Some Interesting Books on Natural Systems:
list is mainly for my own use -but it may be useful to others.
Guardians of the Soil
Joseph A. Cocannouer
Author of Trampling Out the Vintage
The Devin-Adair Company
Old Greenwich • Connecticut
1950, by The Devin-Adair Company.
Manufactured in the United States of America.
SO FAR as we are able to determine this is
the first book to be written in praise of weeds. Many are the
books which treat weeds as pests, and each season sees an
advance in anti-weed campaigns and techniques; a host of
chemicals, mechanical eradicators and even flame throwers are
making life increasingly hard for nature's greatest and most
widely dispersed group of plants -- the plants which stand
condemned because they are deemed "out-of-place."
That the ordinary
garden and roadside weed might have a vital function in the
scheme of things and be of inestimable value to mankind seems
not to have occurred to most agriculturists, whether in the
classroom, the departments of agriculture or on the farm.
The author of this
book has been teaching conservation and biology for close to
fifty years. But he has been a student as well and a keen field
man who has specialized in the ways of weeds, not only in his
home state of Oklahoma where he has spent much time learning
from the Indians, but in other parts of the world -- in Europe,
India and the Philippines, particularly.
According to Joseph Cocannouer,
weeds -- the common ragweeds, pigweeds, pusleys and nettles,
to mention four -- perform the following valuable services
They bring minerals, especially those which have been
depleted, up from the subsoil to the topsoil and make them
available to crops. This is particularly important with
regard to trace elements.
Cocannouer does not believe that weeds should be allowed to go
rampant and take over our farms and gardens. The function of
this book, a pioneering work, is to demonstrate how the
controlled use of weeds can be sound ccology, good conservation
and a boon to the average farmer or gardener.
D. A. G.
2.When used in crop rotation they break
up hardpans and allow subsequent crop roots to feed deeply.
3. They fiberize and condition the soil
and provide a good environment for the minute but important
animal and plant .life that make any soil productive.
4. They are good indicators of soil
condition, both as to variety of weed present and to condition
of the individual plant. Certain weeds appear when certain
5. Weeds are deep divers and feeders and
through soil capillarity they enable the less hardy, surface
feeding crops to withstand drought better than the crop alone
6. As companion crops they enable our
domesticated plants to get their roots to otherwise
7. Weeds store up minerals and nutrients
that would be washed, blown or leached away from bare ground
and keep them readily available.
8. Weeds make good eating -- for man as
well as for livestock. The publisher can vouch for the
superiority of lamb's quarter -- a favorite of the author --
over any other domestic form of spinach or cooked greens.
With especial reference
to that of India
G.T. Wrench, M.D. (Lond.)
The Wheel of Health, The Mastery of Life, The
Causes of Peace and War
London. The C. W. Daniel Company Ltd.
Forty Great Russell Street, W.C.1
Published in 1939
Contents Table of Contents
Sunflower Seed Huller and Oil Press -- by Jeff Cox (from
Organic Gardening, April 1979, Rodale Press): Vegetable oils
used to be one of those items you just HAD to buy. Now here's
how to make your own. In 2,500 square feet, a family of four can
grow each year enough sunflower seed to produce three gallons of
homemade vegetable oil suitable for salads or cooking and 20
pounds of nutritious, dehulled seed -- with enough broken seeds
left over to feed a winter's worth of birds.
C.C. Fifty Years Among the Bees. Medina, Ohio: A. I. ROOT COMPANY, 1911.
One hundred eleven
photographic figures; fifty years of experience; 4.3 mb;
downloads as single .pdf document. This book has long been a
classic among beekeepers. Thanks to Lee Larson of Portland,
Oregon for the lend of this book. PUBLIC DOMAIN
catfish in a barrel
-- A biological
food chain in the back yard produces fresh fish for the table and
compost for the garden, by Philip and Joyce Mahan, from Organic
Gardening and Farming, November, 1973.
Gene. Getting Food From Water: A guide to
Backyard Aquaculture. Emmaus, P.A.: Rodale Press, 1978.
A thorough look at the potentials
and practices of raising food in ponds, rivers, streams, lakes
and seaside homesteads. The book shines when discussing areas
that Logsdon knows intimately; in other areas it is a bit more
of a report and summary of information assembled by Rodale's
editors. Lavishly, perhaps "extravagantly" illustrated with
photos and drawings. The ones that Rodale included more for
decoration than to communicate information have not been
reproduced in this copy. Also not included are the extensive
appendices, listing sources from which to purchase supplies.
Still, even with all these reductions, this book remains a
large download, a PDF of 4.1 mb. Total time to scan, ocr and
format: 10:30. OUT OF PRINT.
The Pioneering Pig by Norman Blake, Faber
& Faber, London, 1956
"Mr Blake claims that
where man can make a garden, pigs can make a farm," says the
fly-leaf. It's why pigs have snouts – "Pigs are ideal ploughs,
rooting up weeds and turning over the ground, while they manure
it at the same time. They need to have a house and temporary
fence to confine them to the area. As soon as it has been
cleared, move the house and fence ready for the next section,"
says Country Smallholding Magazine. "In the building
up of fertility, especially on the poor light-land farm, there
is no animal more effective than the pig," says F. Newman Turner
in Fertility Farming. Here's how, by a master
of the subject. Full-text online, or download the PDF version (3.3Mb).
Poultry Production by M. G. Kains, Orange Judd Company, 1910
"Poultry production is
commonly practiced on every farm, but profitable
poultry production so far as the farm is concerned, is rare
indeed. No one, as a rule, has better natural conditions for
poultry raising than has the farmer. It is only a matter of
embracing opportunities that is wanting." Kains tells you how --
how-to's, plans, studies, and sound common-sense from long
before confinement systems. The plans and drawings of coops and
housing systems are a treasure in themselves. Kains was Poultry
Editor of the American Agriculturist Weeklies, and author of the
classic "Five acres and independence: a practical guide to the
selection and management of the small farm", published in 1935
and still in print. Many thanks to Kirk McLoren for scanning
this book. Full text online.
Earthworm: Practical Application of a Lifetime Study of
Habits of the Most Important Animal in the World by George Sheffield
Oliver, 1941. Dr Oliver was one of the first to harness the
earthworm to the needs of the farmer and gardener -- to make
highly fertile topsoil for optimum crop growth, and to produce a
constant supply of cheap, high-grade, live protein to feed
poultry. He devised simple yet elegant and effective systems to
bring costs and labour down and productivity up to help
struggling farmers to make ends meet. Oliver had an observant
and critical eye and understood Nature's round. His ideas on the
nature of modern food and health (or the lack of it) are only
now being confirmed, half a century later. Full text online.
Steve. Gardening Without Irrigation--or not much,
Sasquatch Books, 1993. Originally published as Waterwise
Gardening. Four color pictures.
This is a guide to growing food
without dependence on irrigation. It was written entirely from
personal observations and original research between 1979 and
1993, all in western Oregon, a climate that has virtually no
rainfall from June through September, a guaranteed four months
of drought every year. It has broad applications to anyplace
where the rains can't be depended upon and to anyone who is
using a well, off the grid, or etc. There's another facet to
this book too. The current gardening trend is intensive,
postage-stamp, high-yield, raised bed. This book explains the
dynamics behind the absolute opposite of what everyone else is
doing. It is extensive, low-yield, low-maintenance. OUT OF PRINT.
and Plant Growth -- from "Seaweed in Agriculture and
Horticulture", by W.A. Stephenson, Faber & Faber, 1968. "The
whole chapter is packed with eye-opening information. It looks
for instance as though the small quantity of seaweed meal I
regularly add to my potting composts may play a part not only in
nutrition and even in disease resistance but also in their crumb
structure and water-holding capacity. Not only can these plants
provide trace elements, growth substances and protection from
diseases for their crops, but the seaweeds are ultimately also a
potent source of soil nitrogen. Truly a useful 'workhorse'." --
Moira Ryan, Organic Gardening Discussion List
of Forty Centuries – or Permanent Agriculture in China,
Korea and Japan
by F. H. King,
1911, Jonathan Cape, London, 1926, 1933, 452 pages, 248
photographs, pdf (71 Mb)
Sir Albert Howard said
F.H. King was "one of the most brilliant of the agricultural
investigators of the last generation", and that King's book Farmers
of Forty Centuries "should be prescribed as a textbook in
every agricultural school and college in the world". King's
remarkable account of his agricultural investigations in China,
Korea and Japan in 1909 was an often-quoted source of
inspiration for Howard in his 26 years as an agricultural
investigator in India. King was Professor of Agricultural
Physics at the University of Wisconsin until 1901, and then
Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Division of Soil
Management until he retired in 1904. He was a pioneer in the
development of soil physics, which found the purely chemical
approach wanting: simply providing chemical nutrients did not
solve the problems of crop production. "The soil is a scene of
life," King wrote, "where altered sunshine maintains an endless
cycle of changes, rather than a mere chemical and mechanical
mixture." King died in 1911, before he could finish Farmers
of Forty Centuries, which is missing its last chapter,
"Message of China and Japan to the World". However, three years
later his widow, Mrs. C.B. King, published more of King's work
in the book Soil Management, with the final chapter
"Agriculture of Three Ancient Nations", which Mrs King had
assembled from 10 of King's lectures and papers, along with much
further information on the practices of the Orient in the rest
of the book. Farmers of Forty Centuries, Soil
Management, and The Soil, King's practical
guide to soil physics, can be downloaded below as pdf files
derived from page images online at Cornell's Core
Historical Literature of Agriculture library: http://chla.library.cornell.edu/
Ralph. Flight From The City. New York: Harper
& Row, 1933.
Chronicles the Borsodi family's
journey from job-in-the-city dependency to self-sufficient
country independence. Borsodi was far-sighted enough to
accomplish this move during the prosperity of the 1920s; his
books served as guideposts for many anguished wage-slaves who
saw his book as a guiding light toward financial security,
even survival, during the Great Depression. More, Ralph
Borsodi was an amazingly intelligent social critic whose view
cut through to the very heart of the contradictions and
problems of industrial civilization. PUBLIC DOMAIN.
Marais. The Soul of the White Ant.
Translated by Winifred de Kok. 1937 First published in
Afrikaans under the title Die Siel van die Mier. With
and introduction by Keith Addison, who with great love and
admiration for Marais, did the scan. This book can also be
found on Keith's website: http://www.journeytoforever.org/
A lyrical and passionate
exploration of the life and consciousness of the Termite. An
amazing bit of naturalist literature. PUBLIC DOMAIN
Rex. Your Engineered House. New York: M.C. Evans
This book can't be praised
enough! Roberts is both a master builder and a master house
designer; he takes the reader step by step through designing
and building a totally sensible wooden house that defies all
conventional approaches. Roberts will help you reconsider
which materials are most sensible, instruct you in design
principles, and to stand outside many building styles that
aren't really as sensible as the mass of people might
believe. Sadly, after the so-called energy crisis of the
1970s, the so-called energy-conservation legislation in the
United States mandated national building codes that
prohibited much of what Roberts suggested in this book.
Still, it is highly valuable, particularly in places where
one may freely design and build their own house largely out
of wood. The file size is large because of numerous
hand-done drawings and plans. Downloads as a PDF of 5.14 mb. OUT OF PRINT.
William. The Country Housewife's Family Companion,
with a modern introduction by Malcolm Thick. First published
in 1750 for James Hodges, London and B. Collins, Salisbury.
Text and apparatus copyright Prospect Books. Copyright of
Introduction, Malcolm Thick.
A complete how-to manual of
country skills. Interesting on many levels, from how-to make
everything from bacon to medicine, to helping create an
appreciation for the nature of mid-18th century English
country life, to helping create an appreciation of how the
diet and habits of the era created the diseases that
demanded the medicines listed. IN PRINT; HERE WITH DIRECT
PERMISSION OF THE PUBLISHER, PROSPECT BOOKS.
(This is the Joker in the
pack -like an early NGO, it is heavy on second hand
propaganda -but light on serious first-hand
practical experience. TB)
Saccharine Disease: Conditions caused by the Taking of
Refined Carbohydrates, such as Sugar and White Flour
by T. L. Cleave, John Wright, 1974
Surgeon Captain T.L. Cleave (1906-83), Director of Medical
Research at the Royal Naval Medical School, whittled down the
root cause of dozens of the ills of industrial societies to one
simple factor, also noted by nutrition pioneer Sir Robert
McCarrison: their dependence on refined carbohydrates -- the
"master-disease". Full text online.
Benjamin and Charles McGolrick. The Interpretation of
Financial Statements. New York: Harper &
Brothers Publishers, 1955. A revision of the book by Benjamin
Graham and Spencer B. Meredith first published in 1937.
These days it is generally assumed
that the share markets are a perfectly fit place to grow one's
savings. This little book completely enables an intelligent
investor to read and understand honestly-stated corporate
financial reports. When a corporate financial statement seems
incomprehensible or unanalyzable after applying the
understandings gained from Graham's book, then it is reasonable
to assume that what is being analyzed is an example of
accounting dishonesty, in the same order of manipulation that
has caused the recent collapses of Enron and other large
corporations. Until the middle 1990s there were many corporate
financial statements that could be comprehended in this manner.
After that time there seemed very few, and those few did not
meet Graham's standards of proper valuation for investment with
a reasonable margin of safety. Downloads as a PDF of 406kb. OUT OF PRINT.
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