ChinaKnowledge.de -
An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Nongpu bianlan 農圃便覽

Jan 19, 2022 © Ulrich Theobald

Nongpu bianlan 農圃便覽 "Overview of agriculture and gardening", full title Xishiliang nongpu bianlan 西石梁農圃便覽, is a book of farming and horticulture written by Deng Yizeng 丁宜曾, courtesy name Shupu 椒圃, from the village of Xishiliang 西石梁 near Yizhou 沂州 (today's Linyi 臨沂), Shandong. He decided to engage in farming after having failed in the lowest state examination. The book is a result of his personal observations and experiences, enriched by quotations from older books.

The book, finished and first printed in 1755, is arranged according to monthly duties of the farmer and gives information to cultivation techniques of staple food, legumes, fruits and flowers, prognostication or the treatment and processing of agricultural produce, including brewing, cooking, and medical treatment. The author stresses that books of farming were basically not fitting to the local conditions in the whole of China, but each region required the observation of different aspects.

Some aspects mentioned by Ding are not found in earlier texts, for instance, the suggestion to soak the seeds of water melons (xigua 西瓜) in brandy, or the difference of planting winter wheat (dong damai 冬大麥) before and spring wheat (chun daimai 春大麥) after the solar term jingzhe 驚蟄. Ding Yizeng also explains a method to rectify the twigs of cotton plants (mianhua 棉花) as dependent from soil quality, soil treatment and weather.

The book was banned from circulation in the late 18th century because one of Ding's relatives was involved in the Qianlong Emperor's 乾隆帝 (r. 1736-1795) "literary inquisition" (Wang 2019c).

A modern, annotated edition was published in 1957 by the Zhonghua Shuju press 中華書局.

Sources:
Liu Shaohua 劉少華 (2009). "Jianlun Ding Yizheng de nongye sixiang 簡論丁宜曾的農業思想", Shandong Sheng Nongye Guanli Ganbu Xueyuan xuebao 山東省農業管理干部學院學報, 2009 (3): 58-59+193.
Wang Guozhong 王國忠 (1996). "Nongpu bianlan 農圃便覽", in Zhou Gucheng 周谷城, ed. Zhonggou xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Vol. Keji 科技卷 (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), 458.
Wang Li 王俐 (2019a). "Nongpu bianlan xiangguan renwu ji nongshu xiaokao 《農圃便覽》相關人物及農書小考", Nongye kaogu 農業考古, 2019 (1): 205-207.
Wang Li 王俐 (2019b). "Nongpu bianlan yin shi qiantan 《農圃便覽》引詩淺探", Gujin nongye 古今農業, 2019 (2): 86-90.
Wang Li 王俐 (2019c). "Nongpu bianlan yu Dingshi jinshu san an 《農圃便覽》與丁氏禁書三案", Nongye kaogu 農業考古, 2019 (4): 191-194.
Wang Yonghou 王永厚 (1982). "Ding Yizeng he Nongpu bianlan 丁宜曾和《農圃便覽》", Shandong nongye kexue 山東農業科學, 1982 (3): 55-56.
Wang Yuhu 王毓瑚, ed. (1964). Zhongguo nongxue shulu 中國農學書錄 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), 227.
Yang Zhimin 楊直民 (1994). "Nongpu bianlan tiyao 《農圃便覽》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, 339-340.
Zheng Danwu 鄭淡吾 (1958). "Jieshao Nongpu bianlan 介紹《農圃便覽》", Shengwuxue tongbao 生物學通報, 1958 (6): 63-64.
Zhou Zhaoji 周肇基 (1995). "Nongpu bianlan 農圃便覽", in Zhongguo nongye baike quanshu 中國農業百科全書, Vol. Nongye lishi 農業歷史卷 (Beijing: Nongye chubanshe), 229.