Eve Balfour, The Living Soil (New York:
Devin-Adair CO. 1950).
Along with Sir Albert Howard's work, Lady Eve
Balfour's The Living Soil marks the beginning
of a new movement that we know today as organic
farming. In her work, she presents a comprehensive
program for improving the human condition through
improved farming. At the basis of her approach
is the "Law of Return."
Identifying human health with the health of
farm produce, whether animal or vegetable, she
called for improving soil fertility. To achieve
this, she argued against the policy of protecting
crops from pest by means of sprays and powders,
which is unscientific and unsound--"for
even when successful such procedure merely preserves
the unfit and obscures the real problem, how
to grow healthy crops." She recommended
following the traditions of peasant farming
which continued to "return all wastes,
all organic matter, to the land."