Friday, April 28, 2006

Federal Repository

The Agricultural Research Service published this news blurb about the online digital repository of the National Agricultural Library. The ongoing digitization project currently features reports, handbooks and other documents from as far back as the 1800s, all now free to the public to peruse and download. A search for the term "weeds" brought up more than 500 documents, including the 1909 USDA publication "Plants useful to attract birds and protect fruit" by W.L. McAtee, which notes:

"Besides native shrubs and trees, a number of cultivated species have proved so attractive to birds that they are important as any of the indigenous fruits. An excellent example is the pepper tree (Schinus molle...Others suited to the same climate are the china berry (Melia azedarach), the Russian mulberry (Morus alba tatarica) and the Russian oleaster (Elaeagnus angustifolia)"
Bet there are more than a few wildlife managers who wish we could take those plantings back!

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