Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A-Z Challenge 2013: U is for Up-and-down Husbandry

Up-and-down husbandry was also known as convertible husbandry - and has nothing to do with cars!  It was used in the 15th century and was revived in the 1930s.

This method of farming is really a method known by gardeners everywhere, and employed by most.  If you have an allotment, or smallholding, it makes sense to rotate the crops every year, because some pests and diseases will proliferate if the same crop is grown in the same area year after year.  (And crop rotation was used in Roman times).

Up-and-down husbandry alternated arable strips with grass crops.  Sometimes a field would stay 'under grass' for up to 10 years, or become grass permanently.  This enabled crops to be grown and livestock to be grazed (giving the arable land time to recover).


  1. I enjoyed reading your post. Interesting info!

  2. When I had the space for a large garden, I gardened in raised beds and I rotated every year. Nothing ever stayed in grass though, except the lawn and paths. Didn't have that sort of room.

  3. Glad you enjoyed it, Betty! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. My great great grandfather worked with the Agricultural Society in the early 1900s to test the impact of crop rotations and fertiliser on wheat crops.

  5. Fascinating to read about James - he sounds a great character!



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