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The Profit of the EarthThe Global Seeds of American Agriculture$
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Courtney Fullilove

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226454863

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226455051.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

Field Notes “Indigenous Knowledge”

Field Notes “Indigenous Knowledge”

Diversity and Endangerment

(p.139) Field Notes “Indigenous Knowledge”
The Profit of the Earth

Courtney Fullilove

University of Chicago Press

Mennonites brought capital, grain, and Russian thistle to the American Midwest, and they encountered prosperity, grass-hoppers, or drought in the field. Migrants flourish and falter based on fortunes: those they bring with them, and those they encounter in their travels, for good or ill. When Mark Carleton tried to account for the success of Mennonite cultivators, he prioritized not the capital but the seed they brought with them, spinning a myth of origins for large-scale grain production that prioritized inputs over agronomy. Moreover, in setting out to follow Warkentin’s path to the “original seed,” Carleton recast a history of migration as one of tradition, and a history of movement as one of stasis. If his logic drew support from several centuries of Euro-American collection and transplantation of plant and animal resources for economic gain, it also anticipated the next century’s shift from species to genes as objects of conservation and utilization....

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