Wyrtig

For gardeners with a sense of history
 

OE wyrtig, adj: Garden-like, full of plants;
On anum wyrtige hamme, Homl. Skt. ii. 30:312
.

  

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The Three Field System

In a three-field system, used in Europe and Britain by the 800s, farmers divided their land into three units, one for winter crops, one for summer crops, and one to remain fallow.  Crops were rotated so that what was planted in each field was different each season.

For winter planting, farmers typically put in winter wheat or rye. These fields were harvested in spring, and then a second crop was planted, usually spring wheat or a legume -- peas, beans, or vetches.

Each field was left unplanted, or fallow, once every three years. Even when fallow, a field was plowed twice a year, to keep down the weeds, and to return the plant material to the soil, a practice that the Romans called “green manuring.” The result was more fertile soil and increased yields.

  Field 1 Field 2

Field 3

Year 1

Winter:
Plant wheat or rye

 

Summer:

Plant legumes

 

 

Fallow: Plow twice,
stock graze and fertilize

 

Year 2

Fallow: Plow twice,
stock graze and fertilize

 

Winter:
Plant wheat or rye

 

Summer:

Plant legumes

Year 3

Summer:

Plant legumes

Fallow: Plow twice,
stock graze and fertilize

 

Winter:
Plant wheat or rye

 

 

 

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Botanists are among those who know that, in spite of the rude shocks of life,
it is well to have lived, and to have seen the everlasting beauty of the world.
F.D. Drewitt

 

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