Each essay is a microcosmic tour that examines the usefulness of plants and their importance to human culture and life. The book is an easy read. The essays can be read at random, as they are in no particular order. Topics range from the historical use of black pepper in trade, to the nutritional value and sustainability of beans, to self-medication of animals using plants, to the effect of plants on human psychology. The writing is light-hearted and chock full of informational nuggets.
This is the first experience with e-publishing for Dr. Loehrlein, who has also authored a textbook called Home Horticulture:
Dr. Loehrlein has also authored a website on sustainable landscaping practices (http://thesustainablelandscape.com).
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Dr. Loehrlein teaches the horticulture and landscaping curriculum at Western Illinois University. Courses taught include Sustainable Landscaping Practices, Introductory Horticulture, Landscape Design, Landscape Management, Turf Management, Home Horticulture, Greenhouse and Nursery Management, and two courses in Landscape Plant Identification.