[permaculture] Jethro Tull
raincascadia at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 10 17:59:57 EST 2009
Tull did not invent the plow, he only modified it. He would have liked rock dust. Here's the Wikipedia entry:
Jethro Tull improved the seed drill, a device for sowing seeds effectively. At the time his workers did not like the idea because they thought they were going to lose their jobs.
Tull also advocated the use of horses instead of oxen and invented a horse-drawn Hoe for clearing weeds, and made changes to the design of the plough which are still visible in modern versions. His interest in ploughing derived from his interest in weed control, and his belief that fertilizer was unnecessary, on the basis that nutrients locked up in soil could be released through pulverization. Although he was incorrect in his belief that plants obtained nourishment exclusively from such nutrients, he was aware that horse manure carried weed seeds, and hoped to avoid using it as fertilizer by pulverizing the soil to enhance the availability of plant nutrients.
Tull's inventions were sometimes considered controversial and were not widely adopted for many years. However, on the whole he introduced innovations which contributed to the foundation of productive modern agriculture.
Tull tried to persuade European farmers to adopt what he called "horse-hoeing husbandry", which involved growing crops in rows and hoeing them thoroughly. Although the Chinese used this technique by at least the 6th century BC, this was not widely practiced in Europe until the 18th century, and he was the major contributor in this conversion.
Tull died at Prosperous Farm at Hungerford and is buried in the graveyard of St Bartholomew's Church, Lower Basildon, both in Berkshire.
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