Pring 09 ~ We beheld their Gardens

Martin Pring ventures upriver in native canoes for a garden tour…

<< BEFORE: Pring’s notes on native canoes now continue …

(New to this storyline? Start reading at PRING 1 …)

From the JOURNAL OF MARTIN PRING (1603):

NEXT: In which a gardenne is sowne >>

Note the global diversity of these gardens, early in the 1600s:

  • Cucumbers came to the Americas from England, via Spanish explorers in the 1500s, and made their way from the Caribbean northwards (although these may be an indigenous fruit which Pring mistakes for “cowcumber”).
  • Tobacco seems to originate in Central or South America, as does maiz.
  • “Pompion” may refer to a squash (a la “pumpkin”, again from Central America).

For more about gardens, global exchange of crops, and agricultural trade between Europeans and Native Americans, check out this Fresh Air interview with Charles Mann, author of the excellent book 1493 (transcript).

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