Why you choose the crop for this assignment?
NPR Interview with author Charles C. Mann & Fresh Air’s Terry Gross (37 minutes).
After you have listened to the NPR interview and read the Smithsonian article, do some research on your own to investigate how crops have travelled from one place to another. In particular, I’d like you to find stories/evidence of crops shared by indigenous people. Be creative! Tell me the story of your chosen crop and its distribution.
Choose a crop and do some research about where the crop originated, what plant family it belongs to, its botanical vs culinary classification, and cover the main features of cultivation (diseases, pests, disorders, pollination, where and how it is most commonly grown). It does not to be a food crop – it can be an ornamental crop etc.
Do some research online to find a crop that interests you. Ideas – Solanaecous crops (potato, tomato, tobacco, etc), Cannabaceae (hemp, hops), Brassicaceae or Cruciferae (broccoli, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, etc). If you don’t know where to start, here is an extensive( https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp/specialty-crop ) (Links to an external site.)to get you going.
Write <500-word summary including:
Scientific name (genus, species, and authority) e.g. Tomato Solanum lycopersicum L. (formerly Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) use a taxonomic database such as (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/taxonomy)
Origin – where did the species originate and how was it distributed?
Botanical classification and culinary classification when appropriate
Common diseases, pest, and disorders
Pollination and seed dispersal
How and where it is commercially grown
(1) Why you choose the crop for this assignment? Please choose a crop that ties back to indigenous people. [2 points]
(2) Full scientific name including authority [1 point]
(3) Origin & distribution [2 points]
(4) What plant family it belongs to [1 point]
(5) Botanical classification and culinary classification where appropriate [1 point]
(6) Common diseases, pest, and disorders [1 point]
(7) Pollination and seed dispersal [1 point]
(8) Commercial cultivation [1 points]
You could get 2 points extra credit points for exploring how this plant benefits society today. This could include, the health-beneficial compounds associated with the crop and medicinal uses or ethnobotanical contributions, and cultural significance.