An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Nongyi zashu 農遺雜疏

Mar 7, 2022 © Ulrich Theobald

Nongyi zashu 農遺雜疏 is a treatise on agriculture written by Xu Guangqi 徐光啟 (1562-1633) during the late Ming-period 明 (1368-1644). The original text is already lost, but collected fragments are included in Xu’s collected works and translations Xu Guangqi zhuyi ji 徐光啟著譯集 (1983, Shanghai Guji Press上海古籍出版社).

The book was a detailed description of various cultivation and herding techniques some of which served as a blueprint for Xu's famous book Nongzheng quanshu 農政全書. The chapters dealt with cotton, wheat, sericulture, horticulture (pomegranades, citrus fruits), the Chinese tallowtree (Triadica sebifera, wuju 烏桕), bamboos, turnips (Brassica rapa, manqing 蔓菁), liliums (baihe 百合, xuancao 萱草), water chestnuts (biqi 荸薺), fish farming and beekeeping, as well as the use of pig excrements as manure.

The chapter on cotton (Mumian 木棉) is a coherent text of its own and describes everything of interest concerning types of cotton plants, cultivation, yarn production, spinning, and weaving. The author warns cultivators against close planting, and describes the consequences and diseases that might occur.

Wang Guozhong 王國忠 (1996). "Nongyi zashu 農遺雜疏", in Zhou Gucheng 周谷城, ed. Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Vol. Keji 科技卷 (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), 434.
Wang Yuhu 王毓瑚, ed. (1964). Zhongguo nongxue shulu 中國農學書錄 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), 179.
Bian Zhai 邊齋 (1983). "Xu Guangqi nongzhu jiyi: Ganshushu, Nongyi zashu 徐光啟農著輯佚——《甘藷疏》《農遺雜疏》", Tushuguan zazhi 圖書館雜誌, 1983 (4): 63-64.