Customer Review

7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A little knowledge is dangerous, 26 Nov 2009
This review is from: The Carbon Fields: How Our Countryside Can Save Britain (Paperback)
As a farmer who actually practises grass ley, livestock/arable rotations I was frankly disturbed by Harvey's book. The book is so repetitive it could have been summed up in one chapter but we have to listen to him woffling on, repeating his one simple mantra over and over from different angles for a whole book, slightly changing his theory until even he must have been confused.
There is simply nothing new about his "solution to all world problems" farming method- it was developed by the likes of Turnip Townshend in the 18th century.
Harvey claims that we must go back to the mobile milking bale a la Hosier, is he insane? Every environmentalist and animal welfare beardy would be against the results of this (the very people Harvey is sucking up to in his book)
Harvey cites the American farmer who is producing tons of pork from his "pasture system"- since when have we been able to fatten pigs on grass?
He cannot decide whether he is for organic farming or not
He thinks that undersown grass/clover leys will provide sufficient nitrogen to supply the crop undersown! We have been growing undersown cereals for 50 years so know how mad this theory is.
I don't know if Harvey has any formal agricultural training but it seems not, he has obviously interviewed a load of cranks and taken their word as wisdom, he should consider his position as agricultural editor of the Archers.
There is a small percentage of wealthy middle-class Guardian readers (probably journalists like Harvey) who can afford to indulge in his pipe-dream, everyone else sadly inhabits the real world.
I am a fully paid up grassland farmer and sadly Harveys evangelical, misinformed rant can only have done our cause immense harm in the eyes of big agri-business who need a qualified scientific opposition not this kind of codswallop. Read this book with a large pinch of salt
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Jul 2011 15:52:06 BDT
Nigel Ollis says:
Meat - a benign extravagance Just wondered if you' d read this one or any of Colin Tudge's books. I was impressed with 'Meat'. Thanks for your post; I won't bother with 'Carbon Fields' as I suspect I'll be as unimpressed as you were.
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