May. 15, 2019

squash, Cucurbita pepo

Squash or pumpkin? Take your pick! Which is usually the whole point with these. But not today. Today the idea is ethnocentric ignorance. Did you know about Cahokia? I didn't, until yesterday's waiting room read. A Mississippian Indian city larger than London at the time? As many as 40,000 people across from present day St. Louis? This was of course 700 to 1100 years ago. It was enabled by the rise of agriculture, which gets us back to squash. And corn, other grasses, marsh elder, sunflower, chenopods, knotweed, and other species whose remains are at this site. We Eurocentrics were not the only ones responsible for importing species. This one has now been reported wild in AL, AR, CA, CT, GA, IL, KS, KY, LA, MA, MI, MO, MS, NC, NH, NM, NV, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WV, ON, and QC. In my egocentric experience, they do not long persist. Grand Traverse Co MI, 9/18/13.