Why Silent Spring?
I first read about this immensely important book in The Vegan Society‘s magazine interview with Iain Tolhurst.
Iain decided to look into stock-free, organic farming based on reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.
Tolhurst Organic is the result. A farm that has been growing and selling organic, stock-free food for over 30 years.
I first came across Iain in videos being shown by the Vegan Organic Network. The organisation that undertakes and provides stock-free certification.
I was inspired by his use of green manures – not green cow dung but nutrient fixing plants being under-grown, between food crops, enriching and enlivening the soil. These plants, the green manure, are then dug back into the soil after the food crops are picked.
A beautifully, balanced, stock-free, organic, tried and tested, growing method.
So, on reading Iain’s reference to Rachel Carson’s book, I knew I needed to read Silent Spring. I need to appreciate fully why Iain chose stock-free farming so that I too may help guide others to follow suit, in as passionate and as clear a way as Iain himself.
Silent Spring was written in 1962 and yet, just going off the introduction and five star online, current reviews, Rachel Carson’s book is more relevant today than ever.
To quote from Lord Shackleton‘s introduction :
“.. Silent Spring is not merely about poisons; it is about ecology or the relation of plants and animals to their environment and to one another. Ecologists are more and more coming together to recognise that for this purpose man is an animal and indeed the most important of all animals and that however artificial his dwelling, he cannot with impunity allow the natural environment of living things from which he has so recently emerged to be destroyed.
“The soil is not an innert thing; it is full of minute living creatures and plants on which we depend. Yet we spray poison wholesale over it.”
Lord Shackleton goes on to quote Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands :
“We are dreaming of conquering space. We are preparing the conquest of the moon. But if we are going to treat other planets as we are treating our own, we had better leave the Moon, Mars and Venus strictly alone!
“We are poisoning the air over our cities; we are poisoning the rivers and the seas; we are poisoning the soil itself. Some of this may be inevitable. But if we don’t get together in a real and mighty effort to stop these attacks upon Mother Earth, wherever possible, we may find ourselves one day – one day soon maybe – in a world that will be only a desert full of plastic, concrete and electronic robots. In that world there will be no more ‘nature’; in that world man and a few domestic animals will be the only living creatures.”
To sum up
As you can imagine, I’m looking forward to reading Silent Spring. I hope this mini appraisal of why I ordered Rachel’s book inspires you to get hold of a copy and to pass it on when you have finished reading it.
For the planet; for us; for everything.