An Agricultural Testament by Albert Howard

By Albert Howard

Name: An Agricultural testomony <>Binding: Paperback <>Author: AlbertHoward <>Publisher: BenedictionClassics

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Perhaps the most useful of these is seaweed, which is thrown up on the beaches in large quantities at certain times of the year and which contains iodine and includes the animal residues needed for converting vegetable wastes into humus. Many of our seaside resorts could easily manufacture from seaweed and dustbin refuse the vast quantities of humus needed for the farms and market gardens in their neighbourhood and so balance the local agriculture. Little or nothing, however, is being done in this direction.

When these residues, supplemented by the fixation of nitrogen from the atmosphere, are accompanied by skilful soil management, which safeguards the precious store of humus, crop production can be maintained at a low level without the addition of any manure whatsoever beyond the occasional droppings of live stock and birds. A good example of such a system of farming without manure is to be found in the alluvial soils of the United Provinces in India where the field records of ten centuries prove that the land produces small crops year after year without any falling off in fertility.

Watering as a rule is unnecessary in Great Britain. If the material contains about a quarter by volume of fresh greenstuff the amount of water needed can be considerably reduced. In rainy weather when everything is on the damp side no water at all is needed. Correct watering is a matter of local circumstances and of individual judgement. At no period should the mass be wet: at no period should the pit be allowed to dry out completely. At the Iceni Nurseries in South Lincolnshire in Great Britain, where the annual rainfall is about 24 inches and a good deal of fresh green market-garden refuse is composted, watering the heaps at all stages is unnecessary.

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