An introduction to the Australian website, Soil and Health.org by Peter Green, Soil and Health Association Canterbury branch chairperson.
This is not Soil & Health Association. Rather, it is a superb venture into a virtual library site by Steve Solomon of Tasmania, Australia. Steve is scanning and making available for on-line reading many old and out of print classic writings on holistic agriculture and health, self-sufficient living and personal development and is well worth a visit by anyone into organic growing.
Among the works on line are such gems as:-
Lady Eve Balfour’s address to 1977 IFOAM conference, "Toward a Sustainable Agriculture–The Living Soil":
Sir Albert Howard: "An Agricultural Testament" 1943. This was a powerful force in the organic farming and gardening revolution and a must read for all serious students.
Sir Albert Howard: "Farming and Gardening for Health or Disease"(1945). A summation of his life’s work and an excellent discussion about the effects on human health and soil fertility.
Walter C Lowdermilk: ‘Conquest of the Land Through Seven Thousand Years" (1948).
A classic review of worldwide soil erosion and with many remarkable photos of what were fertile and productive areas but are now deserts
P A Yeomans: "The Keyline Plan" (1954) This book was an agricultural bestseller and is still sought after by collectors. It is an eye opening account of how to help land retain water, open the whole soil to root penetration and to release its natural fertility.
Founders and Trail Blazers
Among plans for additions to the library are such golden pieces as Masanobu Fukuoka’s classic, "One Straw Revolution"; E E Pfieffer’s "Weeds And What They Tell" : Joseph Cocconeur’s " Weeds, Guardians of the Soil" and many more such valuable and un-obtainable works.
Steve Solomon, web-master, describes the purpose of the site as being to bring together the works of the founders and trail blazers. He says there are "powerful tendencies on Earth today that cause the foundations of knowledge to be lost in obscurity"
"That would be okay," he says, "if there were better knowledge and wiser wisdoms coming on line to replace them., but usually the opposite is the case"
Nutritional Qualities Declined
He cites as an example industrial agriculture. "Despite all the advances of so-called ‘scientific’ agriculture, the nutritional qualities of our basic foodstuffs have been declining during this century. Nutritional value usually drops in direct relationship to the increase to the increase in bulk production. The global industrial system’s focus is on efficiency in all areas, including farming. But the apparent cheapness of economically-rational agriculture does not reflect a true accounting of cost. Despite the statistical increase in average lifespan, our average health and feeling of wellness have been declining."
Further he quotes Dr. Isabelle Moser who spent 25 years conducting an holistic clinical practice as saying that what she termed the`constitution’ of her older patients was much stronger than the constitution of her younger ones. Each generation got a poorer start than the one before it as each generation built the foundation of their health from foods produced on ever-more degraded soils grown ever-more "scientifically" and more and more consisting of processed, denatuered fodder. Dr Moser’s book, ‘How and When to Be Your Own Doctor" is in the web-site’s Health Library.
The Soil and Health Library is a living site. Steve Solomon invites people to recommend titles for inclusion, to loan scannable copies and to discuss ongoing improvements to the site.
I recommend this site as a valuable contributor to the spread of knowledge in organic farming and gardening.
Soil and Health.org Library