Documents farming practices in the New England states, showing the prosperity that fertile soils brought to hardworking farmers who cleared the hilly land. That fertile soil, rich in minerals, accumulated over the course of centuries covered in forests. Shows that generations of farmers have enriched themselves from these fertile soils without adequately caring for them. Failing farms, dilapidation and abandonment are shown to follow farming these depleted soils. "But it doesn't have to be this way," states a narrator in the character of an old Yankee. Application of lime and phosphorous fertilizers recommended by soil scientists are shown to restore and maintain soil fertility. Abundant harvests of hay are shown resulting from well-fertilized fields. Depicts pre-mechanized farming and logging practices, hand harvesting, and use of working animals.