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Early Farming Communities Often Ate Weeds, Other Wild Plants, UCLA Archaeologist Finds
UCLA ^ | March 30, 2006 | Meg Sullivan

Posted on 03/31/2006 8:40:59 AM PST by SunkenCiv

Thousands of years after the advent of agriculture, ancient farmers in India routinely foraged for wild plants -- even weeds -- when times got tough, a UCLA archaeologist has found. In fact, they may have eaten a flower now used today in Hawaii for leis, a weed considered invasive in the American West and a relative of the acacia plant that now grows beside Southern California freeways, said Monica L. Smith, the article's author and an assistant professor in the UCLA Department of Anthropology and who also heads the South Asian archaeology laboratory at UCLA's Cotsen Institute of Archaeology.

(Excerpt) Read more at newsroom.ucla.edu ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: civilisation; godsgravesglyphs; india; invasion

1 posted on 03/31/2006 8:41:00 AM PST by SunkenCiv
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To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; StayAt HomeMother; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; asp1; ...
This shows not a failure of settled agriculture, but the occasional failure of the monsoon, a phenomenon that still happens today. The famine caused by the monsoon failure around 1900 led to many starvation deaths. But, it's not much good bringing this up, because as we all know, the climate had always been steady until humans started the industrial revolution. ;')

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2 posted on 03/31/2006 8:43:16 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Yes indeed, Civ updated his profile and links pages again, on Monday, March 6, 2006.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Aren't all plants "weeds"?


3 posted on 03/31/2006 8:43:49 AM PST by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: cripplecreek

Heh... we prefer the term "herbs". ;') Purslane, wintercress, lambsquarters... weeds, but also food, just not all that popular any longer.


4 posted on 03/31/2006 8:45:19 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Yes indeed, Civ updated his profile and links pages again, on Monday, March 6, 2006.)
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To: SunkenCiv
just not all that popular any longer.

They are still popular in North Korea.

5 posted on 03/31/2006 8:46:56 AM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: SunkenCiv

My daughter organizes "herb walks" every season to harvest what's out there. I can't believe nature's bounty.


6 posted on 03/31/2006 8:47:10 AM PST by sarasota
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Description and Natural History of the Mayapple

7 posted on 03/31/2006 8:47:29 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Yes indeed, Civ updated his profile and links pages again, on Monday, March 6, 2006.)
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To: SunkenCiv

One of the favored "greens" of my gg grandparents while settling Utah was pig weed. Dandelion, cress....I can't believe this is a new "find."


8 posted on 03/31/2006 8:47:44 AM PST by colorcountry (You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.....CS Lewis)
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To: colorcountry

Well, she's probably a Valley Girl.


9 posted on 03/31/2006 8:56:30 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Yes indeed, Civ updated his profile and links pages again, on Monday, March 6, 2006.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Oh yeah well like fer-sure!


10 posted on 03/31/2006 9:02:14 AM PST by colorcountry (You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.....CS Lewis)
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To: SunkenCiv
Sounds like Japanese cuisine.

Stewed weeds, raw fish, warm wine...
11 posted on 03/31/2006 9:03:12 AM PST by null and void (Start worrying. Details to follow...)
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To: SunkenCiv

How would they even have known if they were weeds or not?


12 posted on 03/31/2006 9:05:40 AM PST by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: sarasota
I love Euell Gibbons, especially, "Stalking the Blue-Eyed Scallop", but "Stalking the Wild Asparagus" is also an old time favorite. I may have to dig them our and reread.
13 posted on 03/31/2006 9:50:44 AM PST by chesley (Liberals...what's not to loathe?)
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To: colorcountry

My family used to go out to the country on weekends and "pick weeds" when we were kids! - dandelions, rappini, etc. We kids were embarassed but as we grew older we realized the value of these "weeds".

They are now usually found in the "gourmet health"
section in the produce dept of the supermarket.


14 posted on 03/31/2006 10:03:53 AM PST by eleni121 ('Thou hast conquered, O Galilean!' (Julian the Apostate))
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To: chesley

One of my favorites is "wild" ferns. Lightly steamed when they fronds are still curled up, with butter and salt, yum.


15 posted on 03/31/2006 11:16:59 AM PST by sarasota
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To: SunkenCiv
People in this region still seek out and eat the wild Polk Salad weed.
16 posted on 03/31/2006 12:15:34 PM PST by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

As a young man I often ate May-apples.


17 posted on 03/31/2006 3:44:03 PM PST by Renfield (If Gene Tracy was the entertainment at your senior prom, YOU might be a redneck...)
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To: blam

I ate Poke, too. (Still do.)


18 posted on 03/31/2006 3:50:06 PM PST by Renfield (If Gene Tracy was the entertainment at your senior prom, YOU might be a redneck...)
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To: SunkenCiv
Just a partial generation away from pickled kochia and pigweed with canned jack rabbit if you could get them.
19 posted on 03/31/2006 7:57:53 PM PST by Dust in the Wind (I've got peace like a river)
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To: Renfield

Polk salad and Pokeweed are different weeds, er, plants. :') Not sure what Polk salad looks like, not too sure it grows up here. Pokeweed though is semi-edible (small young shoots only), and is (IMHO) gorgeous. Herbaceous, not woody, so it croaks off with the frost, then regrows the next year. S'cool.


20 posted on 03/31/2006 8:17:52 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Yes indeed, Civ updated his profile and links pages again, on Monday, March 6, 2006.)
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To: SunkenCiv; Renfield

Tossing a bit of trivia into the salad, the gunnysacks often used to collect wild greens were often referred to as 'pokes'.

In the days before our sophisticated (refrigerated) food distribution system, a lot of wild greems were popular because they emerged very early in the spring--before anything in the garden was producing and folks were plain hungry for something 'green'. The other plus is that it's 'found food'--the labor being only in the finding as opposed to the planting & tending...and collection is something that kids could be tasked to do.

My mom grew up in the Ozarks--they kept hogs, chickens and a garden. But they also foraged for food--from early greens to summer berries to nuts in the fall. And they ate a lot of small game, too.


21 posted on 04/01/2006 4:31:08 AM PST by elli1
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To: cripplecreek

wonder if they ever smoked any "weed"?


22 posted on 04/01/2006 5:31:19 AM PST by buck61
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To: elli1

I've been a forager since I was a child. Where I live now, in Soutnern Maryland, pawpaws and serviceberries are particularly abundant.


23 posted on 04/01/2006 8:19:00 AM PST by Renfield (If Gene Tracy was the entertainment at your senior prom, YOU might be a redneck...)
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To: stuartcr

My Grampa's definition of weed may apply. He used to say that a weed is "A plant growing in a place other than where you want it."

Makes sense to me!


24 posted on 04/05/2006 9:32:24 AM PDT by FrogMom
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To: FrogMom

Me too.


25 posted on 04/05/2006 9:37:17 AM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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