Tuesday, 2 February 2010
Gerard Smith's Organic Surface Cultivations
There's gremlins in the machine and I'm having trouble leaving comments, so I thought I'd do a posting on the great man in response to the interest shown on Edith Hope's Garden Journal, which everyone should visit.
He would have approved of her PRB maxim,"Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty, that is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know." He loved truth and trusted to obsevation and experience rather than blindly following received wisdom. A champion of organic methods, he was not afraid to speak out against agribusiness at a time when this was seen as almost treacherous. He describes them as "A vast, well-organised trade leaches money from the pockets of the unwary, the fertiliser trade being second only to the drug trade in the variety of useless rubbish sold at high prices."
He was however no mere ranter. His book is a wealth of practical advice, leavened throughout with dry wit and fascinating information - "In one gramme of manured arable soil there is
One is sorry for the poor lonely ciliates."
He had a tongue that could cut cloth, and though perhaps tactless, he was never unkind and always encouraging. I can only echo his sentiments and attest that he succeeded - "To be a gardener when beliefs and prejudices are in the melting pot is a privelege. May the change come before I am too old to take a hand in helping other gardeners to take advantage of the changes."
Thank you, Mr. Smith, you were indeed part of the solution.
All quotes from "Organic Surface Cultivation" by N. Gerard Smith F.R.H.S, Ward, Lock & Co.,1950