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To Farm or Not to Farm

To Farm or Not to Farm

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To Farm or Not to Farm

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  1. To Farm or Not to Farm Benefits, Costs and Risks of a New Way of Life

  2. To Farm or Not to Farm From Guns, Germs and Steel, p 100

  3. To Farm or Not to Farm • Why did food production (agriculture) develop in certain areas first? • Why did the pace of development differ greatly between originating locales?

  4. To Farm or Not to Farm • Misconceptions: • Ag was discovered or invented. • No, it evolved. • Sharp divide between farmers and hunter/gatherers. • Not true. • Hunter/gatherers did not manage the land. • Also, not true.

  5. To Farm or Not to Farm • Economics of Time and Effort: • P. 107 (2nd para.) – p. 108 in GGS. • Trade offs between: • Taste • Time • Effort • Return • Surety, and • Prestige (to a lesser degree)

  6. To Farm or Not to Farm • Diffusion or Not: • Whole system adoption • Piecemeal Adoption • No adoption • Depends largely on the answers to the economic questions.

  7. To Farm or Not to Farm • Competitive Advantages of Farming: • Decline of available wild foods. • More domesticable plants. • Improved Techniques. • Correlation (human pop. & food production) • Farmers overrun hunter/gatherers.

  8. How to Make an Almond Plant Selection & Domestication

  9. How to Make an Almond • Modern Crop Development Methods: • Simple Seed Selection • Intentional Hybridization • Muta-genesis • Genetic Manipulation

  10. How to Make an Almond • Some Early Plant Domestications: • Pea: 8000 BC • Olive: 4000BC • Strawberries: middle ages • Pecans: 1846 • Oak Acorn: not yet

  11. How to Make an Almond • What Does a Plant Want Out of Life? • TO REPRODUCE!!! • Spread genetic material to hospitable environments. • Wind • Water • Animals/Birds • Outside (hide) • Inside (ingestion)

  12. How to Make an Almond • Latrines & Waste Dumps • Unconscious Selection • Gather/Selection Criteria • Size • Tastiness • Bitter/Poisonous Seeds • Fleshiness • Oily Seeds • Long Fibres • Domestication Criteria (???) • Availability • Germination Inhibitors/Uniformity • Plant Reproduction

  13. How to Make an Almond • Example: wheat & barley (10,000 BC) • Advantages of earliest domesticates: • Edible • High Yield • Easily Grown • Quick Germination/Early Harvest • Readily Stored • Self-Pollinating • Little Requirement of Mutation

  14. How to Make an Almond • Stages of Domestication in the Fertile Crescent: • 10,000 BC => wheat & barley • 4,000 BC => fruit & nut trees • Late Stage => other fruit • Late Stage => weeds turned domesticates • Table 7.1 - Summary of Global Domestication • Parallels • Development of cereal/pulse combinations at early stage. • Generally, Fibre plants also occurring at this time. • Differences • Old World Technology vs New World Technology. • In some cases, cereal carbos replaced by roots and tubers.

  15. How to Make an Almond • Example: Lack of Acorn Domestication: • Slow Growth: 10+ years. • Difficult Selection: squirrel competition. • Bitterness: controlled by multiple genes.

  16. Assigned Readings Course ReaderG G S Wednesday: “Apples or Indians” pp34-40 pp131-156 By Diamond (GGS) Friday: “Zebras …” pp41-46 pp157-175 By Diamond (GGS) “Spacious Skies …” pp47-54 pp176-191 By Diamond (GGS)