Crop Facts



  • The first crops were probably root crops like turnips. Grains and green vegetables were probably first grown as crops later.
  • Einkorn and emmer wheat and wild barley may have been cultivated by Natufians (stone-age people) around 7000Bc at Ali Kosh on the border of Iran and Iraq.
  • Pumpkins are grown on bushes or on vines like these throughout Europe and North America.
  • Flax was the most important vegetable fibre in Europe before cotton. It is still used in make linen.
  • Pumpkins and beans were cultivated in Mexico c.7000 Bc.
  • People in the Amazon have grown manioc to make a flat bread called cazabi for thousands of years.
  • Corn was probably first grown about 9000 years ago from the teosinte plant of the Mexican highlands.
  • Russian botanist N. I. Vavilov worked out that wheat and rye came from the wild grasses of central Asia, millet and barley from highland China and rice from India.
  • Millet was grown in China from c.4500Bc.
  • In northern Europe the first grains were those now called fat hen, gold of pleasure and curl-topped lady’s thumb.
  • Sumerian farmers in the Middle East c.3000Bc grew barley, wheat, flax, dates, and grapes.
  • Beans, bottle gourds and water chestnuts were grown at Spirit Cave in Thailand 11,000 years ago.