Subtle Agroecologies : Farming With the Hidden Half of Nature book cover
1st Edition

Subtle Agroecologies
Farming With the Hidden Half of Nature

Edited By

Julia Wright

ISBN 9781138339811
Published June 30, 2021 by CRC Press
384 Pages 28 Color & 50 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book is about the invisible or subtle nature of food and farming, and also about the nature of existence. Everything that we know (and do not know) about the physical world has a subtle counterpart which has been scarcely considered in modernist farming practice and research. If you think this book isn’t for you, if it appears more important to attend to the pressing physical challenges the world is facing before having the luxury of turning to such subtleties, then think again. For it could be precisely this worldview – the one prioritises the physical-material dimension of reality - that helped get us into this situation in the first place. Perhaps we need a different worldview to get us out?

This book makes a foundational contribution to the discipline of Subtle Agroecologies, a nexus of indigenous epistemologies, multidisciplinary advances in wave-based and ethereal studies, and the science of sustainable agriculture. Not a farming system in itself, Subtle Agroecologies superimposes a non-material dimension upon existing, materially-based agroecological farming systems. Bringing together 43 authors from 12 countries and five continents, from the natural and social sciences as well as the arts and humanities, this multi-contributed book introduces the discipline, explaining its relevance and potential contribution to the field of Agroecology.

Research into Subtle Agroecologies may be described as the systematic study of the nature of the invisible world as it relates to the practice of agriculture, and to do this through adapting and innovating with research methods, in particular with those of a more embodied nature, with the overall purpose of bringing and maintaining balance and harmony. Such research is an open-minded inquiry, its grounding being the lived experiences of humans working on, and with, the land over several thousand years to the present. By reclaiming and reinterpreting the perennial relationship between humans and nature, the implications would revolutionise agriculture, heralding a new wave of more sustainable farming techniques, changing our whole relationship with nature to one of real collaboration rather than control, and ultimately transforming ourselves.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Transformative Epistemological, Philosophical and Theoretical Frameworks

  1. Re-enchanting Agriculture: Farming With the Hidden Half of Nature
  2. Julia Wright

  3. From the Mainstreaming of Western Science to the Co-evolution of Different Sciences: Addressing Cognitive Injustice
  4. Bertus Haverkort

  5. Conversations With Nature Spirits: the Political Ecology of Power and Progress in Rural Zimbabwe
  6. Georgina McAllister and Zeddy Chikukwa

  7. The Forgotten Ground: Recollecting the Primordial Harmony
  8. Joseph Milne

  9. Humans are Humus: Using Eco-psychology to Highlight the Language of Dualism and the Promise of the Non-dual
  10. Travis Cox

  11. A New Science From a Historical Figure: Goethe as Holistic Scientist
  12. Isis Brook

  13. From Quantum Biology Toward Quantum Consciousness
  14. Jack Tuszyński

  15. Healing our Relationship with Gaia Through a New Thrivability Paradigm
  16. Anneloes Smitsman and Jude Currivan


    Section 2: The Intersection of Wave-Based Science and Agriculture

  17. Electromagnetic Fields Mitigate Adverse Effects of Environmental Stresses in Plants
  18. Angel De Souza-Torres

  19. Synthesis of In-Situ Experimental Projects and the Practical Uses of the Method of Epigenetic Regulation of Protein Synthesis Developed by J. Sternheimer, in the Agricultural Field: Case studies of Grapevine (fungi: Esca and Mildew), Endive (bacterium: Erwinia) and Courgette (viruses: WMV2, ZYMV)
  20. Victor Prévost, Michel Duhamel, Pedro Ferrandiz and Joël Sternheimer

  21. Astronomical Rhythms in Biodynamic Agriculture: A Brazilian Case Study on the Yield and Quality of Daucus carota l. under Biodynamic Management Related to Lunar Rhythms
  22. Pedro Jovchelevich

  23. Electromagnetic Parameters Related to Plants and Their Microbiomes
  24. Ed Moerman

  25. Homeopathy Applied to Agriculture: Theoretical and Practical Considerations with Examples from Brazil
  26. Rovier Verdi, Leo Faedo and Pedro Boff

  27. Effect of Low Power Laser Biotechnology Pretreatment on Shooting and Initial Growth of Mulberry and Sugarcane Under Flood Stress
  28. Sergio Rodríguez Rodríguez, Eduardo Ortega, Juan José Silva Pupo, Alexander Álvarez Fonseca, Medardo Ulloa Enríquez and Luis Arias Basulto

  29. Fluorescence-Excitation-Spectroscopy (FES) to Evaluate the Farming System’s Impact on Food Quality
  30. Jenifer Wohlers, Peter Stolz, Gudrun Mende and Jürgen Strube

  31. Picturing Vitality, the Crystallisation Fingerprint Method
  32. Paul Doesburg


    Section 3: The Search for More Embodied Methodologies

  33. Calibrating the Body: Embodied Research Strategies for Attuning to Subtle Information
  34. Eline Kieft

  35. The Art of Food Rituals as a Practice in Sympoiethics
  36. Miche Fabre Lewin and Flora Gathorne-Hardy

  37. The Systemic Constellations Method Applied to Agriculture
  38. Melissa Roussopoulos

  39. Engaging in the Goethean Method: An Approach for Understanding the Farm?
  40. Isis Brook

  41. Intuitive Farming: Heart-based Decisions for Harmony in Agricultural Ecosystems
  42. Saskia von Diest

  43. An Investigation of Sustainable Yogic Agriculture as a Mind-Matter Farming Approach
  44. Janus Bojesen Jensen


    Section 4: Voices From the Field

  45. The Etheric Realms as a Foundation for Exploring the Use of Radionics With the Biodynamic Preparations
  46. Hugh Lovel

  47. The Subtle Life of the Bee and its Importance for Humanity
  48. Sabrina Menestrina

  49. An Exploration of the Dynamic Role of Water in a Holistic Agriculture
  50. Simon Charter

  51. Land Whispering: Practical Applications of Consciousness and Subtle Energy Awareness in Agriculture - notes and reflections from practice in the field
  52. Patrick MacManaway

  53. Rediscovering Ancient Pathways for Regenerative Agriculture
  54. Charles Massy

  55. Experiencing the Metaphysics of Agriculture

Michael J. Roads

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Julia Wright has a background in international research and development, seeking to integrate ecological (organic and permaculture) thinking into conventional agricultural systems and organisations, including in humanitarian settings. After studying at Trinity St Davids (University of Wales), Silsoe College (Cranfield University) and Wye College (London University), she worked for some years in South America before undertaking a PhD at Wageningen University on the coping strategies of the Cuban farming sector during the country's period of food and fuel shortages in the 1990s, resulting in the Earthscan publication Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in an Era of Oil Scarcity: Lessons from Cuba (2009). Returning to the UK in 2003 to lead the International Programme of the organic NGO Garden Organic (formerly the Henry Doubleday Research Association), in 2011 she was involved in establishing the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience at Coventry University, where she has since been developing a research programme on the discipline of Subtle Agroecologies.   


This intriguing new book boldly presents ‘subtle agroecologies’ as a new field within the discipline of agro-ecology. Beautifully conceived and presented with colour illustrations and detailed biographies, the book is organised into four sections. It brings together 43 authors from 12 countries, spanning the natural and social sciences in addition to the arts and humanities. The book masterfully achieves its first goal of providing a foundation for subtle agroecologies by introducing the discipline, explaining its relevance and potential contribution to the field of agro-ecology. It is perhaps too early to tell whether it has achieved its other goal of providing inspiration for research into the invisible dimension of agriculture. There is no doubt, however, that it opens up a wealth of new areas for debate and practice that are of deep import for agriculture in a world of climate change and biodiversity loss. Subtle Agroecologies offers a timely, readable and academically rigorous cornerstone. We urgently need to disseminate, examine and act upon the perspectives set out in this book with a view to changing our whole relationship with Nature from one of control to one of real collaboration.

- Petra Bakewell-Stone for Resurgence & Ecologist magazine, Issue 331, Mar/Apr 2022, Making Change

Subtle Agroecologies is a masterpiece which takes us into critical examination of aspects of the worlds of farming and food production that are usually hidden from view. With chapters inspired by classical philosophy, indigenous practice, ecological thought and the new physics, it opens up vital new areas for debate and practice, which are of deep significance for agriculture in a world of climate change. Essential reading for anyone concerned with new perspectives on the health of our planet.

- Dr Nicholas Campion, Associate Professor in Cosmology and Culture, Director, Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture and Programme Director, MA Ecology and Spirituality, University of Wales, UK

Subtle Agroecologies raises very crucial and timely questions for the scientific community, as well as for agroecological practitioners… a careful recognition of the discipline of subtle Agroecologies is important not only for its practitioners, but also for the agroecological and sustainability sciences action-research communities as a whole. We are fortunate that the authors found some space to write this challenging but wonderful and highly recommended book.

-- Dr Cyrille Rigolet, French National Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, Volume 46, Issue 2 (2022)

In his novel, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, Douglas Adams gives his hero the line "Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all." Some will consider the subject matter of this book unthinkable, undoable and possibly ineffable. Others, that the hidden half of nature has been too long in the shadows and that such an academically rigorous, reasoned and readable exposition is timely. The knowledge, insights and experiences set out in this book are profoundly important but in the face of the existential challenges to our planet and its societies there is an urgency for them to be disseminated, discussed and acted upon.

- Lawrence Woodward, O.B.E., Director, Whole Health Agriculture, Co-founder and former Director, The Organic Research Centre, UK