Edible horticultural crops: A compendium of information on fruit, vegetable, spice and nut species

Edible horticultural crops: A compendium of information on fruit, vegetable, spice and nut species

Reviews 189 illustration of many of the problems, pressures and conflicts faced by the Duchy of Cornwall. The very fact that this document was publi...

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189

illustration of many of the problems, pressures and conflicts faced by the Duchy of Cornwall. The very fact that this document was published at all testifies to the fact that the Duchy of Cornwall takes a deep and active interest in the physical, social and economic well being of its estate yet, at the same time, being sensitive to the wider interests concerning Dartmoor. However, the extent to which it can control the way in which its farm tenants farm or can mediate between the interests of its own tenants and outside bodies is limited. The report cites a number of examples not only of conflict between farming and non-farming interests but of divergent views between ‘official’ bodies concerned with rural land use. This underlines the frustration which must be felt by a genuinely concerned landowner in establishing a proper, constructive framework for the future use of the estate concerned. W. Seabrooke

Edible Horticultural Crops: A Compendium of Injkrmation on Fruit, Vegetable, Spice and Nut Species. By C. Hackett and J. Carolane. Academic Press, Sydney, 1982. No price quoted. This compendium is a source of information on 148 edible horticultural crops, including herbaceous, vine, shrub and tree forms from the higher plants and cultivated mushrooms from the fungi. One major section of the compendium summarises the characteristics of each crop in a series of standardised ‘crop profiles’. A further section is designed to allow rapid comparison between crops with reference to particular attributes. These attributes include responses to environmental factors such as temperature, water, wind and mineral nutrition, husbandry requirements, aspects of storage and marketing and pest and disease problems. An important use of the section is to allow preliminary screening. of crop plants as candidates for food production in particular localities or climatic conditions. Although the work covers horticultural crops of world importance, some crops of more than local interest are omitted. This limits the uses of the compendium, although the editors are careful to point out that the intention is to aid preliminary planning of production when the more important crops will need to be considered. In meeting the requirement to standardise information, precision is sometimes lost and many of the

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Tables are quantitative only in the sensethat data are categorised by means of arbitrary scoring systems. However, for the reader wishing to find more detailed information, guidance is provided in lists of key references,research stations and authorities on the various crops. The value of the compendium lies in the presentation of a large amount of information that can be searched easily and rapidly. The work will be particularly useful to those concerned with the development of horticultural production in less favoured environments. G. P. Harris