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Thread: land and manure

  1. #1 land and manure 
    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    On the CBC science show Quirks and Quarks, they interviewed a scientist studying, well, bullshit, and other kinds.

    "Eight thousand years ago, during the Neolithic period, farmers throughout Europe kept livestock. This ranged from goats and sheep in Greece, to cattle and pigs in places like Germany and Denmark. But new archaeological evidence suggests these farmers employed the earliest known use of manure to fertilize their crops. Dr. Amy Bogaard, a Canadian scientist in the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford in England, found nitrogen levels consistent with those of manure in remnants of crops, including wheat grains. The use of manure in this way indicates the beginning of a more organized approach to farming, including tending fields on a yearly basis."

    In the podcast Boggard also mentions that the use of the manure represents an investment of time and energy in land, and the expectation that it will be held on to for a period of time. I wonder how it changed humans concept of territory or ownership, compared to those with a more nomadic existence.

    http://First Use of Fertilizer for Farming


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    Quote Originally Posted by DianeG View Post
    On the CBC science show Quirks and Quarks, they interviewed a scientist studying, well, bullshit, and other kinds.

    "Eight thousand years ago, during the Neolithic period, farmers throughout Europe kept livestock. This ranged from goats and sheep in Greece, to cattle and pigs in places like Germany and Denmark. But new archaeological evidence suggests these farmers employed the earliest known use of manure to fertilize their crops. Dr. Amy Bogaard, a Canadian scientist in the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford in England, found nitrogen levels consistent with those of manure in remnants of crops, including wheat grains. The use of manure in this way indicates the beginning of a more organized approach to farming, including tending fields on a yearly basis."

    In the podcast Boggard also mentions that the use of the manure represents an investment of time and energy in land, and the expectation that it will be held on to for a period of time. I wonder how it changed humans concept of territory or ownership, compared to those with a more nomadic existence.

    http://First Use of Fertilizer for Farming
    Could you put the link in again please as it didn't work for me. Was it to this site?
    Researchers Discover First Use of Fertilizer | Science/AAAS | News

    I think I found it but I'd need to download the player.


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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DianeG View Post
    On the CBC science show Quirks and Quarks, they interviewed a scientist studying, well, bullshit, and other kinds.

    "Eight thousand years ago, during the Neolithic period, farmers throughout Europe kept livestock. This ranged from goats and sheep in Greece, to cattle and pigs in places like Germany and Denmark. But new archaeological evidence suggests these farmers employed the earliest known use of manure to fertilize their crops. Dr. Amy Bogaard, a Canadian scientist in the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford in England, found nitrogen levels consistent with those of manure in remnants of crops, including wheat grains. The use of manure in this way indicates the beginning of a more organized approach to farming, including tending fields on a yearly basis."

    In the podcast Boggard also mentions that the use of the manure represents an investment of time and energy in land, and the expectation that it will be held on to for a period of time. I wonder how it changed humans concept of territory or ownership, compared to those with a more nomadic existence.

    http://First Use of Fertilizer for Farming
    Even among nomadic peoples, there was (and remains) the precedent of 'traditional hunting territories' including areas for fishing and also wild harvest from the land. The concept of actually 'owning' the land remains foreign to our First Nations People for their belief system holds that it is the land that owns it's people and not the other way round.

    With the advent of agriculture, there is considerable sweat equity involved in raising livestock, spreading manure and managing the soil for cropping and harvest and so it would make sense that those responsible for the work would also expect the return from their efforts. Whereas before, the harvest was entirely at the efforts of nature and the only sweat equity was in harvest and putting by, there was no need for acrimony. The harvest belonged to whomever made the effort to get it. Once persons had a vested interest in a sector of land through sweat equity, they would not feel as welcoming towards parties that only showed up for the harvest having done none of the other work to enhance the final result.

    Likewise, those who had always only harvested what nature provided would be disadvantaged and disenfranchised by those who now laid claim to their efforts upon the land, even if not the land itself. Conflicts would become inevitable as the amount of land available for wild harvest was gradually usurped over time.
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    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Recognizing the benefits of manure on plant production doesn't need to start with keeping livestock. I've seen myself "wild" manure dropped in a field, where it "burned" the closest plants but also produced a ring of much healthier than normal plants around it. Then humans could have fertilized their desired wild vegetation with their own manure.

    Also, some livestock could do double duty by eating vegetation unfit for humans (grasses, twigs, leaves, etc) and converting it into their body mass and also producing manure for crops that humans desired.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Recognizing the benefits of manure on plant production doesn't need to start with keeping livestock. I've seen myself "wild" manure dropped in a field, where it "burned" the closest plants but also produced a ring of much healthier than normal plants around it. Then humans could have fertilized their desired wild vegetation with their own manure.

    Also, some livestock could do double duty by eating vegetation unfit for humans (grasses, twigs, leaves, etc) and converting it into their body mass and also producing manure for crops that humans desired.
    That brings up the topic of self sown seeds that have survived the digestion process. Plants and fruits eaten by humans, their seeds pass through the digestive tract still viable and thrive in the surrounding fertilizer. That seems to indicate the symbiosis between plants and hosts that eat them.

    This cycle of nature is broken when the seeds are cooked or composted.
    Last edited by Robittybob1; July 3rd, 2014 at 09:36 PM.
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    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DianeG View Post
    On the CBC science show Quirks and Quarks, they interviewed a scientist studying, well, bullshit, and other kinds.

    "Eight thousand years ago, during the Neolithic period, farmers throughout Europe kept livestock. This ranged from goats and sheep in Greece, to cattle and pigs in places like Germany and Denmark. But new archaeological evidence suggests these farmers employed the earliest known use of manure to fertilize their crops. Dr. Amy Bogaard, a Canadian scientist in the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford in England, found nitrogen levels consistent with those of manure in remnants of crops, including wheat grains. The use of manure in this way indicates the beginning of a more organized approach to farming, including tending fields on a yearly basis."

    In the podcast Boggard also mentions that the use of the manure represents an investment of time and energy in land, and the expectation that it will be held on to for a period of time. I wonder how it changed humans concept of territory or ownership, compared to those with a more nomadic existence.

    http://First Use of Fertilizer for Farming
    Could you put the link in again please as it didn't work for me. Was it to this site?
    Researchers Discover First Use of Fertilizer | Science/AAAS | News

    I think I found it but I'd need to download the player.
    try First Use of Fertilizer for Farming - Quirks and Quarks - CBC Player
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    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    The reason I think it's a good topic is I wonder whether the things that made early humans territorial were different from other animals. Or did we become even more war like when there was more invested.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DianeG View Post
    The reason I think it's a good topic is I wonder whether the things that made early humans territorial were different from other animals. Or did we become even more war like when there was more invested.
    How does it go? The better the agriculture the more time there was for art and culture. Technology was then needed to save the abundant crops to carry them over the less productive times. Pottery and glass was needed to make containers for fermented products, yogurt, cheese, wine (there will be many more).
    Once these were in store and needed for the rest of the year they were worth defending from raiders, hence the need for defenses.
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    Whereas before, the harvest was entirely at the efforts of nature and the only sweat equity was in harvest and putting by, there was no need for acrimony. The harvest belonged to whomever made the effort to get it. Once persons had a vested interest in a sector of land through sweat equity, they would not feel as welcoming towards parties that only showed up for the harvest having done none of the other work to enhance the final result.
    I think we've tended to treat our nomadic and seasonally nomadic forebears as being far too passive and uninvolved in the lands and foods that sustained them.

    We now know that the marvelously productive forests of North America didn't get that way by mere happenstance. All those nut trees bearing in season didn't just happen. Once the indigenous people had been chased off or killed or died from imported diseases, many forest areas mysteriously became crowded with undergrowth. They had previously been "managed" even though they weren't fenced or planted in neat orchard rows.

    Similarly in Australia, indigenous people who moved around their landscape didn't merely pick or pull whatever fruits or root vegetables they happened upon. There are places where it's been proved that edible root plants were replanted and controlled, even though the people who harvested them didn't stay in that location year round. And they also did useful things like establishing indicators about where to find certain seasonal foods. There's at least one place where indigenous people deliberately planted non-edible vines as a kind of avenue that flowered before and during the ripening time of local fruit trees. That way, even people who'd never been there before could follow the visible signal that they were in the right place at the right time.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    That brings up the topic of self sown seeds that have survived the digestion process. Plants and fruits eaten by humans, their seeds pass through the digestive tract still viable and thrive in the surrounding fertilizer. That seems to indicate the symbiosis between plants and hosts that eat them.
    Just need to take care not to re-ingest parasites that have passed through our digestive systems. That's why agricultural experts say not to use human fertilizer on human food plants, but to use it on non-foods or on non-human foods.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    How does it go? The better the agriculture the more time there was for art and culture. Technology was then needed to save the abundant crops to carry them over the less productive times. Pottery and glass was needed to make containers for fermented products, yogurt, cheese, wine (there will be many more).
    Very nice. Pottery and glass for preserving. If one considers bricks and mortar as "pottery", then granaries/storehouses also preserve.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    That brings up the topic of self sown seeds that have survived the digestion process. Plants and fruits eaten by humans, their seeds pass through the digestive tract still viable and thrive in the surrounding fertilizer. That seems to indicate the symbiosis between plants and hosts that eat them.
    Just need to take care not to re-ingest parasites that have passed through our digestive systems. That's why agricultural experts say not to use human fertilizer on human food plants, but to use it on non-foods or on non-human foods.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    How does it go? The better the agriculture the more time there was for art and culture. Technology was then needed to save the abundant crops to carry them over the less productive times. Pottery and glass was needed to make containers for fermented products, yogurt, cheese, wine (there will be many more).
    Very nice. Pottery and glass for preserving. If one considers bricks and mortar as "pottery", then granaries/storehouses also preserve.
    Not only plants use the digestive tract as way of spreading seeds but as you have rightly pointed out parasites and disease causing bacteria, viruses and other organism have too.
    So we have stopped the spreading of the parasites but stopped evolution of further symbiosis as well. This has been better managed by plant selection. Select the seeds that do best in the rich manured ground, so evolution has continued on via that method.

    But I did find "the seeds through the gut scenario" rather fascinating this year as I noted in my trials to salvage cow manure from a slaughterhouse that it had masses of viable seed in it that had passed through the bovine gut. Had the plants cows like to eat evolved to survive the ingestion? We humans don't want the manure we use to be filled with seed so how do we get rid of them? We had to pile that manure up to compost it, to heat it up and cook the seeds. So that needed to be the next step, it wasn't just a matter of using the manure on the garden.

    "Granaries/storehouses also preserve", that too. Likewise in the other species, surviving the changing seasons is one of the biggest obstacles. You'd know more than I could think of just now, but birds fly, whales swim, bears hibernate, squirrels and bees store, and so do humans. Now some humans are so distant from the land and manure, with everything nicely packaged and presented in the supermarkets. It is a strange and fascinating world and I often wonder if we have really gone down the right path.
    Last edited by Robittybob1; July 4th, 2014 at 07:27 PM.
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