Most of us have some farmer genes that urge us to grow our own corn and tomatoes, blackberries and oranges. Everything started in the golden crescent between the Tigris and Euphrates, according to my seventh-grade geography teacher. In the days of Hammurabi the city had its share of government scribes, merchants and moneylenders, soldiers and officials, but most people made their living growing things. It was still that way in the early years of our republic.
As a 4-year-old, I planted and watered dried beans in the space between the garage and the back fence. When nothing happened after three or four days, I dug them up and ate them. My farmer genes have always been better at the eating than the cultivating.
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