Item #2834 An Agricultural Testament. SIR ALBERT HOWARD.
An Agricultural Testament
An Agricultural Testament
An Agricultural Testament
An Agricultural Testament
An Agricultural Testament

An Agricultural Testament

“Little or no consideration is paid in the literature of agriculture to the means by which Nature manages land and conducts her water culture. Nevertheless, these natural methods of soil management must form the basis of all our studies of soil fertility.”

FIRST EDITION IN VERY RARE DUST JACKET OF THE FOUNDATIONAL WORK ON ORGANIC FARMING AND AGRICULTURE.

"Since the Industrial Revolution the processes of growth have been speeded up to produce the food and raw materials needed by the population and the factory. Nothing effective has been done to replace the loss of fertility involved in this vast increase in crop and animal production. The consequences have been disastrous. Agriculture has become unbalanced: the land is in revolt: diseases of all kinds are on the increase: in many parts of the world Nature is removing the worn-out soil by means of erosion.

"The purpose of this book is to draw attention to the destruction of the earth's capital – the soil; to indicate some of the consequences of this; and to suggest methods by which lost fertility can be restored and maintained..." –Preface


An Agricultural Testament is among the most influential books in the history of farming, responsible for an explosion of interest in organic farming techniques that has fundamentally changed modern agriculture. At a time when monoculture and chemical fertilizers dominated Western farming practices, Sir Albert Howard drew on the traditional knowledge of Indian farmers to push back on the status quo. As Imperial Economic Botanist to the Government of India, he discovered that Indian methods were far better for soil fertility and crop health than those of his home country. Techniques now familiar to home gardeners — composting, the use of mycorrhiza (fungi) — owe their popularity to his painstaking research and tireless efforts to change how Westerners thought about farming.

Howard was astonishingly ahead of his time, and foresaw many problems with industrial farming that are now all too obvious. As the great farmer, poet, and essayist Wendell Berry wrote in his introduction to the 2003 reprint of An Agricultural Testament:

“It is remarkable that Howard came quietly, by thought and work, to these realizations a half century and more before they were forced upon us by the ecological and economic failures of industrial agriculture."

London: Oxford University Press, 1940. Octavo, original green cloth, original dust jacket. A few spots of foxing to endpapers and text block edges; cloth extremely clean and fresh. Rare dust jacket with mild toning to spine and edges, splits at spine ends, scattered spots of soiling, and a little bit of edgewear.

AN ESSENTIAL WORK FOR THE ORGANIC FARMING MOVEMENT. RARE.

Price: $2,500 .

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