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PART II DISEASE IN PRESENT-DAY FARMING AND GARDENING A SIMPLE METHOD of estimating the success of any method of fanning is to observe how it is affected by disease. If the soil is found to escape the two common ailments--erosion and the formation of alkali saltswhich afflict cultivated land; if the crops raised are found to resist the various insect, fungous, and virus diseases; if the livestock breed normally and remain in good fettle; if the people who feed on such crops and livestock are vigorous, prolific, and more or less free from the many diseases from which mankind suffers; then the method of fanning adopted is supported by the one unanswerable argument-success. It has passed the stiffest examination it can be made to undergo--it has yielded results comparable with those to be seen in the wayside hedges of this country of Great Britain. These strips closely resemble in their agriculture the primeval forest. In our roadside hedges hardly a trace of the common diseases of the soil are to be seen; the wildings come into flower regularly every spring and early summer; there is no running out of the variety and no necessity to supply new and improved strains of seeds; one generation follows another century after century; the vegetable life of the hedgerow is to all intents and purposes eternal; there is very little plant disease. A similar story can be told of the birds and other animal life. The wayside hedge is, therefore, an example of successful soil management for all to see and study. It has stood the test of time. In striking contrast to the picture of general health and well-being which has just been lightly sketched is the spectacle of widespread disease which has resulted from many of the methods of farming, and particularly the modern methods, which have so far been devised. Disease of one kind or another is the rule; robust health is the exception. Let us, therefore, examine in some detail the generous dividends in the form of trouble with which Mother Earth has rewarded our methods of agriculture. The examples chosen have been largely taken from my own personal experience. They are arranged in their natural order starting with the diseases of the soil, then going on to the maladies of crops and livestock, and ending with the afflictions of homo sapiens himself . PLATE V. BINS FOR COMPOSTING CANE TRASH AT SPRINGFIELD ESTATE, NATAL ,-- .----; ~ A£AATIGN~'''Mo£ CHANNELS fRONT ELEVATION - A ' 1= .~ ==:::;:" i ~ ~I 5~" -== '" D"AUif la-)l,)" \ ~TEEL TuBES I -PLANPLATE VI. PLAN AND ELEVATION OF COMPOSTING BINS AT SPRINGFIELD ESTATE, NATAL '~ ...


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