Food, Fiber, and the Arid Lands
Edited by William G. McGinnies, Bram J. Goldman, and Patricia G. Paylore University of Arizona Press, 1971 Library of Congress SB110.F66 | Dewey Decimal 630.9154
From the Foreword:
The world’s dramatic awakening to the impact of ecology on the quality of human life, and a new awareness of the potential for exploitation of the desert environment—in which our particular interest lies—give rise to more thoughtful, even sober, attention to the problems faced by those aspiring only to bigger yields from crops and more protein from animals. To these very basic needs of food and fiber, we are, therefore, addressing ourselves further to a consideration of housing, educational programs, and nonagrarian resource evolution, to the end that the planners and the decision makers may have the benefit of the most intelligent and contemporary understanding possible of the cultural and social aspects of arid lands as well as the latest technological advances on a wide-ranging spectrum of scientific developments.
Traditional Arid Lands Agriculture is the first of its kind. Each chapter considers four questions: what we don’t know about specific aspects of traditional agriculture, why we need to know more, how we can know more, and what research questions can be pursued to know more. What is known is presented to provide context for what is unknown.
Traditional agriculture, nonindustrial plant cultivation for human use, is practiced worldwide by millions of smallholder farmers in arid lands. Advancing an understanding of traditional agriculture can improve its practice and contribute to understanding the past. Traditional agriculture has been practiced in the U.S. Southwest and northwest Mexico for at least four thousand years and intensely studied for at least one hundred years. What is not known or well-understood about traditional arid lands agriculture in this region has broad application for research, policy, and agricultural practices in arid lands worldwide.
The authors represent the disciplines of archaeology, anthropology, agronomy, art, botany, geomorphology, paleoclimatology, and pedology. This multidisciplinary book will engage students, practitioners, scholars, and any interested in understanding and advancing traditional agriculture.