A metaphor for rest: Fallow

picture of fallow field

A metaphor for rest: Fallow

Have you heard of the agricultural practice of fallow? It has been practiced for centuries in farms around the world. It is the concept that you must leave some of your fields un-sown each year for the soil to regenerate and recover from growing the crops in the past year. Not only does it re-add nutrients to the soil, but the lack of crops in the ground also stops pests from continuing to wreak havoc in that field. So the fallow practice brings the good stuff back and keeps the bad stuff out.

In recent times, farmers have not done the fallow practice as much because it was considered lost revenue to them. Instead tried to replenish soils with chemical fertilizers and other means but it never really does the trick.

Soil (like humans) needs time to rest and restore itself in order to cultivate and grow the best harvest. We all know that when we rest, we are our better selves. So let’s not fall into the same trap as modern farmers and think technology will take the place of rest. After all, Mother Nature is designed to be cyclical and provide everything we need if we just follow the suggested rest periods.

Here is a little audio clip of someone talking much more eloquently about this idea on BBC2Radio:

Side note: most of you know I am not a farmer (although my ancestors were farmers )so take that into account with this analogy. I didn’t know what a combine was until my 20’s much to my father’s chagrin.


It takes a certain amount of courage to let the field lie fallow until you have something to say. – Emmylou Harris

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