Did the turnip start the industrial revolution?

And here I thought it was tea!

In this quirky and entertaining podcast about technology in world history (website), Bernard Carlson of the University of Virginia, provides tidbits from the history of technology.  Each podcast is less than two minutes long, and answers an interesting historical question.

In this episode Carlson argues that the turnip became a key player in the 17th century, when British farmers moved from a three-field to a four-field crop rotation system, and raised the turnip as a fodder crop.  This enabled them to boost food output, allowing the population to grow, which then provided the labor for the factories of the industrial revolution.

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