David M. Hendricks University of Arizona Press, 1985 Library of Congress S599.A7H46 1985 | Dewey Decimal 631.49791
This extensively illustrated volume is a definitive sourcebook on the utilization of arid lands. It offers a wealth of current knowledge about the nature and distributiion of the soils of Arizona and their relation to the diversity of geology, climate, vegetation, and fauna of the state.
Death in the Marsh
Tom Harris Island Press, 1991 Library of Congress QH545.S45H37 1991 | Dewey Decimal 574.526325
Selenium, essential in microscopic doses, can be deadly in larger amounts. Death in the Marsh explains how federal irrigation projects have altered selenium's circulation in the environment, allowing it to accumulate in marshes, killing ecosystems and wildlife, and causing deformities in some animals.
Dirt: A Love Story
Edited by Barbara Richardson University Press of New England, 2015 Library of Congress S598.D5 2015 | Dewey Decimal 631.4
Community farms. Mud spas. Mineral paints. Nematodes. The world is waking up to the beauty and mystery of dirt. This anthology celebrates the Earth’s generous crust, bringing together essays by award-winning scientists, authors, artists, and dirt lovers to tell dirt’s exuberant tales. Geographically broad and topically diverse, these essays reveal life as lived by dirt fanatics—admiring the first worm of spring, taking a childhood twirl across a dusty Kansas farm, calculating how soil breathes, or baking mud pies. Essayists build a dirt house, center a marriage around dirt, sink down into marshy heaven, and learn to read dirt’s own language. Scientists usher us deep underground with the worms and mycorrhizae to explore the vast and largely ignored natural processes occurring beneath our feet. Whether taking a trek to Venezuela to touch the oldest dirt in the world or reveling in the blessings of our own native soils, these muscular essays answer the important question: How do you get down with dirt? A literary homage to dirt and its significance in our lives, this book will interest hikers, gardeners, teachers, urbanites, farmers, environmentalists, ecologists, and others intrigued by our planet’s alluring skin. Essayists include Vandana Shiva, Peter Heller, Janisse Ray, Bernd Heinrich, Linda Hogan, Wes Jackson, BK Loren, David Montgomery, Laura Pritchett, and Deborah Koons Garcia.
For centuries, France has long been the world’s greatest wine-producing country. Its wines are the global gold standard, prized by collectors, and its winemaking regions each offer unique tasting experiences, from the spice of Bordeaux to the berry notes of the Loire Valley. Although grape variety, climate, and the skill of the winemaker are essential in making good wine, the foundation of a wine’s character is the soil in which its grapes are grown. Who could better guide us through the relationship between the French land and the wine than a geologist, someone who deeply understands the science behind the soil? Enter scientist Charles Frankel.
In Land and Wine, Frankel takes readers on a tour of the French winemaking regions to illustrate how the soil, underlying bedrock, relief, and microclimate shape the personality of a wine. The book’s twelve chapters each focus in depth on a different region, including the Loire Valley, Alsace, Burgundy, Champagne, Provence, the Rhône valley, and Bordeaux, to explore the full meaning of terroir. In this approachable guide, Frankel describes how Cabernet Franc takes on a completely different character depending on whether it is grown on gravel or limestone; how Sauvignon yields three different products in the hills of Sancerre when rooted in limestone, marl, or flint; how Pinot Noir will give radically different wines on a single hill in Burgundy as the vines progress upslope; and how the soil of each château in Bordeaux has a say in the blend ratios of Merlot and Cabernet-Sauvignon. Land and Wine provides a detailed understanding of the variety of French wine as well as a look at the geological history of France, complete with volcanic eruptions, a parade of dinosaurs, and a menagerie of evolution that has left its fossils flavoring the vineyards.
Both the uninitiated wine drinker and the confirmed oenophile will find much to savor in this fun guide that Frankel has spiked with anecdotes about winemakers and historic wine enthusiasts—revealing which kings, poets, and philosophers liked which wines best—while offering travel tips and itineraries for visiting the wineries today.
As the ruinous Dust Bowl settled in the early 1940s, agronomist Edward Faulkner dropped what Nature magazine termed "an agricultural bombshell" when he blamed the then universally used moldboard plow for disastrous pillage of the soil. Faulkner's assault on the orthodoxy of his day will stimulate today's farmers to seek out fresh solutions to the problems that plague modern American agriculture. Plowman's Folly is bound together here with its companion volume A Second Look.
Much recent archaeological research focuses on social forces as the impetus for cultural change. Soils, Climate and Society, however, focuses on the complex relationship between human populations and the physical environment, particularly the land--the foundation of agricultural production and, by extension, of agricultural peoples.
The volume traces the origins of agriculture, the transition to agrarian societies, the sociocultural implications of agriculture, agriculture's effects on population, and the theory of carrying capacity, considering the relation of agriculture to the profound social changes that it wrought in the New World. Soil science plays a significant, though varied, role in each case study, and is the common component of each analysis. Soil chemistry is also of particular importance to several of the studies, as it determines the amount of food that can be produced in a particular soil and the effects of occupation or cultivation on that soil, thus having consequences for future cultivators.
Soils, Climate and Society demonstrates that renewed investigation of agricultural production and demography can answer questions about the past, as well as stimulate further research. It will be of interest to scholars of archaeology, historical ecology and geography, and agricultural history.