reading Sir Albert Howard

Sir Albert Howard is the father of the organ­ic gar­den­ing move­ment.  The Soil and Health is worth the read if you ever get into gar­den­ing.  Sim­ple and in-depth, this is a man who delved deeply into many sub­jects to under­stand the uni­fied con­cept of growth and life on earth.  Awesome.

The main char­ac­ter­is­tic of Nature’s farm­ing can…be summed up in a few words.

Moth­er earth nev­er attempts to farm with­out live­stock; she always rais­es mixed crops; great pains are tak­en to pre­serve the soil and to pre­vent ero­sion; the mixed veg­etable and ani­mal wastes are con­vert­ed in humus; there is no waste; the process­es of growth and the process­es of decay bal­ance one anoth­er; ample pro­vi­sion is made to main­tain large reserves of fer­til­i­ty; the great­est care is tak­en to store the rain­fall; both plants and ani­mals are left to pro­tect them­selves against disease.”

-Sir Albert Howard, An Agri­cul­tur­al Testament

The same can be said with few sub­sti­tu­tions about a good man.  That last phrase, “…both plants and ani­mals are left to pro­tect them­selves against dis­ease” real­ly res­onates with me.  It’s not as if he advo­cates throw­ing “plants and ani­mals” out on their own, but instead that he has total faith that if the basics are tak­en care of then there is no need for band-aid care.

This is one of those works that reaf­firms to me the many beliefs we share in com­mon, whether you are a sol­dier, a fire-fight­er, or sim­ply liv­ing a clean life.  The idea that with enough prac­tice you don’t need “tricks” is sub­lime wis­dom.  Dri­ve on!

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