THE most remarkable thing about the history of agriculture is not that humans emerged from their ancient ways and discovered how to tame both animals and plants, it is the simple (though almost st entirely overlooked) fact that this occurred in several unconnected parts of the world almost simultaneously.
As such, the rise of agriculture may not be the icon of human progress ss for which it is so often feted, ted, but simply an intuitive response to some external ernal force.
In Mesopotamia, the e Middle East, Africa, China and Central America communitiess began planting grains s and vegetables around d 9000BC.
The last ice age ended roughly 11,000BC, depending on which part of the planet you inhabited, triggering a radical change in plant behaviour.
In response, humans ns ceased their practice of continual movement to chase the seasons, and instead established fixed accommodation, relying on an interaction with the land to help ensure the next year’s crop. In China it was rice, millet and soy; in the Middle East einkorn einkorn, barley, peas and lentils; i in Mesopotamia vetch, ch chickpeas and flax; in Africa s sorghum and manioc; while in Central America it was corn corn, tomatoes, potatoes and squash. Of all the squash varieties that wou would evolve through hybridi hybridisation and selective breed breeding, it was the hardshel shelled ones we came to cal call pumpkins that held t the greatest value. Their natural protective casing e enabled them to be s stored for months, extending the life of the season and t thereby food supply. Today we regard pu pumpkin as a family fav favourite vegetable – swe sweet, rich and vers versatile – but each and every mouthful is a delicio delicious reminder of how we and our community came to exist at all.
Today we regard pumpkin as a family favourite