skip to Main Content


In collecting plants, a botanist should always bear in mind the probable wants of his friends and laborers in the same field of science. Thus not only will he have the high gratification of imparting what he knows will be joyfully received, and of contributing to the enlargement and diffusion of correct knowledge, in which all true naturalists have a common interest; but he will also by such means be certain of receiving, in exchange for his duplicates, the plants of those districts and countries which he might be unable to obtain by any other means ; thus advancing his own attainments whilst promoting those of others.

Asa Gray proposing a win-win in The Elements of Botany, 1836.

Of her diet.

Vintage Carrots Graphic,


From a book first published in 1615:

Let her diet be wholesome and cleanly, prepared at due hours, and cooked with care and diligence; let it be rather to satisfy nature than our affections, and apter to kill hunger than revive new appetites; let it proceed more from the provision of her own yard than the furniture of the markets, and let it be rather esteemed for the familiar acquaintance she hath with it, than for the strangeness and rarity it bringeth from other countries.   ~ Gervase Markham, The English Housewife

Eat clean, wholesome food. Pay attention to the process; it matters. Avoid the things that make you want more. (Sugar certainly comes to mind, and salts and fats, but it would be interesting to know which foods were considered problematic in those days, wouldn’t it?) Get your food from close by, preferably your own garden. Appreciate what’s right in front of you.

Kind of amazing, I thought. It’s not bad advice even today, is it?

Back To Top
%d bloggers like this: