An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Suoshan nongpu 梭山農譜

Jan 18, 2022 © Ulrich Theobald

Suoshan nongpu 梭山農譜 "Farmer's notes from Mt. Weaver's Shuttle" is an agricultural treatise written by Liu Yingtang 劉應棠 (1643-1722), courtesy name Youxu 又許, style Sumin 嘯民 or Suoshan Xiansheng 梭山先生. Liu hailed from Fengxin 奉新, Jiangxi, and failed in the lowest level of the state examinations, whereupon he dedicated his life to agriculture and teaching.

His book has a length of 3 juan, each of which consists of one chapter, namely ploughing (Gengpu 耕譜), weeding (Yunpu 耘譜), and harvesting (Huopu 獲譜). The text is a detailed explanation of the processes of farming, from the particular activities (shi 事) to descriptions of the farming tools (qi 器) needed for the particular work. Each chapter ends with a poem of praise (zanci 贊詞). The book was finished in 1674.

The book was written according to Liu's own experience and does not take into consideration earlier books. On the one hand, the information is first-hand and gives the book a particular character, while on the other, Liu missed some important points and errs in some places. Liu is the first person providing information on the "spring wind disease" (qingfeng bing 青風病) because of which grain does not ripen, and the use of a "worm's comb" (chongshu 蟲梳) to eliminate harmful insects.

The book is found in Wu Kun's 吳坤 series Banmuyuan congshu 半畝園叢書 from 1870. In 1960, the Nongye Press 農業出版社 published a modern, annotated edition.

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Liu Shuang 劉爽 (2020). "Ming yimin de geng du shijian yu shinong lixiang: Jiyu Suoshan nongpu de jiedu 明遺民的耕讀實踐與士農理想——基于《梭山農譜》的解讀", Shandong Nongye Daxue xuebao (Shehui kexue ban) 山東農業大學學報(社會科學版), 2020 (4): 1-6+20.
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Wang Yonghou 王永厚 (1984). "Liu Yingtang he Suoshan nongpu 劉應棠和《梭山農譜》", Nongye kaogu 農業考古, 1984 (1): 292-293.
Wang Yuhu 王毓瑚, ed. (1964). Zhongguo nongxue shulu 中國農學書錄 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), 214.
Yang Zhimin 楊直民 (1994). "Suoshan nongpu tiyao 《梭山農譜》提要", in Ren Jiyu 任繼愈, ed. Zhongguo kexue jishu dianji tonghui 中國科學技術典籍通彙, part Nongxue 農學 (Zhengzhou: Henan jiaoyu chubanshe), Vol. 4, 183-184.