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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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209. AGRICULTURE, Atmosphere and.
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209. AGRICULTURE, Atmosphere and.

—The atmosphere is certainly the great workshop
of nature for elaborating the fertilizing
principles and insinuating them into the soil.
It has been relied on as the sole means of regenerating
our soil by most of the land-holders
in the canton I inhabit, and where rest
has been resorted to before a total exhaustion,
the soil has never failed to recover.
If, indeed, it be so run down as to be incapable
of throwing weeds or herbage of any
kind, to shade the soil from the sun, it either
goes off in gullies, and is entirely lost, or
remains exhausted till a growth springs up of
such trees as will rise in the poorest soils.
Under the shade of these and the cover soon
formed of their deciduous leaves, and a
commencing herbage, such fields sometimes
recover in a long course of years; but this
is too long to be taken into a course of husbandry.


Page 24
Not so, however, is the term within
which the atmosphere alone will reintegrate
a soil rested in due season. A year of wheat
will be balanced by one, two, or three years
of rest and atmospheric influence, according
to the quality of the soil.—
To— Washington ed. iv, 224.
(Pa., 1798)