Planting Crops Quotes

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No one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away, until the clock wound up winds down, until the wine she made has finished its ferment, until the crop they planted is harvested. The span of someone’s life is only the core of their actual existence.
Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2))
She wants fire, and Dorne sent her mud. You could make a poultice out of mud to cool a fever. You could plant seeds in mud and grow a crop to feed your children. Mud would nourish you, where fire would only consume you, but fools and children and young girls would choose fire every time.
George R.R. Martin (A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5))
No dig saves time and keeps it simple, so that you can continue cropping all year without using synthetic feeds or poisons.
Charles Dowding (Charles Dowding's Skills for Growing)
Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die. And you will have a window in your head. Not even your future will be a mystery any more. Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer. When they want you to buy something they will call you. When they want you to die for profit they will let you know. So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it. Denounce the government and embrace the flag. Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands. Give your approval to all you cannot understand. Praise ignorance, for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed. Ask the questions that have no answers. Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias. Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, that you will not live to harvest. Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold. Call that profit. Prophesy such returns. Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years. Listen to carrion — put your ear close, and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come. Expect the end of the world. Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts. So long as women do not go cheap for power, please women more than men. Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child? Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth? Go with your love to the fields. Lie down in the shade. Rest your head in her lap. Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts. As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn’t go. Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection.
Wendell Berry
In Nature, things are broken with a purpose—clouds break to pour rains, rivers break to water fields, fields break to yield crops, seeds break to yield plants … so if ever you feel broken, understand that you must be part of a better and more beautiful purpose...
Debashis Dey
He who spends too long regretting his ruined crop will be neglect to plant next year's harvest.
François Lelord (Hector and the Secrets of Love (Hector #2))
And what is a man? He is someone who rises when life has knocked him down. He is someone who raises his fist to heaven when a storm has ruined his crop--and then plants again. And again. A man remains unbroken by the savage twists of fate. That man may never win. But when he sees himself reflected, he can be proud of what he sees. For low he may be in the present scheme of things: peasant, serf, or dispossessed. But he is unconquerable
David Gemmell (Legend (The Drenai Saga, #1))
no one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away—until the clock he wound up winds down, until the wine she made has finished its ferment, until the crop they planted is harvested. The span of someone’s life, they say, is only the core of their actual existence.
Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man (Discworld, #11))
The most important seed you can plant is kindness; the most important crop it yields is joy.
Matshona Dhliwayo
How much courage does it take to fire up your tractor and plow under a crop you spent six or seven years growing? How much courage to go on and do that after you've spent all that time finding out how to prepare the soil and when to plant and how much to water and when to reap? How much to just say, "I have to quit these peas. Peas are no good for me, I better try corn or beans.
Stephen King
Say the planet is born at midnight and it runs for one day. First there is nothing. Two hours are lost to lava and meteors. Life doesn’t show up until three or four a.m. Even then, it’s just the barest self-copying bits and pieces. From dawn to late morning—a million million years of branching—nothing more exists than lean and simple cells. Then there is everything. Something wild happens, not long after noon. One kind of simple cell enslaves a couple of others. Nuclei get membranes. Cells evolve organelles. What was once a solo campsite grows into a town. The day is two-thirds done when animals and plants part ways. And still life is only single cells. Dusk falls before compound life takes hold. Every large living thing is a latecomer, showing up after dark. Nine p.m. brings jellyfish and worms. Later that hour comes the breakout—backbones, cartilage, an explosion of body forms. From one instant to the next, countless new stems and twigs in the spreading crown burst open and run. Plants make it up on land just before ten. Then insects, who instantly take to the air. Moments later, tetrapods crawl up from the tidal muck, carrying around on their skin and in their guts whole worlds of earlier creatures. By eleven, dinosaurs have shot their bolt, leaving the mammals and birds in charge for an hour. Somewhere in that last sixty minutes, high up in the phylogenetic canopy, life grows aware. Creatures start to speculate. Animals start teaching their children about the past and the future. Animals learn to hold rituals. Anatomically modern man shows up four seconds before midnight. The first cave paintings appear three seconds later. And in a thousandth of a click of the second hand, life solves the mystery of DNA and starts to map the tree of life itself. By midnight, most of the globe is converted to row crops for the care and feeding of one species. And that’s when the tree of life becomes something else again. That’s when the giant trunk starts to teeter.
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
The kind of soil in your area determines the type of crop you will plant to harvest; The kind of potentials in you will decide the type of success you will celebrate.
Israelmore Ayivor
In the Ramtop village where they dance the real Morris dance, for example, they believe that no one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away—until the clock he wound up winds down, until the wine she made has finished its ferment, until the crop they planted is harvested. The span of someone’s life, they say, is only the core of their actual existence.
Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man (Discworld, #11))
I would never believe that I was better off without the Drakes and they without me. Growing up, I’d seen them more often than my own grandparents. They were part of my landscape. And if that particular landscape suddenly included earthquakes and volcanoes and mudslides, then too bad; I already built a house there and dug the well and planted crops. It was an analogy my parents had to understand. They were homesteaders; they knew that once you found your home, you dug your roots. Period.
Alyxandra Harvey (Bleeding Hearts (Drake Chronicles, #4))
A farmer who neglects to sow ordinary seeds only loses the crop, whereas anyone who forgets to sow seeds of a crop that has already been harvested twelve months before risks disturbing the entire fabric of causality, not to mention acute embarrassment.
Terry Pratchett (Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1))
I like how you call homosexuality an abomination." "I don't say homosexuality's an abomination, Mr. President, the bible does." "Yes it does. Leviticus-" "18:22" "Chapter in verse. I wanted to ask you a couple questions while I had you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that can I ask another? My chief of staff, Leo Mcgary,insists on working on the sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it ok to call the police? Here's one that's really important, cause we've got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean, Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Red Skins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?
Aaron Sorkin
Blessed are you who sow. Every seed you so plant, will grow into bountiful crops for great harvest.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
In every remote corner of the world there are people like Carl Jones and Don Merton who have devoted their lives to saving threatened species. Very often, their determination is all that stands between an endangered species and extinction. But why do they bother? Does it really matter if the Yangtze river dolphin, or the kakapo, or the northern white rhino, or any other species live on only in scientists' notebooks? Well, yes, it does. Every animal and plant is an integral part of its environment: even Komodo dragons have a major role to play in maintaining the ecological stability of their delicate island homes. If they disappear, so could many other species. And conservation is very much in tune with our survival. Animals and plants provide us with life-saving drugs and food, they pollinate crops and provide important ingredients or many industrial processes. Ironically, it is often not the big and beautiful creatures, but the ugly and less dramatic ones, that we need most. Even so, the loss of a few species may seem irrelevant compared to major environmental problems such as global warming or the destruction of the ozone layer. But while nature has considerable resilience, there is a limit to how far that resilience can be stretched. No one knows how close to the limit we are getting. The darker it gets, the faster we're driving. There is one last reason for caring, and I believe that no other is necessary. It is certainly the reason why so many people have devoted their lives to protecting the likes of rhinos, parakeets, kakapos, and dolphins. And it is simply this: the world would be a poorer, darker, lonelier place without them.
Mark Carwardine (Last Chance to See)
How much courage does it take to fire up your tractor and plow under a crop you spent six or seven years growing?' he asked himself. 'How much courage to go on and do that after you’ve spent all that time finding out how to prepare the soil and when to plant and how much to water and when to reap? How much to just say, ‘I have to quit these peas, peas are no good for me, I better try corn or beans.’' ‘A lot,’ he said, wiping at the corners of his eyes again. ‘A damn lot, that’s what I think.
Stephen King (Insomnia)
As far as food is concerned, the great extravagance is not caviar or truffles, but beef, pork and poultry. Some 38 percent of the world's grain crop is now fed to animals, as well as large quantities of soybeans. There are three times as many domestic animals on this planet as there are human beings. The combined weight of the world's 1.28 billion cattle alone exceeds that of the human population. While we look darkly at the number of babies being born in poorer parts of the world, we ignore the over-population of farm animals, to which we ourselves contribute...[t]hat, however, is only part of the damage done by the animals we deliberately breed. The energy intensive factory farming methods of the industrialised nations are responsible for the consumption of huge amounts of fossil fuels. Chemical fertilizers, used to grow the feed crops for cattle in feedlots and pigs and chickens kept indoors in sheds, produce nitrous oxide, another greenhouse gas. Then there is the loss of forests. Everywhere, forest-dwellers, both human and non-human, can be pushed out. Since 1960, 25 percent of the forests of Central America have been cleared for cattle. Once cleared, the poor soils will support grazing for a few years; then the graziers must move on. Shrub takes over the abandoned pasture, but the forest does not return. When the forests are cleared so the cattle can graze, billions of tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere. Finally, the world's cattle are thought to produce about 20 percent of the methane released into the atmosphere, and methane traps twenty-five times as much heat from the sun as carbon dioxide. Factory farm manure also produces methane because, unlike manured dropped naturally in the fields, it dies not decompose in the presence of oxygen. All of this amounts to a compelling reason...for a plant based diet.
Peter Singer (Practical Ethics)
There is still a chance to change things. We can provide fresh drinking water to all people. We can make sure crops are not regulated for profit; we can ensure that they are not genetically altered to benefit manufacturers. Our people are dying because we are feeding them poison. Animals are dying because we are forcing them to eat waste, forcing them to live in their own filth, caging them together and abusing them. Plants are withering away because we are dumping chemicals into the earth that make them hazardous to our health. But these are things we can fix.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
Sow the seeds of hard work and you will reap the fruits of success. Find something to do, do it with all your concentration. You will excel.
Israelmore Ayivor (Become a Better You)
Though I had been born in a city, I shared my father's love of nature. I loved the rich soil, the greenness of the plants, the crops, the buffaloes and the yellow butterflies that fluttered about me as I walked.
Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban)
Many bright people are really in the dark about vegetable life. Biology teachers face kids in classrooms who may not even believe in the metamorphosis of bud to flower to fruit and seed, but rather, some continuum of pansies becoming petunias becoming chrysanthemums; that's the only reality they witness as landscapers come to campuses and city parks and surreptitiously yank out one flower before it fades from its prime, replacing it with another. The same disconnection from natural processes may be at the heart of our country's shift away from believing in evolution. In the past, principles of natural selection and change over time made sense to kids who'd watched it all unfold. Whether or not they knew the terms, farm families understood the processes well enough to imitate them: culling, selecting, and improving their herds and crops. For modern kids who intuitively believe in the spontaneous generation of fruits and vegetables in the produce section, trying to get their minds around the slow speciation of the plant kingdom may be a stretch.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
Higgledy piggledy, my black hen, She lays eggs for gentlemen. Gentlemen come every day To count what my black hen doth lay. If perchance she lays too many, They fine my hen a pretty penny; If perchance she fails to lay, The gentlemen a bonus pay. Mumbledy pumbledy, my red cow, She’s cooperating now. At first she didn’t understand That milk production must be planned; She didn’t understand at first She either had to plan or burst, But now the government reports She’s giving pints instead of quarts. Fiddle de dee, my next-door neighbors, They are giggling at their labors. First they plant the tiny seed, Then they water, then they weed, Then they hoe and prune and lop, They they raise a record crop, Then they laugh their sides asunder, And plow the whole caboodle under. Abracadabra, thus we learn The more you create, the less you earn. The less you earn, the more you’re given, The less you lead, the more you’re driven, The more destroyed, the more they feed, The more you pay, the more they need, The more you earn, the less you keep, And now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to take If the tax-collector hasn’t got it before I wake.
Ogden Nash
In clear-cutting, he said, you clear away the natural forest, or what the industrial forester calls "weed trees," and plant all one species of tree in neat straight functional rows like corn, sorghum, sugar beets or any other practical farm crop. You then dump on chemical fertilizers to replace the washed-away humus, inject the seedlings with growth-forcing hormones, surround your plot with deer repellants and raise a uniform crop of trees, all identical. When the trees reach a certain prespecified height (not maturity; that takes too long) you send in a fleet of tree-harvesting machines and cut the fuckers down. All of them. Then burn the slash, and harrow, seed, fertilize all over again, round and round and round again, faster and faster, tighter and tighter until, like the fabled Malaysian Concentric Bird which flies in ever-smaller circles, you disappear up your own asshole.
Edward Abbey (The Monkey Wrench Gang (Monkey Wrench Gang, #1))
Space, let me repeat, is enormous. The average distance between stars out there is 20 million million miles. Even at speeds approaching those of light, these are fantastically challenging distances for any traveling individual. Of course, it is possible that alien beings travel billions of miles to amuse themselves by planting crop circles in Wiltshire or frightening the daylights out of some poor guy in a pickup truck on a lonely road in Arizona (they must have teenagers, after all), but it does seem unlikely.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Glaciers had crushed this region in the time before history. There’d been a drought for years, and a bronze fog of dust stood over the plains. The soybean crop was dead again, and the failed, wilted cornstalks were laid out on the ground like rows of underthings. Most of the farmers didn’t even plant anymore. All the false visions had been erased. It felt like the moment before the Savior comes. And the Savior did come, but we had to wait a long time.
Denis Johnson (Jesus' Son)
Thinking the day of judgment was imminent, farmers did not plant crops. Many people gave themselves over to alcohol. Civil and economic disruption may have caused as much death as the disease itself.
James W. Loewen (Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong)
No one wants a dandelion. They crop up all over the place, ugly and unfortunate, an average blossom in a world desperatly seeking beauty. They're weeds, people say. They're uninteresting and offer no fragrance and there are too many of them, too much of them, we don't want them, destroy them. Dandelions are a nuisance, We desire the buttercups, the daffodils, the morning glories. We want the azalea, the poinsettia, the calla lily. We pluck them from our gradens and plant them in our homes and we don't seem to remember their toxic nature. We don't seem to care that if you get too close? if you take a small bite? The beauty is replaced wit pain and laced with a posion that laughs in your blood, destroys your organs, infevts your heart. But pick a dandelion. Pick a dandelion and make a salad, eat the leaves, the flower, the stem. Thread it in your hair, plant it in the ground and watch it thrive. Pick a dandelion and close your eyes make a wish blow it into the wind. Watch it change the world.
Tahereh Mafi (Unite Me (Shatter Me, #1.5-2.5))
Redemption is not just about being saved *from* the consequences of sin, it is also about being saved *to* something- to resume the task for which we were originally created. And what was that task? In Genesis, God gives what we might call the first job description: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it." "Be fruitful and multiply", means to develop the social world: build families, churches, cities, governments, laws. The second phrase, "subdue the earth" means to harness the natural world: plant crops, build bridges, design computers, compose music. This passage is sometimes called the "cultural mandate" because it tells us that our original purpose was to create cultures and build civilizations- nothing less.
Nancy R. Pearcey (Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity)
On a dry day fire is set to this combustible refuse, which sweeps over the field, leaving it bare and clean, and ready for the hoes. The earth is loosened about the roots of the old stubble, and in process of time another crop springs up from the last year’s seed. It is the same the year following; but the third year the seed has exhausted its strength, and the field must be ploughed and planted again. The second year the cane is sweeter and yields more than the first, and the third year more than the second.
Solomon Northup (Twelve Years a Slave: A True Story)
If you plant your crops in the weather of pride they will grow tall and fall down. Take away pride and your dreams will stand.
Israelmore Ayivor (Shaping the dream)
Rumors are easy to plant; they grow like no other crop.
Judith Tarr (The Dagger and the Cross (Alamut, #2))
Land taken from Native peoples in Texas was then cleared by enslaved people, who were then put to work planting, tending, and harvesting crops.
Annette Gordon-Reed (On Juneteenth)
It's a question of priorities, he said. You get your plants in at the right time, get the mulch down, do the weeding, do the watering,that's work enough. You do all that, you'll enjoy being here, A plot full of healthy plants, crops coming off, flowers out, that's the best little place in the world. You'll not be worrrying about benches or lawns or tidy paths.
Jon McGregor (Reservoir 13)
no-one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away – until the clock he wound up winds down, until the wine she made has finished its ferment, until the crop they planted is harvested. The span of someone’s life, they say, is only the core of their actual existence.
Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man (Discworld, #11))
President Josiah Bartlet: Good. I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an abomination. Dr. Jenna Jacobs: I don't say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President. The Bible does. President Josiah Bartlet: Yes, it does. Leviticus. Dr. Jenna Jacobs: 18:22. President Josiah Bartlet: Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff Leo McGarry insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's really important 'cause we've got a lot of sports fans in this town: Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you? One last thing: While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building, when the President stands, nobody sits.
Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing Script Book)
He avoided stepping on the plants—though he wasn’t sure why he bothered. The crops hardly seemed worth the effort. Wan, with wilted brown leaves, the plants seemed as depressed as the people who tended them.
Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn Trilogy (Mistborn, #1-3))
The soybean crop was dead again, and the failed, whilted cornstalks were laid out on the ground like rows of underthings. Most of the farmers didn't even plant anymore. All the false visions had been erased. It felt like the moment before the Savior comes. And the Savior did come, but we had to wait a long time.
Denis Johnson (Jesus’ Son)
His father had never planted an orchard. No growing thing was graceless, but that scowling, snarling man, Hiram Linden, had seemed purposely to avoid all crops that flowered in beauty. All were utilitarian, sown with surliness and harvested with oaths. Ase was the first Linden of three generations to consider the earth and its bounty with reverence and affection, to long to adorn it as best he might during his tenure.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (The Sojourner)
And after the crop is harvested the fields cleared of rocks and stubble swords beaten into plowshares dirt furrowed the new seeds, planted deep and cared for, will grow into strong children with kind hands and strong bodies and honorable hearts the first generation unscarred untouchable that's your loss and our triumph
Laurie Halse Anderson (Shout)
Thanks to this availability of suitable wild mammals and plants, early peoples of the Fertile Crescent could quickly assemble a potent and balanced biological package for intensive food production. That package comprised three cereals, as the main carbohydrate sources; four pulses, with 20—25 percent protein, and four domestic animals, as the main protein sources, supplemented by the generous protein content of wheat; and flax as a source of fiber and oil (termed linseed oil: flax seeds are about 40 percent oil). Eventually, thousands of years after the beginnings of animal domestication and food production, the animals also began to be used for milk, wool, plowing, and transport. Thus, the crops and animals of the Fertile Crescent's first farmers came to meet humanity's basic economic needs: carbohydrate, protein, fat, clothing, traction, and transport.
Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies)
When man learns to understand and control his own behavior as well as he is learning to understand and control the behavior of crop plants and domestic animals, he may be justified in believing that he has become civilized.
Ayn Rand
Bees - Bees helps feeding entire species on Mother Earth by pollinating crops, wild plants and cultivated plants. v/s Humans - We mostly gather and relish on these foods and crops, hardly caring to plant a single flower as a return gift for our humble bees to feed on. Go Garden! Bee a Human! Save Bees! Save Food for Our Generations to Come!
RESHMA CHEKNATH UMESH (DEAR READER BY JULIE)
What happened? It took Gibbon six volumes to describe the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, so I shan’t embark on that. But thinking about this almost incredible episode does tell one something about the nature of civilisation. It shows that however complex and solid it seems, it is actually quite fragile. It can be destroyed. 

What are its enemies?
 
Well, first of all fear — fear of war, fear of invasion, fear of plague and famine, that make it simply not worthwhile constructing things, or planting trees or even planning next year’s crops. And fear of the supernatural, which means that you daren’t question anything or change anything. The late antique world was full of meaningless rituals, mystery religions, that destroyed self-confidence. And then exhaustion, the feeling of hopelessness which can overtake people even with a high degree of material prosperity. 

There is a poem by the modern Greek poet, Cavafy, in which he imagines the people of an antique town like Alexandria waiting every day for the barbarians to come and sack the city. Finally the barbarians move off somewhere else and the city is saved; but the people are disappointed — it would have been better than nothing. Of course, civilisation requires a modicum of material prosperity—

What civilization needs:

confidence in the society in which one lives, belief in its philosophy, belief in its laws, and confidence in one’s own mental powers. The way in which the stones of the Pont du Gard are laid is not only a triumph of technical skill, but shows a vigorous belief in law and discipline. Vigour, energy, vitality: all the civilisations—or civilising epochs—have had a weight of energy behind them. People sometimes think that civilisation consists in fine sensibilities and good conversations and all that. These can be among the agreeable results of civilisation, but they are not what make a civilisation, and a society can have these amenities and yet be dead and rigid.
Kenneth Clark (Civilisation)
I come from east Africa, Kenya, where people die of starvation because of drought. There is never enough rain for the crops or the animals. But here in the Congo, they have all the rain they need, rivers full of fish, and soil that is unbelievably rich. If you stand still here in the bush you can actually see plants growing around you, the growth is that powerful, that strong. And yet somehow people still manage to go hungry here because of the chaos, the bad management.
Tim Butcher (Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart)
You could make a poultice out of mud to cool a fever. You could plant seeds in mud and grow a crop to feed your children. Mud would nourish you, where fire would only consume you, but fools and children and young girls would choose fire every time.
George R.R. Martin (A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5))
Budgeting for liquidity is important. You have to include liquidity into the budget. Otherwise you could end up selling your farm in winter to buy someone else’s summer crops just to survive. Then come next planting season you’re starting from scratch.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
The tractors came over the roads and into the fields, great crawlers moving like insects, having the incredible strength of insects … Snub-nosed monsters, raising the dust and sticking their snouts into it, straight down the country, across the country, through fences, through dooryards, in and out of gullies in straight lines. They did not run on the ground, but on their own roadbeds. They ignored hills and gulches, water courses, fences, houses. That man sitting in the iron seat did not look like a man; gloved, goggled, rubber dust mask over nose and mouth, he was a part of the monster, a robot in the seat … The driver could not control it – straight across country it went, cutting through a dozen farms and straight back. A twitch at the controls could swerve the ‘cat, but the driver’s hands could not twitch because the monster that built the tractor, the monster that sent the tractor out, had somehow gotten into the driver’s hands, into his brain and muscle, had goggled him and muzzled him – goggled his mind, muzzled his speech, goggled his perception, muzzled his protest. He could not see the land as it was, he could not smell the land as it smelled; his feet did not stamp the clods or feel the warmth and power of the earth. He sat in an iron seat and stepped on iron pedals. He could not cheer or beat or curse or encourage the extension of his power, and because of this he could not cheer or whip or curse or encourage himself. He did not know or own or trust or beseech the land. If a seed dropped did not germinate, it was no skin off his ass. If the young thrusting plant withered in drought or drowned in a flood of rain, it was no more to the driver than to the tractor. He loved the land no more than the bank loved the land. He could admire the tractor – its machined surfaces, its surge of power, the roar of its detonating cylinders; but it was not his tractor. Behind the tractor rolled the shining disks, cutting the earth with blades – not plowing but surgery … The driver sat in his iron seat and he was proud of the straight lines he did not will, proud of the tractor he did not own or love, proud of the power he could not control. And when that crop grew, and was harvested, no man had crumbled a hot clod in his fingers and let the earth sift past his fingertips. No man had touched the seed, or lusted for the growth. Men ate what they had not raised, had no connection with the bread. The land bore under iron, and under iron gradually died; for it was not loved or hated, it had no prayers or curses.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
By the time the first Europeans arrived in the New World, farmers there were harvesting more than a hundred kinds of edible plants—potatoes, tomatoes, sunflowers, eggplants, avocados, sweet potatoes, peanuts, cashews, pineapples, papaya, guava, yams, manioc (or cassava), pumpkins, vanilla, a whole slew of beans and squashes, four types of chili peppers, and chocolate, among rather a lot else—not a bad haul. It has been estimated that 60 percent of all the crops grown in the world today originated in the Americas.
Bill Bryson (At Home: A Short History of Private Life)
She allowed herself the luxury of a good cry, figuring that her tears were mingling with the downpour to soak into the soil. It was relief. It was joy. It was the knowledge that she had overcome, and it spilled out with her tears onto the ground that she had toiled with, to become a part of the crop she had planted with her own hands. It had sought to defeat her, and she had prevailed. Now, she was permanently a part of it.
Tracy Winegar (Good Ground)
Across the road from my cabin was a huge clear-cut--hundreds of acres of massive spruce stumps interspersed with tiny Douglas firs--products of what they call "Reforestation," which I guess makes the spindly firs en masse a "Reforest," which makes an individual spindly fir a "Refir," which means you could say that Weyerhauser, who owns the joint, has Refir Madness, since they think that sawing down 200-foot-tall spruces and replacing them with puling 2-foot Refirs is no different from farming beans or corn or alfalfa. They even call the towering spires they wipe from the Earth's face forever a "crop"--as if they'd planted the virgin forest! But I'm just a fisherman and may be missing some deeper significance in their nomenclature and stranger treatment of primordial trees.
David James Duncan (The River Why)
Once California belonged to Mexico and its land to Mexicans; and a horde of tattered feverish Americans poured in. And such was their hunger for land that they took the land, stole Sutter's land, Guerrero' s land, took the grants and broke them up and growled and quarreled over them, those frantic hungry men; and they guarded with guns the land they had stolen. They put up houses and barns, they turned the earth and planted crops. And these things were possession, and possession was ownership. The Mexicans were weak and fed. They could not resist, because they wanted nothing in the world as frantically as the Americans wanted land.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
Why can’t you just get over it? It’s all in the past.’ These two statements often run together. Apparently, history is not there to be learned from, rather it’s a large boulder to be gotten over. It’s fascinating, because in the hundreds of workshops I’ve taught on Shakespeare no one has ever told me to get over his writing because it’s, you know, from the, erm, past. I’m still waiting for people to get over Plato, or Da Vinci or Bertrand Russell, or indeed the entirety of recorded history, but it seems they just won’t. It is especially odd in a nation where much of the population is apparently proud of Britain’s empire that critics of one of its most obvious legacies should be asked to get over it, the very same thing from the past that they are proud of. But anyway, let’s imagine for a second that humanity did indeed ‘get over’ - which in this case means forget - the past. Well, we’d have to learn to walk and talk and cook and hunt and plant crops all over again, we’d have to undo all of human invention and start from . . . when? What period exactly is it we are allowed to start our memory from? Those that tell us to get over the past never seem to specify, but I’m eager to learn. In reality, of course, they just don’t want to have any conversations that they find uncomfortable.
Akala (Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire)
Those same three factors applied to human beings. Like bees, our ancestors were (1) territorial creatures with a fondness for defensible nests (such as caves) who (2) gave birth to needy offspring that required enormous amounts of care, which had to be given while (3) the group was under threat from neighboring groups. For hundreds of thousands of years, therefore, conditions were in place that pulled for the evolution of ultrasociality, and as a result, we are the only ultrasocial primate. The human lineage may have started off acting very much like chimps,48 but by the time our ancestors started walking out of Africa, they had become at least a little bit like bees. And much later, when some groups began planting crops and orchards, and then building granaries, storage sheds, fenced pastures, and permanent homes, they had an even steadier food supply that had to be defended even more vigorously. Like bees, humans began building ever more elaborate nests, and in just a few thousand years, a new kind of vehicle appeared on Earth—the city-state, able to raise walls and armies.49 City-states and, later, empires spread rapidly across Eurasia, North Africa, and Mesoamerica, changing many of the Earth’s ecosystems and allowing the total tonnage of human beings to shoot up from insignificance at the start of the Holocene (around twelve thousand years ago) to world domination today.50 As the colonial insects did to the other insects, we have pushed all other mammals to the margins, to extinction, or to servitude. The analogy to bees is not shallow or loose. Despite their many differences, human civilizations and beehives are both products of major transitions in evolutionary history. They are motorboats.
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion)
[...] if truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say. Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably. But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all. [review of The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life, Nature 442, 983-984 (31 August 2006)]
Jerry A. Coyne
When you are planting your crops Be sure you want to harvest the seeds you plant
Jason King Godwise (The Sacred Havamal)
my issue with what they consider beautiful is their concept of beauty centers around excluding people i find hair beautiful when a woman wears it like a garden on her skin that is the definition of beauty big hooked noses pointing upward to the sky like they’re rising to the occasion skin the color of earth my ancestors planted crops on to feed a lineage of women with thighs thick as tree trunks eyes like almonds deeply hooded with conviction the rivers of punjab flow through my bloodstream so don’t tell me my women aren’t as beautiful as the ones in your country
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
After I escaped to South Korea, I was surprised to hear that the blossoms and green shoots of spring symbolize life and renewal in other parts in the world. In North Korea, spring is the season of death. It is the time of year when our stores of food are gone, but the farms produce nothing to eat because new crops are just being planted. Spring is when most people died of starvation
Yeonmi Park (In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom)
The question that naturally occurs is “What would it be like if a star exploded nearby?” Our nearest stellar neighbor, as we have seen, is Alpha Centauri, 4.3 light-years away. I had imagined that if there were an explosion there we would have 4.3 years to watch the light of this magnificent event spreading across the sky, as if tipped from a giant can. What would it be like if we had four years and four months to watch an inescapable doom advancing toward us, knowing that when it finally arrived it would blow the skin right off our bones? Would people still go to work? Would farmers plant crops? Would anyone deliver them to the stores?
Bill Bryson
We no longer live in a world of classic and formal divisions between man-made technology and the natural world, but rather in a world of increasing synthesis of technology and nature, a techno-natural world. An example of such blurring and blending exists if we plant crops in flood prone areas that are flood tolerant (or that thrive on flooding) but which also mitigate soil erosion and flash flooding.  To effectively combat global warming and climate change, this blurring of technology and nature will be essential. To this mix we should, most often without any engineering compromise, also add in ethical and cultural value considerations.
K. Lee Lerner (Climate Change: In Context, 2 Volume set)
Almost everything people did throughout history was fuelled by solar energy that was captured by plants and converted into muscle power. Human history was consequently dominated by two main cycles: the growth cycles of plants and the changing cycles of solar energy (day and night, summer and winter). When sunlight was scarce and when wheat fields were still green, humans had little energy. Granaries were empty, tax collectors were idle, soldiers found it difficult to move and fight, and kings tended to keep the peace. When the sun shone brightly and the wheat ripened, peasants harvested the crops and filled the granaries. Tax collectors hurried to take their share. Soldiers flexed their muscles and sharpened their swords. Kings convened councils and planned their next campaigns. Everyone was fuelled by solar energy – captured and packaged in wheat, rice and potatoes.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Well, dearest, what would you tell a farmer who had an over-abundant harvest? To plant less, of course!"... "I am not complaining about the frequency of the planting," she said. "I’d just rather not reap a crop every year.
Sharon Kay Penman (Time and Chance (Plantagenets #2; Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine #2))
She was the Weeping Woman, sure. But I was the woman who made rainwater out of tears. I would use them to water my crops through this drought. When people bought my fat turnips and sharp radishes and long, thick carrots, they would taste of freshly turned futures, hope, the bittersweet taste of things past, and the salty tang of possibility. This I would do to remind others that we are the seeds we plant, not the histories forced upon us. This I would do to wash away the sorrow from my soul.
Maria DeBlassie (Weep, Woman, Weep)
We come from seed,” he told his son, smiling. “We grow up, blossom, and produce fruit. Then the fruit dries and goes into the ground to make the next crop. The old plant doesn’t die so much as it gives itself to the soil to nurture the new plant. Since energy is neither created nor destroyed, only altered, dying is the other face on the coin of life. Nothing to be afraid of, really. After all, my boy, we all pass from this plane into another. It’s inevitable, like the rainbow after the storm.
Diana Palmer (Night Fever)
It doesn’t matter how the harvest will come out”, says Masanobu Fukuoka. “Just sow seeds and care tenderly for the plants and soil. You have joy. The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.
Steve Solomon (The Intelligent Gardener: Growing Nutrient Dense Food)
You could not save him.” Dretta nodded. “But he saved you. And you, Merros Dulver, you are supposed to save us from these Sa’ba Taalor when they attack. That’s what I keep hearing. That you are a hero and will keep us safe from the people that killed my husband.” Her voice was calm as she looked away from him to layer slices of roast meat and bread on his plate. When she looked up at him again her eyes were dry. “Keep us safe. Keep me safe. And while you are doing that, I want you to find the bitch that murdered my man and I want you to carve her head from her body.” Her voice was still calm; as if she were discussing the crops she might plant on the last lands of her villa. “Bring me her head and prove to me that my husband made the right choice in dying for you.
James A. Moore (The Blasted Lands (Seven Forges, #2))
Learning algorithms are the seeds, data is the soil, and the learned programs are the grown plants. The machine-learning expert is like a farmer, sowing the seeds, irrigating and fertilizing the soil, and keeping an eye on the health of the crop but otherwise staying out of the way.
Pedro Domingos (The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World)
Over the past fifteen years, the iconoclastic mathematician Irakli Loladze has isolated a dramatic effect of carbon dioxide on human nutrition unanticipated by plant physiologists: it can make plants bigger, but those bigger plants are less nutritious. “Every leaf and every grass blade on earth makes more and more sugars as CO2 levels keep rising,” Loladze told Politico, in a story about his work headlined “The Great Nutrient Collapse.” “We are witnessing the greatest injection of carbohydrates into the biosphere in human history—[an] injection that dilutes other nutrients in our food supply.” Since 1950, much of the good stuff in the plants we grow—protein, calcium, iron, vitamin C, to name just four—has declined by as much as one-third, a landmark 2004 study showed. Everything is becoming more like junk food. Even the protein content of bee pollen has dropped by a third. The problem has gotten worse as carbon concentrations have gotten worse. Recently, researchers estimated that by 2050 as many as 150 million people in the developing world will be at risk of protein deficiency as the result of nutrient collapse, since so many of the world’s poor depend on crops, rather than animal meat, for protein; 138 million could suffer from a deficiency of zinc, essential to healthy pregnancies; and 1.4 billion could face a dramatic decline in dietary iron—pointing to a possible epidemic of anemia. In 2018, a team led by Chunwu Zhu looked at the protein content of eighteen different strains of rice, the staple crop for more than 2 billion people, and found that more carbon dioxide in the air produced nutritional declines across the board—drops in protein content, as well as in iron, zinc, and vitamins B1, B2, B5, and B9. Really everything but vitamin E. Overall, the researchers found that, acting just through that single crop, rice, carbon emissions could imperil the health of 600 million people. In previous centuries, empires were built on that crop. Climate change promises another, an empire of hunger, erected among the world’s poor.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
Moses questions God about death Moses asks God the most basic question, "You create us; then you kill us. "Why" God says, I understand the purpose within your question; therefore I'll answer. You want to know the meaning of phenomenal duration, so you can teach others and help their souls unfold. Anyone who asks this question has some of the answer. Sow seed corn, Moses, and you will experience the purpose of taking a form. Moses plants and tends the crop; when the ears have ripened to the shape of their beauty, he brings out to the field his blade and sharpening stone. The unseen voice comes, Why did you work to bring the corn to perfection only now to chop it down? "Lord, it is the winnowing time when we separate the corn grains we use for food from the straw we use for bedding and fodder. They must be stored in different cribs in the barn." Where did you learn this threshing-floor work? "You gave me discernment." Do you not feel that I should have a similar discernment in the planting and harvesting of forms that I do? So creation has a purpose. God has said, I was a hidden treasure, and I desired to be known. That desire is part of manifestation.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi) (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
Farmers base their livelihoods on raising crops. But farmers do not make plants grow. They don't attach the roots, glue on the petals, or color the fruit. The plant grows itself. Farmers and gardeners provide the conditions for growth. Good farmers know what those conditions are, and bad ones don't.
Ken Robinson (The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything)
To think of food as a weapon, or of a weapon as food, may give an illusory security and wealth to a few, but it strikes directly at the life of all. The concept of food-as-weapon is not surprisingly the doctrine of a Department of Agriculture that is being used as an instrument of foreign political and economic speculation. This militarizing of food is the greatest threat so far raised against the farmland and the farm communities of this country. If present attitudes continue, we may expect government policies that will encourage the destruction, by overuse, of farmland. This, of course, has already begun. To answer the official call for more production -- evidently to be used to bait or bribe foreign countries -- farmers are plowing their waterways and permanent pastures; lands that ought to remain in grass are being planted in row crops. Contour plowing, crop rotation, and other conservation measures seem to have gone out of favor or fashion in official circles and are practices less and less on the farm. This exclusive emphasis on production will accelerate the mechanization and chemicalization of farming, increase the price of land, increase overhead and operating costs, and thereby further diminish the farm population. Thus the tendency, if not the intention, of Mr. Butz confusion of farming and war, is to complete the deliverance of American agriculture into the hands of corporations.
Wendell Berry (The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture)
According to Indian crop ecologist Vandana Shiva, humans have eaten some 80,000 plant species in our history. After recent precipitous changes, three-quarters of all human food now comes from just eight species, with the field quickly narrowing down to genetically modified corn, soy, and canola. If woodpeckers and pandas enjoy celebrity status on the endangered-species list (dubious though such fame may be), food crops are the forgotten commoners. We're losing them as fast as we're losing rain forests. An enormous factor in this loss has been the new idea of plant varieties as patentable properties, rather than God's gifts to humanity or whatever the arrangement was previously felt to be, for all of prior history.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
We depended on the indigenous of this land to teach us farming and harvesting skills that we largely lacked upon arrival. Indeed, had it not been for the wisdom of native North Americans, the first attempt at European colonization would have failed entirely. We were starving in droves, perishing in Jamestown because we had spent so much time looking for gold that we’d forgotten to plant crops that could sustain us through the harsh winters. Four hundred–plus years later that folly has been repeated, at least metaphorically, in an economy so focused on the chasing of wealth for wealth’s sake that it has failed to re-sow its crops, to invest in the future, to actually produce anything of value as it opts, instead, to chase financial fortunes and immediate riches.
Tim Wise (Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority)
self-organization is often sacrificed for purposes of short-term productivity and stability. Productivity and stability are the usual excuses for turning creative human beings into mechanical adjuncts to production processes. Or for narrowing the genetic variability of crop plants. Or for establishing bureaucracies and theories of knowledge that treat people as if they were only numbers.
Donella H. Meadows (Thinking in Systems: A Primer)
We mark the days by chores that need to be done, the way farm families have always done. Al feeds the hens and horses and pigs, splits wood in the fall, slaughters a pig when the weather turns cold, cuts ice in the winter. I collect eggs from the laying hens and Al drives me into town to sell them. He times the planting so that by the Fourth of July we'll have new peas and by September there's a whole field of corn. Gulls lunge for a feast, ravaging the crop, so Al kills a few and hangs them from poles as warning. During haying season in midsummer, I see him from the dining room window in his visored cap, scything the hay by hand with six hired men walking abreast, forking the newly mown hay onto the hayrack. They haul the hay to the barn, where a block-and-tackle hoist lifts it into the mow.
Christina Baker Kline (A Piece of the World)
In the old days, farmers would keep a little of their home-made opium for their families, to be used during illnesses, or at harvests and weddings; the rest they would sell to the local nobility, or to pykari merchants from Patna. Back then, a few clumps of poppy were enough to provide for a household's needs, leaving a little over, to be sold: no one was inclined to plant more because of all the work it took to grow poppies - fifteen ploughings of the land and every remaining clod to be built; purchases of manure and constant watering; and after all that, the frenzy of the harvest, each bulb having to be individually nicked, drained and scrapped. Such punishment was bearable when you had a patch or two of poppies - but what sane person would want to multiply these labours when there were better, more useful crops to grow, like wheat, dal, vegetables? But those toothsome winter crops were steadily shrinking in acreage: now the factory's appetite for opium seemed never to be seated. Come the cold weather, the English sahibs would allow little else to be planted; their agents would go from home to home, forcing cash advances on the farmers, making them sign /asámi/ contracts. It was impossible to say no to them: if you refused they would leave their silver hidden in your house, or throw it through a window. It was no use telling the white magistrate that you hadn't accepted the money and your thumbprint was forged: he earned commissions on the oppium adn would never let you off. And, at the end of it, your earnings would come to no more than three-and-a-half sicca rupees, just about enough to pay off your advance.
Amitav Ghosh (Sea of Poppies (Ibis Trilogy, #1))
In 1907, Haber was the first to obtain nitrogen, the main nutrient required for plant growth, directly from the air. In this way, from one day to the next, he addressed the scarcity of fertilizer that threatened to unleash an unprecedented global famine at the beginning of the twentieth century. Had it not been for Haber, hundreds of millions of people who until then had depended on natural fertilizers such as guano and saltpetre for their crops would have died from lack of nourishment. In prior centuries, Europe’s insatiable hunger had driven bands of Englishmen as far as Egypt to despoil the tombs of the ancient pharaohs, in search not of gold, jewels or antiquities, but of the nitrogen contained in the bones of the thousands of slaves buried along with the Nile pharaohs, as sacrificial victims, to serve them even after their deaths. The English tomb raiders had exhausted the reserves in continental Europe; they dug up more than three million human skeletons, along with the bones of hundreds of thousands of dead horses that soldiers had ridden in the battles of Austerlitz, Leipzig and Waterloo, sending them by ship to the port of Hull in the north of England, where they were ground in the bone mills of Yorkshire to fertilize the verdant fields of Albion.
Benjamín Labatut (When We Cease to Understand the World)
There is no way to get around the fact that, whatever legitimate federalism-based issues were at play, slavery was a central reason Anglo-Texans wanted out of Mexico. Using unpaid labor to clear forests, plant crops, harvest them, and move them to market was the basis of their lives and wealth. As Austin perceptively noted, any individual or family who tried to do this on their own in the wilderness of East Texas would face years of toil and strife without a real prospect of success. Still, nothing is inevitable. Things could have been different. The choice for slavery was deliberate, and that reality is hard to square with a desire to present a pristine and heroic origin story about the settlement of Texas. There is no way to do that without suggesting that the lives of African Americans, and their descendants in Texas, did not, and do not, matter.
Annette Gordon-Reed (On Juneteenth)
By Mendel’s time, plant breeding had progressed to a point where every region boasted dozens of local varieties of peas, not to mention beans, lettuce, strawberries, carrots, wheat, tomatoes, and scores of other crops. People may not have known about genetics, but everyone understood that plants (and animals) could be changed dramatically through selective breeding. A single species of weedy coastal mustard, for example, eventually gave rise to more than half a dozen familiar European vegetables. Farmers interested in tasty leaves turned it into cabbages, collard greens, and kale. Selecting plants with edible side buds and flower shoots produced Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli, while nurturing a fattened stem produced kohlrabi. In some cases, improving a crop was as simple as saving the largest seeds, but other situations required real sophistication. Assyrians began meticulously hand-pollinating date palms more than 4,000 years ago, and as early as the Shang Dynasty (1766–1122 BC), Chinese winemakers had perfected a strain of millet that required protection from cross-pollination. Perhaps no culture better expresses the instinctive link between growing plants and studying them than the Mende people of Sierra Leone, whose verb for “experiment” comes from the phrase “trying out new rice.
Thor Hanson (The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History)
I'll take nine steps and look up. Whatever my eyes light on, that's my sign. I saw a crop duster plunging his little plane over a field of growing things, behind him a cloud of pesticides parachuting out. I couldn't decide what part of the scene I represented: the plants about to be rescued from the bugs or the bugs about to be murdered by the spray. There was an off chance I was really the airplane zipping over the earth creating rescue and doom everywhere I went.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees)
in The Leviathan, a treatise in which he concluded that the state of nature is a state of war, “of every man against every man.”20 Miraculously, the colony recovered; its population grew and its economy thrived with a new crop, tobacco, a plant found only in the New World and long cultivated by the natives.21 With tobacco came the prospect of profit, and a new political and economic order: the colonists would rule themselves and they would rule over others. In July 1619, twenty-two English
Jill Lepore (These Truths: A History of the United States)
Some might debate whether people are born with talent, or whether it is developed. Toyota’s stand is clear—give us the seeds of talent and we will plant them, tend the soil, water and nurture the seedlings, and eventually harvest the fruits of our labor... Of course the wise farmer selects only the best seeds, but even with careful selection there is no guarantee that the seeds will grow, or that the fruits they yield will be sweet, and yet the effort must be made because it provides the best chance of developing a strong crop.
Jeffrey K. Liker (Toyota Talent: Developing Your People the Toyota Way)
We discover the bumps are milpa, small mounds of earth on which complementary crops were planted. Unlike linear plowing, which encourages water runoff and soil erosion, the circular pattern traps rainfall. Each mound is planted with a cluster of the Three Sisters that were the staples of Indian agriculture: corn, beans, and squash. The corn provided a stalk for the beans to climb, while also shading the vulnerable beans. The ground cover from the squash stabilized the soil, and the bean roots kept the soil fertile by providing nitrogen. As a final touch, marigolds and other natural pesticides were planted around each mound to keep harmful insects away. Altogether it was a system so perfect that in some Central American countries too poor to adopt linear plowing with machinery, artificial pesticides, and monocrops of agribusiness, the same milpa have been producing just fine for four thousand years. 19 Not only that, but milpa can be planted in forests without clear-cutting the trees; at most, by removing a few branches to let sunlight through on a mound. This method was a major reason why three-fifths of all food staples in the world were developed in the Americas.
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
say that you were a woman living on a farm at the turn of the last century. You have a lot of kids and not a lot of money. Winter’s coming, and you’ve got to feed them all the way through it. When do you start planning? The split minute you get through the last winter, that’s when. You pull out the seeds you saved from last year’s crop, you start your seeds, you plant your garden (and no, you can’t rent a rototiller, so you probably have to fuss around with a hoe or a horse and plow or something). And don’t forget that if that garden is going to feed the family it’s going to have to be a rather massive—cute container gardening or interesting Pinterest-worthy novelty gardens would not cut it. You tend it all summer, and you harvest. You can, you dry, you preserve. You fill your root cellar and hopefully by midway through autumn you can stand back and survey the fruit of all that labor, grateful that it all came together and secure in the knowledge that you have supplied your family with what they need. Now compare that feeling with grabbing a can of beans at the store and feeling happy that you remembered to do that so there’s some green on your kids’ plates tonight. It’s much easier, yes . . . but not quite the same in terms of satisfaction in a job well done.
Rebekah Merkle (Eve in Exile and the Restoration of Femininity)
in The Leviathan, a treatise in which he concluded that the state of nature is a state of war, “of every man against every man.”20 Miraculously, the colony recovered; its population grew and its economy thrived with a new crop, tobacco, a plant found only in the New World and long cultivated by the natives.21 With tobacco came the prospect of profit, and a new political and economic order: the colonists would rule themselves and they would rule over others. In July 1619, twenty-two English colonists, two men from each of eleven parts of the colony, met in a legislative body, the House of Burgesses, the first self-governing body in the colonies.
Jill Lepore (These Truths: A History of the United States)
Someone once said that the challenge of living is to develop a long obedience in the same direction. When it's demanded, we can rise on occasion and be patient . . . as long as there are limits. But we balk when patience is required over a long haul. We don't much like endurance. It's painful to persevere through a marriage that's forever struggling. A church that never crest 100 members. Housekeeping routines that never vary from week-to-week. Even caring for an elderly parent or a handicapped child can feel like a long obedience in the same direction. If only we could open our spiritual eyes to see the fields of grain we're planting, growing, and reaping along the way. That's what happens when we endure... Right now you may be in the middle of a long stretch of the same old routine.... You don't hear any cheers or applause. The days run together―and so do the weeks. Your commitment to keep putting one foot in front of the other is starting to falter. Take a moment and look at the fruit. Perseverance. Determination. Fortitude. Patience. Your life is not a boring stretch of highway. It's a straight line to heaven. And just look at the fields ripening along the way. Look at the tenacity and endurance. Look at the grains of righteousness. You'll have quite a crop at harvest . . . so don't give up!
Joni Eareckson Tada (Holiness in Hidden Places)
More food is good, but agricultural diets can provoke mismatch diseases. One of the biggest problems is a loss of nutritional variety and quality. Hunter-gatherers survive because they eat just about anything and everything that is edible. Hunter-gatherers therefore necessarily consume an extremely diverse diet, typically including many dozens of plant species in any given season.26 In contrast, farmers sacrifice quality and diversity for quantity by focusing their efforts on just a few staple crops with high yields. It is likely that more than 50 percent of the calories you consume today derived from rice, corn, wheat, or potatoes. Other crops that have sometimes served as staples for farmers include grains like millet, barley, and rye and starchy roots such as taro and cassava. Staple crops can be grown easily in massive quantities, they are rich in calories, and they can be stored for long periods of time after harvest. One of their chief drawbacks, however, is that they tend to be much less rich in vitamins and minerals than most of the wild plants consumed by hunter-gatherers and other primates.27 Farmers who rely too much on staple crops without supplemental foods such as meat, fruits, and other vegetables (especially legumes) risk nutritional deficiencies. Unlike hunter-gatherers, farmers are susceptible to diseases such as scurvy (from insufficient vitamin C), pellagra (from insufficient vitamin B3), beriberi (from insufficient vitamin B1), goiter (from insufficient iodine), and anemia (from insufficient iron).28 Relying heavily on a few crops—sometimes just one crop—has other serious disadvantages, the biggest being the potential for periodic food shortages and famine. Humans,
Daniel E. Lieberman (The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease)
MAY 13 Guard Against Pessimism For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. ROMANS 14:17 NLT I HEARD A STORY ABOUT TWO FARMERS. When the rain fell, one farmer said, “Thank You, Lord, for watering our crops.” But the other farmer said, “Yeah, but if the rain keeps up, it’s going to rot the roots.” When the sun came out, the positive farmer said, “Thank You, Lord, that our crops are getting the vitamins and minerals they need. We’ll have a wonderful harvest this year.” But the negative farmer said, “Yeah, but if it keeps up, it’s going to scorch those plants. We’re never going to make a living.” Don’t you know people who are always focused on the negative? Be sure to guard against their negative attitudes infecting your thinking! Stay focused on the positive things in life.
Joel Osteen (Your Best Life Begins Each Morning: Devotions to Start Every New Day of the Year)
Most dictionaries define tree as a large, perennial, single-trunked, woody plant. This is misleading, for a palm tree contains no wood. Botanists themselves do not bother to distinguish trees from nontrees. Instead, they divide plants into more precise categories, such as angiosperms (flowering plants) and gymnosperms (nonflowering). Angiosperms comprise two diagnostic types, monocots and dicots. Monocots, including palms, are less complex than dicots. They develop from a single embryonic leaf, have basic flowers and no secondary growth (wood). The rootstock is adventitious, meaning that the underground shoots develop independently; the tree has no radicle, or primary root. The simplicity of monocots enhances their agricultural tility. As crops, they supply us with essential carbohydrates—think bananas, yuccas, and edible grasses (rice, wheat, maize, cane). From a botanist’s point of view, a palm is not so different from a giant stalk of grass.
Jared Farmer (Trees in Paradise: A California History)
The time the first Europeans arrived in the New World, farmers there were harvesting more than a hundred kinds of edible plants–potatoes, tomatoes, sunflowers, marrows, aubergines, avocados, a whole slew of beans and squashes, sweet potatoes, peanuts, cashews, pineapples, papaya, guava, yams, manioc (or cassava), pumpkins, vanilla, four types of chilli pepper and chocolate, among rather a lot else–not a bad haul. It has been estimated that 60 per cent of all the crops grown in the world today originated in the Americas. These foods weren’t just incorporated into foreign cuisines. They effectively became the foreign cuisines. Imagine Italian food without tomatoes, Greek food without aubergines, Thai and Indonesian foods without peanut sauce, curries without chillies, hamburgers without French fries or ketchup, African food without cassava. There was scarcely a dinner table in the world in any land to east or west that wasn’t drastically improved by the foods of the Americas.
Bill Bryson (At Home: A Short History of Private Life)
How did farming change how much physical activity we do and how we use our bodies to do the work? Although hunting and gathering is not easy, nonfarming populations like the Bushmen or the Hadza generally work only five to six hours a day.36 Contrast this with a typical subsistence farmer’s life. For any given crop, a farmer has to clear a field (perhaps by burning vegetation, clearing brush, removing rocks), prepare the soil by digging or plowing and perhaps fertilizing, sow the seeds, and then weed and protect the growing plants from animals such as birds and rodents. If all goes well and nature provides enough rain, then comes harvesting, threshing, winnowing, drying, and finally storing the seeds. As if that were not enough, farmers also have to tend animals, process and cook large batches of foods (for example by curing meat and making cheese), make clothing, build and repair homes and barns, and defend their land and stored harvests. Farming involves endless physical toil, sometimes from dawn to dusk. As
Daniel E. Lieberman (The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease)
Capitalism runs on investment, and lawlessness puts investment at risk. No one wants to buy new machinery or more land to plant with commercial crops when there is a strong risk that those machines or crops will be stolen or vandalized by competitors. When it supplanted feudalism, the modern state was supposed to establish a monopoly on violence, on the power to wage war and punish criminals. When the modern state monopolizes violence in this way, it helps create the conditions in which commerce can flourish. The barons’ ramshackle, unruly private militias were scheduled to disappear. Franchetti argued that the key to the development of the mafia in Sicily was that the state had fallen catastrophically short of this ideal. It was untrustworthy because, after 1812, it failed to establish its monopoly on the use of violence. The barons’ power on the ground was such that the central state’s courts and policemen could be pressurized into doing what the local lord wanted. Worse still, it was now no longer only the barons who felt they had the right to use force. Violence became ‘democratized’,
John Dickie (Cosa Nostra: The Definitive History of the Sicilian Mafia)
The man sitting in the iron seat did not look like a man; gloved, goggled, rubber dust mask over nose and mouth, he was part of the monster, a robot in the seat. The thunder of the cylinders sounded through the country, became one with the air and the earth, so that earth and air muttered in sympathetic vibration. The driver could not control it–straight across country it went, cutting through a dozen farms and straight back. A twitch at the controls could swerve the cat’, but the driver’s hands could not twitch because the monster that built the tractor, the monster that sent that tractor out, had somehow got into the driver’s hands, into his brain and muscle, had goggled him and muzzled him–goggled his mind, muzzled his speech, goggled his perception, muzzled his protest. He could not see the land as it was, he could not smell the power of the earth. He sat in an iron seat and stepped on iron pedals. He could not cheer or beat or curse or encourage the extension of his power, and because of this he could not cheer or whip or curse or encourage himself. He did now know or own or trust or beseech the land. If a seed dropped did not germinate, it was no skin off his ass. If the young thrusting plant withered in drought or drowned in a flood of rain, it was no more to the driver than to the tractor. He loved the land no more than the bank loved the land. He could admire the tractor–its machined surfaces, its surge of power, the roar of its detonating cylinders; but it was not his tractor. Behind the tractor rolled the shining disks, cutting the earth with its blades–not plowing but surgery, pushing the cut earth to the right where the second row of disks cut it and pushed it to the left; slicing blades shining, polished by the cut earth. And behind the disks, the harrows combing with iron teeth so that the little clods broke up and the earth lay smooth. Behind the harrows, the long seeders–twelve curved iron penes erected in the foundry, orgasms set by gear, raping methodically, raping without passion. The driver sat in his iron seat and he was proud of the straight lines he did not will, proud of the tractor he did not own or love, proud of the power he could not control. And when that crop grew, and was harvested, no man had crumbled a hot clod in his fingers and let the earth sift past his fingertips. No man had touched the seed, or lusted for the growth. Men ate what they had not raised, and had no connection to the bread. The land bore under iron, and under iron gradually died; for it was not love or hated, it had no prayers or curses.
John Steinbeck (Grapes of Wrath, The)
There are hundreds of examples of highly functioning commons around the world today. Some have been around for centuries, others have risen in response to economic and environmental crises, and still others have been inspired by the distributive bias of digital networks. From the seed-sharing commons of India to the Potato Park of Peru, indigenous populations have been maintaining their lands and managing biodiversity through a highly articulated set of rules about sharing and preservation. From informal rationing of parking spaces in Boston to Richard Stallman’s General Public License (GPL) for software, new commons are serving to reinstate the value of land and labor, as well as the ability of people to manage them better than markets can. In the 1990s, Elinor Ostrom, the American political scientist most responsible for reviving serious thought about commoning, studied what specifically makes a commons successful. She concluded that a commons must have an evolving set of rules about access and usage and that it must have a way of punishing transgressions. It must also respect the particular character of the resource being managed and the people who have worked with that resource the longest. Managing a fixed supply of minerals is different from managing a replenishing supply of timber. Finally, size and place matter. It’s easier for a town to manage its water supply than for the planet to establish water-sharing rules.78 In short, a commons must be bound by people, place, and rules. Contrary to prevailing wisdom, it’s not an anything-goes race to the bottom. It is simply a recognition of boundaries and limits. It’s pooled, multifaceted investment in pursuit of sustainable production. It is also an affront to the limitless expansion sought by pure capital. If anything, the notion of a commons’ becoming “enclosed” by privatization is a misnomer: privatizing a commons breaks the boundaries that protected its land and labor from pure market forces. For instance, the open-source seed-sharing networks of India promote biodiversity and fertilizer-free practices among farmers who can’t afford Western pesticides.79 They have sustained themselves over many generations by developing and adhering to a complex set of rules about how seed species are preserved, as well as how to mix crops on soil to recycle its nutrients over centuries of growing. Today, they are in battle with corporations claiming patents on these heirloom seeds and indigenous plants. So it’s not the seed commons that have been enclosed by the market at all; rather, the many-generations-old boundaries have been penetrated and dissolved by disingenuously argued free-market principles.
Douglas Rushkoff (Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity)
My morning schedule saw me first in Cannan’s office, conferring with my advisor, but our meeting was interrupted within minutes by Narian, who entered without knocking and whose eyes were colder than I had seen them in a long time. “I thought you intended to control them,” he stated, walking toward the captain’s desk and standing directly beside the chair in which I sat.” He slammed a lengthy piece of parchment down on the wood surface, an unusual amount of tension in his movements. I glanced toward the open door and caught sight of Rava. She stood with one hand resting against the frame, her calculating eyes evaluating the scene while she awaited orders. Cannan’s gaze went to the parchment, but he did not reach for it, scanning its contents from a distance. Then he looked at Narian, unruffled. “I can think of a dozen or more men capable of this.” “But you know who is responsible.” Cannan sat back, assessing his opposition. “I don’t know with certainty any more than you do. In the absence of definitive proof of guilt on behalf of my son and his friends, I suggest you and your fellows develop a sense of humor.” Then the captain’s tone changed, becoming more forbidding. “I can prevent an uprising, Narian. This, you’ll have to get used to.” Not wanting to be in the dark, I snatched up the parchment in question. My mouth opened in shock and dismay as I silently read its contents, the men waiting for me to finish. On this Thirtieth Day of May in the First Year of Cokyrian dominance over the Province of Hytanica, the following regulations shall be put into practice in order to assist our gracious Grand Provost in her effort to welcome Cokyri into our lands--and to help ensure the enemy does not bungle the first victory it has managed in over a century. Regulation One. All Hytanican citizens must be willing to provide aid to aimlessly wandering Cokyrian soldiers who cannot on their honor grasp that the road leading back to the city is the very same road that led them away. Regulation Two. It is strongly recommended that farmers hide their livestock, lest the men of our host empire become confused and attempt to mate with them. Regulation Three. As per negotiated arrangements, crops grown on Hytanican soil will be divided with fifty percent belonging to Cokyri, and seventy-five percent remaining with the citizens of the province; Hytanicans will be bound by law to wait patiently while the Cokyrians attempt to sort the baffling deficiency in their calculations. Regulation Four. The Cokyrian envoys assigned to manage the planting and farming effort will also require Hytanican patience while they slowly but surely learn what is a crop and what is a weed, as well as left from right. Regulation Five. Though the Province Wall is a Cokyrian endeavor, it would be polite and understanding of Hytanicans to remind the enemy of the correct side on which to be standing when the final stone is laid, so no unfortunates may find themselves trapped outside with no way in. Regulation Six. When at long last foreign trade is allowed to resume, Hytanicans should strive to empathize with the reluctance of neighboring kingdoms to enter our lands, for Cokyri’s stench is sure to deter even the migrating birds. Regulation Seven. For what little trade and business we do manage in spite of the odor, the imposed ten percent tax may be paid in coins, sweets or shiny objects. Regulation Eight. It is regrettably prohibited for Hytanicans to throw jeers at Cokyrian soldiers, for fear that any man harried may cry, and the women may spit. Regulation Nine. In case of an encounter with Cokyrian dignitaries, the boy-invader and the honorable High Priestess included, let it be known that the proper way in which to greet them is with an ass-backward bow.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
I DON'T WANT to talk about me, of course, but it seems as though far too much attention has been lavished on you lately-that your greed and vanities and quest for self-fulfillment have been catered to far too much. You just want and want and want. You believe in yourself excessively. You don't believe in Nature anymore. It's too isolated from you. You've abstracted it. It's so messy and damaged and sad. Your eyes glaze as you travel life's highway past all the crushed animals and the Big Gulp cups. You don't even take pleasure in looking at nature photographs these days. Oh, they can be just as pretty as always, but don't they make you feel increasingly ... anxious? Filled with more trepidation than peace? So what's the point? You see the picture of the baby condor or the panda munching on a bamboo shoot, and your heart just sinks, doesn't it? A picture of a poor old sea turtle with barnacles on her back, all ancient and exhausted, depositing her five gallons of doomed eggs in the sand hardly fills you with joy, because you realize, quite rightly, that just outside the frame falls the shadow of the condo. What's cropped from the shot of ocean waves crashing on a pristine shore is the plastics plant, and just beyond the dunes lies a parking lot. Hidden from immediate view in the butterfly-bright meadow, in the dusky thicket, in the oak and holly wood, are the surveyors' stakes, for someone wants to build a mall exactly there-some gas stations and supermarkets, some pizza and video shops, a health club, maybe a bulimia treatment center. Those lovely pictures of leopards and herons and wild rivers-well, you just know they're going to be accompanied by a text that will serve only to bring you down. You don't want to think about it! It's all so uncool. And you don't want to feel guilty either. Guilt is uncool. Regret maybe you'll consider. Maybe. Regret is a possibility, but don't push me, you say. Nature photographs have become something of a problem, along with almost everything else. Even though they leave the bad stuff out-maybe because you know they're leaving all the bad stuff out-such pictures are making you increasingly aware that you're a little too late for Nature. Do you feel that? Twenty years too late? Maybe only ten? Not way too late, just a little too late? Well, it appears that you are. And since you are, you've decided you're just not going to attend this particular party.
Joy Williams (Ill Nature: Rants and Reflections on Humanity and Other Animals)
The children crowded about the women in the houses. What we going to do Ma? Where we going to go? The women said, We don’t know, yet. Go out and play. But don’t go near your father. He might whale you if you go near him. And the women went on with the work, but all the time they watched the men squatting in the dust–perplexed and figuring. The tractors came over the roads and into the fields, great crawlers moving like insects, having the incredible strength of insects. They crawled over the ground, laying the track and rolling on it and picking it up. Diesel tractors, puttering while they stood idle; they thundered when they moved, and then settled down to a droning roar. Snub-nosed monsters, raising the dust and sticking their snouts into it, straight down the country, across the country, through fences, through dooryards, in and out of gullies in straight lines. They did not run on the ground, but on their own roadbeds. They ignored hills and gulches, water courses, fences, houses. The man sitting in the iron seat did not look like a man; gloved, goggled, rubber dust mask over nose and mouth, he was part of the monster, a robot in the seat. The thunder of the cylinders sounded through the country, became one with the air and the earth, so that earth and air muttered in sympathetic vibration. The driver could not control it–straight across country it went, cutting through a dozen farms and straight back. A twitch at the controls could swerve the cat’, but the driver’s hands could not twitch because the monster that built the tractor, the monster that sent that tractor out, had somehow got into the driver’s hands, into his brain and muscle, had goggled him and muzzled him–goggled his mind, muzzled his speech, goggled his perception, muzzled his protest. He could not see the land as it was, he could not smell the power of the earth. He sat in an iron seat and stepped on iron pedals. He could not cheer or beat or curse or encourage the extension of his power, and because of this he could not cheer or whip or curse or encourage himself. He did now know or own or trust or beseech the land. If a seed dropped did not germinate, it was no skin off his ass. If the young thrusting plant withered in drought or drowned in a flood of rain, it was no more to the driver than to the tractor. He loved the land no more than the bank loved the land. He could admire the tractor–its machined surfaces, its surge of power, the roar of its detonating cylinders; but it was not his tractor. Behind the tractor rolled the shining disks, cutting the earth with its blades–not plowing but surgery, pushing the cut earth to the right where the second row of disks cut it and pushed it to the left; slicing blades shining, polished by the cut earth. And behind the disks, the harrows combing with iron teeth so that the little clods broke up and the earth lay smooth. Behind the harrows, the long seeders–twelve curved iron penes erected in the foundry, orgasms set by gear, raping methodically, raping without passion. The driver sat in his iron seat and he was proud of the straight lines he did not will, proud of the tractor he did not own or love, proud of the power he could not control. And when that crop grew, and was harvested, no man had crumbled a hot clod in his fingers and let the earth sift past his fingertips. No man had touched the seed, or lusted for the growth. Men ate what they had not raised, and had no connection to the bread. The land bore under iron, and under iron gradually died; for it was not love or hated, it had no prayers or curses.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
The children crowded about the women in the houses. What we going to do Ma? Where we going to go? The women said, We don’t know, yet. Go out and play. But don’t go near your father. He might whale you if you go near him. And the women went on with the work, but all the time they watched the men squatting in the dust–perplexed and figuring. ... The tractors came over the roads and into the fields, great crawlers moving like insects, having the incredible strength of insects. They crawled over the ground, laying the track and rolling on it and picking it up. Diesel tractors, puttering while they stood idle; they thundered when they moved, and then settled down to a droning roar. Snub-nosed monsters, raising the dust and sticking their snouts into it, straight down the country, across the country, through fences, through dooryards, in and out of gullies in straight lines. They did not run on the ground, but on their own roadbeds. They ignored hills and gulches, water courses, fences, houses. The man sitting in the iron seat did not look like a man; gloved, goggled, rubber dust mask over nose and mouth, he was part of the monster, a robot in the seat. The thunder of the cylinders sounded through the country, became one with the air and the earth, so that earth and air muttered in sympathetic vibration. The driver could not control it–straight across country it went, cutting through a dozen farms and straight back. A twitch at the controls could swerve the cat’, but the driver’s hands could not twitch because the monster that built the tractor, the monster that sent that tractor out, had somehow got into the driver’s hands, into his brain and muscle, had goggled him and muzzled him–goggled his mind, muzzled his speech, goggled his perception, muzzled his protest. He could not see the land as it was, he could not smell the power of the earth. He sat in an iron seat and stepped on iron pedals. He could not cheer or beat or curse or encourage the extension of his power, and because of this he could not cheer or whip or curse or encourage himself. He did now know or own or trust or beseech the land. If a seed dropped did not germinate, it was no skin off his ass. If the young thrusting plant withered in drought or drowned in a flood of rain, it was no more to the driver than to the tractor. He loved the land no more than the bank loved the land. He could admire the tractor–its machined surfaces, its surge of power, the roar of its detonating cylinders; but it was not his tractor. Behind the tractor rolled the shining disks, cutting the earth with its blades–not plowing but surgery, pushing the cut earth to the right where the second row of disks cut it and pushed it to the left; slicing blades shining, polished by the cut earth. And behind the disks, the harrows combing with iron teeth so that the little clods broke up and the earth lay smooth. Behind the harrows, the long seeders–twelve curved iron penes erected in the foundry, orgasms set by gear, raping methodically, raping without passion. The driver sat in his iron seat and he was proud of the straight lines he did not will, proud of the tractor he did not own or love, proud of the power he could not control. And when that crop grew, and was harvested, no man had crumbled a hot clod in his fingers and let the earth sift past his fingertips. No man had touched the seed, or lusted for the growth. Men ate what they had not raised, and had no connection to the bread. The land bore under iron, and under iron gradually died; for it was not love or hated, it had no prayers or curses.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)