The Land, Lying Fallow, Increasing Yields and Us

The book by Joyce Appleby, The Relentless Revolution

I’m up early, God!

My mind filled with a factoid from the book The Relentless Revolution. It seems that starting with the Dutch at the end of the 1500s the Land was no longer allowed to lie fallow. The Dutch didn’t have enough land to feed all their people and they found that if they rotated their crops they got more yield from the land.

The idea is that some crops PUT BACK into the soil nitrogen, etc. — while other crops TAKE OUT nutrients. So they BALANCED what they planted and yields went up enough to support industry.

Then right around World War I we learned how to create nitrogen chemically and BOOM! We used it for explosives AND for fertilizer. The use of artificial fertilizer created the Population BOOM!

What got me UP, God, was when the relationship between the Land and Our Bodies came to me.

How can we be surprised at the use of steroids, uppers, etc. TO INCREASE YIELD for people, when we have been pumping chemicals into the land to increase yield?Sigh. What to do? I think vitamins are sensible and I’m fond of tea and coffee. But, steroids scare me. With steroids it is so clearly a case of SHORT TERM BOOST — LONG TERM COST.

I have this most uncomfortable feeling that the same is true of artificial fertilizer. At least, my experience in growing basil in a pot has shown me that it flourishes with organic fertilizers and dies with artificial ones. Food for thought, God, food for thought.

And, yes, I haven’t missed the connection with Your Command that the Land lie fallow one year in seven — and that refraining from work on the Sabbath Day is a sort of “lying fallow.” My guess is that You are doing A LOT while we are NOT.

Story teller,

Posted in a matter of scale, lying fallow, Perspective, sabbath rest, time, web of life
One comment on “The Land, Lying Fallow, Increasing Yields and Us
  1. Betsy says:

    It’s amazing how smart God gets, over the years …guess that “letting the land rest for one year every seven” is a good idea, after all!
    There’s a lot of stuff like that in the Bible (like not boiling milk with meat, because the milk affects our digestion of the nutrients in the meat, and avoiding pork, which at the time had trich in it)…it’s too bad that the Bible isn’t taught in its entirety. We miss a lot when we take the Bible out of context and only read snippets at a time.

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