Friday, August 24, 2012

Cerises de Terre

What a miracle it is…the seed. It’s a tiny packet with genetic information, growth hormones, raincoat, snow boots, and lunch all together in something smaller than my pinkie. Incredible! Additionally, these tiny seeds that are produced by our favorite food plants, as well as by our most hated weed rivals, can last for decades under the right conditions. We laud this in our foods and despise it in our non-foods, but regardless, the fact remains that evolution has developed a pretty neat little method for delaying the reproduction of plants until such time as the ideal growth conditions present themselves. The specific adaptations are numerous and brilliant (though evolution is neither genius nor dunce, simply survivalist). They are, however, more complex and numerous that the scope of this particular post. 

I’m curious to know how long it took and just what the reaction looked like, the day humans discovered that a planted seed would yield a similar plant the following year. From that discovery, it wouldn’t have taken long to learn that a dried seed, whether with the fruit still attached or not, could be kept and planted not just the following spring, but for many years after.