Much, if not most, of the information on agriculture that is taught and is widely available has come about because of the power and money of chemical companies.
There’s not as much money to be made when gardeners and farmers work with nature. She’s user friendly and gives freely when she’s made a partner.
With money to pay for constant promotion on a large scale, chemical companies have most folks convinced that chemicals (fertilizers and pesticides) and genetic engineering are needed to grow crops. In truth, chemical agriculture does not work. And it kills almost everything in the soil, leaving it devoid of minerals and soil life necessary to grow healthy, nutrient dense food. There’s plenty of proof of that. You’ll find a lot of it in these books.
By educating ourselves to the real truth, we can stop buying into the lies of the chemical companies that are promoted just about everywhere as fact. And thus, we can improve our health and lives and those of our families.
These 3 books are a great starting point. I hope you’ll consider reading one or more this winter.
Secrets of the Soil by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird
It’s only been in recent years that I’ve been interested in history of agriculture, chemicals and the organic movement. During those few years I’ve been intrigued to learn of the documented proof of land that has been destroyed by chemicals being returned to good health by using various principles of nature. Intriguing because you see so much opinion to the contrary. Either stating that organic doesn’t work at all or organic doesn’t work on a large scale.
This path of interest led me to Secrets of the Soil. I wasn’t really sure I wanted the book and went to the library first. Since they didn’t have it, they borrowed it from another library for me. It didn’t take me long to realize that this was a book I needed to own, not borrow.
If you haven’t read or studied in these areas, just reading the introduction of this book will give you a good overview of the last 100 years.
The story is told in brief of Liebig, a German chemist, known as the father of chemical agriculture, who “mistakenly deduced from the ashes of a plant he had burnt that what nourished plants was nitrogen, phosphorous, and potash (or potassium carbonate) – the NPK of today’s chemical agriculture.” By the time Liebig realized his mistake 10 years later – it was too late. “—the chemical companies were off to such a profitable start there was no stopping them —”
Interesting points are brought out. For example: Various companies like DuPont, Dow, Monsanto, and American Cyanamid that manufactured explosives during WWII started producing fertilizer after the war only in order to market their surplus.
The greats of organic agriculture are mentioned, one being Sir Albert Howard, who became known as the founder of the organic movement. (J.I. Rodale picked up the banner in the US with Organic Gardening and Farming Magazine.)
You’ll learn of one of the most brilliant soil scientist produced in America, Dr William A. Albrecht. His writings reveal a lifetime of meticulous scientific investigation and give more dynamic proof that organic works!
Facts are given about the harm from chemicals dumped onto our soils that will absolutely astonish you.
For me, most of the book was compelling, but still slow reading. There were parts throughout that were just too far removed from my reality to hold my interest. But overall the book is invaluable and contains a lot of practical information that can help the tinniest garden plot or the largest farm and/or ranch.
It gave me a better understanding of why my way of gardening works so well. And it gave me an even greater desire to make it better.
If you use chemicals and don’t understand the harm they do to the soil and to those who eat the crops produced by them, you’ll find your answers in this book.
Scattered among the pages are discoveries that are just plain amazing and wonderful. One of my favorites was how the songs of our birds in the morning enhance the growth of crops!
Secrets of the Soil will open new courses of action that you didn’t think possible. And at the very least it will change how you see your garden.
Empty Harvest by Dr. Bernard Jensen and Mark Anderson
Dr. Bernard Jensen (1908 to 2001) was one of the all time great holistic pioneers. Holistic medicine treats the whole person rather than just symptoms. And although this would seem common sense, conventional medicine treats only symptoms rather than addressing the cause of the disease.
Mark Anderson is a recognized authority on the topics of global ecology and wholistic health.
I came across Empty Harvest in 2014 when Bill and I were trying to read every book by Dr. Jensen that we could find. He wrote about 55 books. (Too bad we didn’t read and apply his information 10 years ago.)
Much of the information presented in Secrets of the Soil was presented in Empty Harvest, but in a way that I think will be more easily understood by most people.
If you haven’t educated yourself on what’s really going on with food and farming, this book is a quick way (about 160 easily read pages) to allow you to realize what’s going on and how you can help yourself and your family.
Jensen explains the relationship between soil and man. When man departs from nature, opposes nature, or treats nature ignorantly or abusively, he does so at this own peril states Jensen.
I thought author, John Robbins said it well in a review he wrote of Empty Harvest:
“While exposing the dire consequences of thinking we can grow healthy food with poisons, this excellent book defines positive alternatives, and demonstrates their power to restore us to true health. Empty Harvest lights the way toward living in harmony and happiness with the forces of life.”
Although the copyright is 1990, the book contains information that everyone should be aware of. It’s only outdated in the sense that things have declined even more. For example, it speaks of harmful irradiation of food which was not allowed at that time. It is allowed now. Also, foods like soy – unless they ‘re organic – are more than likely genetically modified.
So, be aware than certain things have changed since the book was written. But the history and the concepts are right on target and applicable today.
In my opinion Empty Harvest is a must read.
It would be an excellent read for kids. Younger children may need some guidance, but teenagers should get the overall picture just fine. Our children need to know from their beginnings what’s happening so they can make wise choices now and in their future to protect their health and their future family’s health.
I received an email the other day from a long time gardener who had just ordered this book. He wrote, “Just a quick note to let you know how much I am enjoying your gardening book. I am an avid gardener and collect gardening books. I’m finding your book contains a lot of unique and to the point information. Thanks for writing it!”
We corresponded a bit and he wrote again, ” I started collecting gardening (and related) books back in the early 80’s. It’s a passion of mine. Sadly there are way too many “cookie cutter” books out there written by those who simply copy from others. I get the feeling many times that some authors have little self experience. Your book stands out from many others in that you are writing from personal experience and that is one thing I really love about it.”
I never get tired of reading all the great emails I get from folks the book has helped.
If you’re new to gardening this book is a great way to get started on the right foot and remain unencumbered by all the hype that’s out there telling you stuff to do that you don’t need to do.
If you’re a seasoned gardener, like the reader who wrote to me, it just may help you rethink some things and give you some ideas to make gardening even easier and more successful.
The book will soon be in its second printing. Regrettably, the printers have had to raise the price substantially to cover the increase in paper cost. (I know from our art business that the price of papers has steadily increased over the past 15 years or maybe longer.)
I disliked the idea of raising the price of the book. After a lot of thought and figuring I decided to leave the price at $28.95, but the discounted price of $24.95 will no longer be available after December 31, 2015.
If you need copies for Christmas, please get your order to me as soon as possible so I can get them to you in time. There are not many remaining of the first printing, so I’ll ship on a first come, first serve basis. If I run out of books, I’ll start shipping again as soon as I get the new ones – which hopefully won’t be too long.
One of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself, your family, and your garden is to read books that really have good and truthful information in them. It changes how you look at things and opens the door to new and exciting possibilities.
I hope you’ll consider reading one or all 3 as soon as you can. Even reading 10 minutes a day will get the job done.
Secrets of the Soil
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