Jack London: did you know….

by David

….he got there first.  (Well, sort of)

Back when I was writing as “ED” for the old NADA website I re-discovered Louis Bromfield.  As a little city boy in Chicago I can remember my parents reading aloud Malabar Farm.  Clearly it meant a good deal to them since they not only read it to each other but to their kids.  And we couldn’t have been farther from farming.  But we all sat around the kitchen table after dinner and speculated about a life we’d never know.

Fast forward another 50 years and a time when Wooz and I determined to be better stewards of the land.  I came across Bromfield once again and quoted him often in “ED’s Blog“.

But I was surprised to learn the other day that Jack London got there first….using sustainable ag techniques almost 50 years earlier.  Most little boys of my generation were familiar with “Call of the Wild”; later I was interested in him as a newspaper man.  Interesting that both London and Bromfield started as writers and went to farming.  What had they learned?  Both pretty much forgotten now.


And an excerpt:

‘I am rebuilding worn-out hillside lands that were worked out and destroyed by our wasteful California pioneer farmers.  I believe the soil is our one indestructible asset, and by green manures, nitrogen-gathering cover crops, animal manure, rotation of crops, proper tillage and draining, I am getting results which the Chinese have demonstrated for forty centuries.’  ~Jack London 1915