Idaho is responsible for growing more than 80 percent of the world’s sweet corn seed supply. Family wheat farms drive the economy in eastern Washington, but the Inland Northwest wasn’t always an agricultural powerhouse.“Harvest Heritage, Agricultural Origins and Heirloom Crops of the Pacific Northwest,” tells the story of how it became one, beginning with imported heirloom grains and fruits planted in subsistence gardens by Spanish explorers, fur traders, missionaries and some American Indians. Pioneer settlers brought more seed varieties from around the world, sowing the earth with horse- and mule-powered equipment. Demand for food exploded with the industrial revolution.
The book’s authors are Alexander C. McGregor, the Pullman president and chief of McGregor Company, a fertilizer and farm supply firm; and Richard D. Scheuerman of Spanaway, Wash., a Pacific Northwest historian and faculty member at Seattle Pacific University. Photographs are by John Clement of Kennewick.
The authors and photographer will sign copies of the book:
— Noon-1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5 at the 22nd holiday book fair in the Terrell Library at Washington State University
— Noon-2:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6 at the LaCrosse Market/Library
— 3-5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6 at the Colfax Library
–11 a.m.-noon Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Endicott Food Center
–1-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 at the St. John Museum/Library
“Harvest Heritage, Agricultural Origins and Heirloom Crops of the Pacific Northwest,” by Richard Scheuerman and Alexander McGregor; WSU Press; 186 pages; $32.95