This book describes the spread of new agricultural practice in the half millennium after 1350, and reconstructs a neglected part of Europe's agricultural past: the introduction of fodder crops, and the continuous reorganisation of traditional botanical inputs within a new system of farming. New agricultural systems, based on convertible husbandry, clovers, turnips and roots, were introduced to some areas of Europe from the 1750s, and gave new impetus to productivity. However this so-called 'agricultural revolution' had demanded a learning process in which recourse to ancient and medieval botany helped farmers and scholars to overcome a situation of stalemate in early modern technology. The book breaks entirely new ground by showing the distant historical origins of a major transformation in land potential and farm productivity. A vast range of evidence is cited from Italy, France, England and elsewhere to provide a history of the 'agricultural revolution' in Europe.
"...a most original work of scholarship." Eric Jones, American Historical Review