“on the Sea Islands of South Carolina,

some rice growers began to follow a seventeen-year sun cycle: they planted different crops every year, keying the sequence to their ideas about the earth’s eccentric orbit and the changing lengths of the seasons. Theirs was the ‘most elegant farming system on the planet,’…they found that rice tastes bests when planted after field peas, sweet potatoes after collard greens, and barley after butter beans. They found that kale absorbs the salt in coastal fields and that a rotation of cereals, legumes, and oil seeds builds up remarkable fertility and flavor. Roberts calls this the Holy Trinity of Southern agriculture.


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