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Ancient Agriculture: Roots and Application of Sustainable Farming

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The Art of Agriculture is the first English edition of Obra de Agricultura by Gabriel Alonso de Herrera, an agriculture instruction manual originally written in Granada, Spain, in 1513 and published there in 1539. Herrera, widely considered the Father of Modern Spanish Agriculture, wrote this treatise nearly five centuries ago, thoughtfully recounting traditional farming techniques of the Moors before their expulsion from Spain, the Spanish colonizers in the early 1600s, and the rural Indo-Hispano bioregion spanning northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Today, farmers, gardeners, and ecological horticulturists are striving to work in harmony with nature, using traditional irrigation methods (involving acequias, sangras, and arroyos) to transform barren high-desert landscapes into fields supporting crop growth. This book speaks to today's farmers, no matter their size or output, in drought-ridden areas with land patterns characterized by natural ditches (acequias) and community water distribution systems (suertes). This type of agriculture exists not only in the American Southwest but from the Philippines to India to the Middle East. With global warming, water usage, and increased populations today, this book is more pertinent now than ever. Practical as well as philosophical, The Art of Agriculture will fascinate anyone interested in organic farming, sustainable agriculture, and permaculture worldwide.

Gabriel Alonso De Herrera 


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