At the Englewood Center for Sustainability, a new adventure is unfolding. We have taken on Ethnobotany as a new frontier. By definition, ethnobotany is the relationship between plants and people. Throughout the ages, indigenous people have turned to plants for food, medicines, dyes even for currency. In today's world, although we cultivate plants for food and for their beauty, their value for healing has been, for the most part, neglected.
Don and Janet Landis generously donated Daniel F. Auston's book, Florida Ethnobotany to ECRS. This book won the 2005 Klinger Book Award Presented by The Society for Economic Botany. CRC Press describes the book as follows:
"Florida Ethnobotany provides a cross-cultural examination of how the state’s native plants have been used by its various peoples. This compilation includes common names of plants in their historical sequence, weaving together what was formerly esoteric information about each species into a full reference.
"The author accomplishes the monumental task of translating the common names of species, which offers insight into plant usage and a glimpse into the culture of each ethnic group or tribe. These common botanical names often demonstrate how individuals fit into their societies and how these societies functioned.
"Although there have been previous studies of plants used by the inhabitants of Florida, this is the first comprehensive synthesis of this flora-rich region that was so pivotal in the history of New World exploration."