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The Soil and Health

The Soil and Health - Albert Howard

The Soil and Health


This is a newly edited revision of Albert Howard's important text on organic farming and gardening, and the central role of humus in maintaining soil health and fertility.

THE SOIL AND HEALTH is a detailed analysis of the vital role of humus and compost in soil health - and the importance of soil health to the health of crops and the humans who eat them. The author is keenly aware of the dead end which awaits humanity if we insist on growing our food using artificial fertilisers and poisons.

Albert Howard (1873-1947) was one of the leaders of the British organics movement in the mid-twentieth century. He was the first westerner to document and publish research on traditional techniques of agriculture, including Indian and Chinese farming and management of the soil.

"Agriculture is the fundamental industry of the world and must be allowed to occupy the primary position in the economies of all countries." - Albert Howard

CONTENTS

1 - Soil Fertility and Agriculture

1.1 The operations of Nature

  • The life of the plant
  • The living soil
  • The significance of humus
  • The importance of minerals
1.2 Systems of agriculture

  • Primitive forms of agriculture
  • Shifting cultivation
  • The harnessing of the Nile
  • Staircase cultivation
  • The agriculture of China
  • The agriculture of Greece and Rome
  • Farming in the Middle Ages
1.3 Soil fertility in Great Britain

  • The Roman occupation
  • The Saxon conquest
  • The open-field system
  • The depreciation of soil fertility
  • The low yield of wheat
  • The Black Death
  • The Industrial Revolution and soil fertility
  • The Great Depression of 1879
  • The Second World War
1.4 Industrialism and the profit motive

1.5 The intrusion of Science

2 - Disease in Present-day Farming and Gardening

2.1 Diseases of the soil

  • Soil erosion
  • The formation of alkaline land
2.2 The diseases of crops

2.3 Disease and health in livestock

2.4 Soil fertility and human health

2.5 The nature of disease

3 - The Problem of Manuring

3.1 The origins and scope of the problem

  • The phosphate problem and its solution
  • The reform of the manure heap
  • Sheet-composting and nitrogen fixation
  • The utilisation of town wastes
3.2 The Indore Process

  • - Some practical points
  • - The New Zealand compost box
  • - Mechanisation
  • - The spread of the Indore Process
3.3 The reception by scientists

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This is a newly edited revision of Albert Howard's important text on organic farming and gardening, and the central role of humus in maintaining soil health and fertility.

THE SOIL AND HEALTH is a detailed analysis of the vital role of humus and compost in soil health - and the importance of soil health to the health of crops and the humans who eat them. The author is keenly aware of the dead end which awaits humanity if we insist on growing our food using artificial fertilisers and poisons.

Albert Howard (1873-1947) was one of the leaders of the British organics movement in the mid-twentieth century. He was the first westerner to document and publish research on traditional techniques of agriculture, including Indian and Chinese farming and management of the soil.

"Agriculture is the fundamental industry of the world and must be allowed to occupy the primary position in the economies of all countries." - Albert Howard

CONTENTS

1 - Soil Fertility and Agriculture

1.1 The operations of Nature

  • The life of the plant
  • The living soil
  • The significance of humus
  • The importance of minerals
1.2 Systems of agriculture

  • Primitive forms of agriculture
  • Shifting cultivation
  • The harnessing of the Nile
  • Staircase cultivation
  • The agriculture of China
  • The agriculture of Greece and Rome
  • Farming in the Middle Ages
1.3 Soil fertility in Great Britain

  • The Roman occupation
  • The Saxon conquest
  • The open-field system
  • The depreciation of soil fertility
  • The low yield of wheat
  • The Black Death
  • The Industrial Revolution and soil fertility
  • The Great Depression of 1879
  • The Second World War
1.4 Industrialism and the profit motive

1.5 The intrusion of Science

2 - Disease in Present-day Farming and Gardening

2.1 Diseases of the soil

  • Soil erosion
  • The formation of alkaline land
2.2 The diseases of crops

2.3 Disease and health in livestock

2.4 Soil fertility and human health

2.5 The nature of disease

3 - The Problem of Manuring

3.1 The origins and scope of the problem

  • The phosphate problem and its solution
  • The reform of the manure heap
  • Sheet-composting and nitrogen fixation
  • The utilisation of town wastes
3.2 The Indore Process

  • - Some practical points
  • - The New Zealand compost box
  • - Mechanisation
  • - The spread of the Indore Process
3.3 The reception by scientists

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