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Nongsang yishi cuoyao 農桑衣食撮要

Jan 17, 2022 © Ulrich Theobald

Nongsang yishi cuoyao 農桑衣食撮要 "Important matters of farming, sericulture, clothing and food" is a book on agriculture compiled during the Yuan period 元 (1279-1368) by Lu Mingshan 魯明善 (1271-1368), who was an ethnic Uyghur and is known to have served as district supervisor (? junjian 郡監) of the district of Shouyang 壽陽 (today's Shouxian 壽縣, Anhui) xxx. During that time he compiled the brief book.

It is arranged according to the agricultural work executed throughout the year, and describes the farmer's duties for each month of the year, from cultivating grain to fruits, legumes, and bamboos, as well as the care for domestic animals, bees, and silkworms. The book also explains in detail the methods of processing and storing the fruits of the field.

The text is lucid and clear and written in a very practical way to allow most people to understand it. It was seen as an easy-to-use version of the Yuan government's official book Nongsang jiyao 農桑輯要, even if the text is not the same.

The Nongsang yishi cuoyao was printed immediately after finalization, and again in 1330. It is included in the series Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Mohai jinhu 墨海金壺 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編. A modern, annotated version was published in 1962 by the Nongye Chubanshe press 農業出版社.

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