For most of the history of farming and gardening, tools were stone, clay, wood or bronze. The Iron Age and the Industrial Revolution introduced steel and intensive mechanized techniques. These materials and techniques, together with deforestation and poor water usage, fueled by the widespread loss of a holistic worldview, have led to an unprecedented erosion and loss of fertility.

In the 1930s, Viktor Schauberger was asked by King Boris of Bulgaria to investigate why harvest size and the health of the land were so strongly declining. Among other things, he found that in the north, the problem area, farmers were using modern techniques with high speed tractor-driven steel ploughs. In the south, peasant farmers were using slower wooden ploughs pulled by muscle power. The fertility in the south remained, with vital soil and strong, healthy plants and animals.

There is a three-fold (at least) effect at work here. Iron (the main metal in steel) is a high-friction metal, sticking and abrading with the soil, leaving behind small particles of iron, which oxidise and create what is effectively "soil rust", leading to decreased water retention. At the same time, heat is generated through this movement and interaction, further drying the soil. And to make things worse, iron is a magnetic and sparking metal, which interrupts the electromagnetic currents of the soil. When iron sparks it discharges energy, depleting groundwater of its electrical charge and decreasing the usefulness of the water to the plants.

Copper (the main metal in bronze), on the other hand, does not contribute these negative effects. Copper generates very little friction, so it moves easily through the soil with little sticking, generating minimal heat and leaving behind fewer abraded particles. In addition, the particles left behind can even be beneficial, as trace elements of copper in the soil aid fertility. Copper is also a non-magnetic and non-sparking metal, so it does not interfere with the electromagnetic currents in the soil, allowing groundwater to impart maximum vitality to the plants.

All things in life are in movement toward growth or decay. There is not a stagnant balance point in nature, but rather a balance or harmony between movements. Iron, when exposed to weather, oxidation and rust is in a state of decay and not beneficial to the growth movement of the plants. Copper is more stable in atmospheric environmental conditions and is a more beneficial material to use when cultivating growth.

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