earth. In her witty and offbeat style, Amy Stewart shows just how much depends on the humble worm.

-- From the Ground Up: The Story of a First Garden This was Stewart's first book and it tells the story of her own gardens evolution, pitfalls and all.

Now, she's added to her list of accomplishments with her newest work called Wicked Plants: A Book of Botanical Atrocities. This new work tells the tales of many a poisonous and dangerous plant, the disastrous results of our ignorance of these plants and the maniacal ways in which some of them have been used .
Please Click Here to check out her fabulous video promotion for Wicked Plants.

Click Here to check out Amy Stewart's blog, called simply Dirt. There you'll find easy links to her website and her books page.

After writting this I found two interesting responses to Stewart's comments on NPR. (a whole host of good comments to keep things in perspective)

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