The Field Guide to Fields: Hidden Treasures of Meadows, Prairies, and Pastures

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9781426205088: The Field Guide to Fields: Hidden Treasures of Meadows, Prairies, and Pastures

For millennia, fields in their myriad forms have been among the most fundamental elements of the landscape of human civilization. Illustrated with 300 photographs and handsome linocut-style prints, the book explains how different landscapes, climates, and cultures produced a variety of field types, from the terraced rice paddies of Southeast Asia to the impenetrable hedgerows of Northwest Europe, each reflecting both ancient traditions and agricultural progress. We see how Old World methods were adapted to new environments like the American prairie, the Australian outback, the African veldt, and the Argentinean pampas. We trace the development of the implements we’ve devised to work our fields, from hand tools to modern tractors and mechanical harvesters.

And as we learn to recognize various types of fields, we also explore their characteristic flora wildflowers, grasses, and nourishing plants like grains, herbs, mushrooms, fruits and berries and fauna, from tiny but indispensable bugs to field-mice, sheep, cattle, and more. Detailed identification guides catalog a wealth of plant and animal life, and wide-ranging sidebars discuss everything from how to plow a field and sow seeds to how to plant a hedge, build a dry stone wall, and shear a sheep.

Here too the rich diversity of field folklore, from rural superstitions, fairy rings, and crop circles, to local legends, weather lore, folk remedies, and more. Both a thoughtful and colorful gift and a practical, informative reference, The Field Guide to Fields portrays an intriguing no-man’s-land between true, chaotic wilderness and the orderly arrangement of human communities.

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Review:

“...so much more than a field guide, tucking in whole chapters on the science, folklore, botany, food and history...” –McClatchy Newspapers (The Buffalo News)
 
“It claims to be a field guide, and indeed it is, a primer on the bucolic treasure that is the meadow, prairie, pasture or plain. But [it] is so much more, tucking in whole chapters on the science, folklore, botany, food and history of the middle space (between hunting ground and sleeping cave) where wilderness was tamed and civilization was birthed.” –Oklahoman
 
“Not only is this a compendium that makes us want to curl up in a comfy cove, it’s so packed with deliciousness we want to tuck it in our backpack and haul it everywhere...each page and paragraph is rich; all told storyteller-style.” –The Chicago Tribune
 
 “...unique, succinct, yet comprehensive resource celebrates the folklore and chronicles the flora and fauna that comprise the stunning variety of field habitats across the globe.” –Booklist
 
“Illustrated with 300 photographs and handsome linocut-style prints, the book explains how different landscapes, climates, and cultures produced a variety of field types, from the terraced rice paddies of Southeast Asia to the impenetrable hedgerows of Northwest Europe, each reflecting both ancient traditions and agricultural progress.” –Living the Scientific Life/ Birdbooker Report (http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/2010/03/birdbooker_report_109.php)
 
“The illustrations alone are worth the price of this 224-page paperback.” –The Record (New Jersey)

From Booklist:

Not for nothing are “amber waves of grain” celebrated in our national anthem, but set aside the iconic imagery, and the fact still remains that fields of oats, wheat, rice, and corn have sustained the world’s great civilizations since time began. Yet how, when, and why this agricultural phenomenon and landscape paragon came into being has been both a source of mystery for archaeologists and fount of inspiration for artists who recognize and celebrate the importance and beauty of fields. From rice paddies in Asia to sheep meadows in Australia, from Mideastern olive groves to Midwestern corn fields, nearly 40 percent of the earth’s surface is covered with crop fields that feed the human population and fuel its productivity. Exploring the history of today’s modern farm fields, examining the impact of environmental threats, and mapping the future of field management, Laws’ unique, succinct yet comprehensive resource celebrates the folklore and chronicles the flora and fauna that comprise the stunning variety of field habitats across the globe. --Carol Haggas

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Book Description National Geographic Society, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 208 x 140 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In their myriad forms, fields are the one of the most familiar and well-tended parts of the countryside and have been so for millennia. They are places in which we work and play, tranquil spaces to be explored or simply admired from afar. The text combines many aspects, including history, natural history, folklore, food, and armchair travel. It also includes practical features on subjects such as collecting and drying wild herbs, a well as identification guides to help readers spot different types of flora and fauna. Contents include the following: Introduction - what is a field and different field types and definitions; Field Forbears - birth of agriculture, the first domestic crops, the first fields - how to sow seeds; Shaping the Landscape - rice paddies and terracing, open fields and strip farming, hedgerows, and water meadows - how to build a dry stone wall and how to plant a hedge; Brave New World - New World fields, such as prairies, outback, veldt, pampas - how claims were staked and slashing and burning fields; and, Field Flora - a global guide to plants found in fields - Darwin s Meadow, grass as the world s carpet, grains, wildflowers and herbs, mushrooms and other fungi - how to press flowers and the backyard meadow. This title also includes following contents: Field Fauna - a global guide to the creatures great and small that share the field - cattle, flying things, bugs, beasts - the importance of grazing and beginner s guide to sheep-shearing; Tools and Technology - a look at the devices we ve invented to assist in tending our fields, from the plow, to hand tools, to tractors, and mechanical harvesters - how to use a hoe and how to plow a field; Nature s Bounty - guide to the myriad field plants that sustain us, from grains to herbs, fruits, and berries - how to dry herbs and what plants to avoid; and, Field Folklore - fields create a barrier between the true wilderness and where we live - every region has its own collection of tales, legends, and folklore that revolve around fields, herbal remedies, weather lore, fairy rings, and superstitions. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9781426205088

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Book Description National Geographic Society, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 208 x 140 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In their myriad forms, fields are the one of the most familiar and well-tended parts of the countryside and have been so for millennia. They are places in which we work and play, tranquil spaces to be explored or simply admired from afar. The text combines many aspects, including history, natural history, folklore, food, and armchair travel. It also includes practical features on subjects such as collecting and drying wild herbs, a well as identification guides to help readers spot different types of flora and fauna. Contents include the following: Introduction - what is a field and different field types and definitions; Field Forbears - birth of agriculture, the first domestic crops, the first fields - how to sow seeds; Shaping the Landscape - rice paddies and terracing, open fields and strip farming, hedgerows, and water meadows - how to build a dry stone wall and how to plant a hedge; Brave New World - New World fields, such as prairies, outback, veldt, pampas - how claims were staked and slashing and burning fields; and, Field Flora - a global guide to plants found in fields - Darwin s Meadow, grass as the world s carpet, grains, wildflowers and herbs, mushrooms and other fungi - how to press flowers and the backyard meadow. This title also includes following contents: Field Fauna - a global guide to the creatures great and small that share the field - cattle, flying things, bugs, beasts - the importance of grazing and beginner s guide to sheep-shearing; Tools and Technology - a look at the devices we ve invented to assist in tending our fields, from the plow, to hand tools, to tractors, and mechanical harvesters - how to use a hoe and how to plow a field; Nature s Bounty - guide to the myriad field plants that sustain us, from grains to herbs, fruits, and berries - how to dry herbs and what plants to avoid; and, Field Folklore - fields create a barrier between the true wilderness and where we live - every region has its own collection of tales, legends, and folklore that revolve around fields, herbal remedies, weather lore, fairy rings, and superstitions. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9781426205088

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