‘IT MAKES ME TREMBLE FROM HEAD TO TOE’
TACKLING AGRICULTURAL EPIDEMICS IN TUSCANY

Metodo facile trovato coll’esperienza di piu’ anni utilissimo per difendere i grani dalla Volpe, o sia proposto, e raccomandato per pubblico bene da un accademico Georgofilo ai lavoratori della Toscana. 

Florence, nella stamperia Bonducciana, 1772. 

8vo, pp. 12; woodcut ornament to title-page, woodcut initial to p. 3; a very good copy in recent printed patterned boards, edges stained green; small scrape to upper board.

£275

Approximately:
US $345€321

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Metodo facile trovato coll’esperienza di piu’ anni utilissimo per difendere i grani dalla Volpe, o sia proposto, e raccomandato per pubblico bene da un accademico Georgofilo ai lavoratori della Toscana. 

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First and only edition of this rare treatise on the mitigation of volpe, a blight affecting up to half of Tuscan grain harvests of 1772, by a member of the agriculturally minded Accademia dei Georgofili in Florence. 

Grain afflicted by volpe quickly begins to ooze black juice and shed its bran, developing significantly more rapidly than healthy crops.  Forzoni briefly assesses popular methods of contending with the blight, including quicklime, manure, and saltpetre, though these can be tedious, costly, ‘frightening to farmers’ (p.5, trans.), or damaging to the wheat germ by means of corrosive or toxic substances.  He instead proposes a mixture of water and finely sifted ash, stirred regularly and cleared of floating debris, which is subsequently heated, mixed with lime mortar and lye; the grain soaks in the resulting mixture and is left to dry in the shade.  Urging farmers to act quickly, he warns of another epidemic on the horizon, ‘il male dello sprone’: already rampant in France, Forzoni describes afflicted wheat with similar symptoms in the fields surrounding Florence, a thought which makes him ‘tremble from head to toe’ with fear (pp. 10-11, trans.). 

We find no copies in the US or UK.  ICCU finds only three copies in Italy. 

Lastri, Biblioteca Georgica ossia catalogo ragionato (1787), p. 86; Niccoli, Nuova enciclopedia agraria italiana I, p. 196. 

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