Friday, April 24

The Soil And Health And Racism / Ethnocentrism

I got to thinking about The Soil and Health today, when I considered hyperlinking it in another journal.

It's frustrating, because that book does a great job telling fascinating anecdote after fascinating anecdote about studies of soil flourishing--full of rot bugs and microorganisms, and producing incredibly healthy plants and herbivores--but it does a horrible job crediting the toiling labor of thousands of brown people making the farming behind those anecdotes happen!

I got SO sick of hearing, "I did this, and it produced this result," and "Lady Winchesterly did that, and she reported that result." He did not. And she did not. Their hired hands did it. And I can tell, from the few sentences he writes where he does mention his hired hands, that it's just got to be too darned coincidental that all the author's friends who "are doing" such-and-such farming idea have wild successes mostly in places that have only had serious exposure to the powers that be in the West for a short amount of time. That is--that the hired hands of the West itself don't seem to produce the same results as the hired hands of the colonized world.

You know what I think? I think those brown hired hands had a lot of knowledge about how to farm with compost and/or other sustainable methods--despite some of the brown people in their country claiming to marvel at what Albert Howard was having done on his farms.

But the hired hands are rendered so damned insignificant to the successes of Howard and his friends when Howard writes about those stories.

I wish I could find a book with as thoroughly full of compost-heavy farming anecdotes as The Soil and Health but with full credit given to everybody who contributed knowledge (whether it was conscious or unconscious knowledge).

Recent headlines from the blog "Black and Missing but Not Forgotten:"