Posted by: ssorrrell | August 20, 2007

Thoughts

When a field is allowed to fallow this helps crop production in subsequent seasons. Why? The answer is very clear. In forcing certain plants to grow we shift the balance of the land in ways the we are not aware of. When a field goes fallow nature seeks to restore the balance. Plants that consume excess nutrients and restore marginal nutrients will grow in the fallow plot.

We start farming by observing. What is the natural state of the land? What grows given the rainfall, soil, and nutrients available? As the season shifts how does the plant variety? Then to balance the needs of humans and the needs of the ecosystem; What can we grow that will fit within that balance with the least impact and preferably a long term benefit?

In order to grow the best crops for us and the land we should observe what grows on the fallow plot. Test the plants and test the soil to see what imbalances the money crop introduces. Our technology could be of great us here. Then we seek to reduce the swings or perhaps to induce them. This may mean that certain varieties grown today create too much imbalance for one season to address. We can use technology to observe and understand the complex interactions taking place in the field at many levels.

Our use of technology and knowledge today satifies our needs for the land w/o regard for the land. As the land seeks balance through an excess of disease or pests we create crops that resist those problems.

What is the difference in these two sentences? Which one are you more likely to hear? The corn was attacked by earworms. The corn attracted earworms. They are both correct, but the first one implies corn is a victim and earworms are enemies.

I started an article about this earlier and foundered. But I understand the disparate thoughts now.

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