In my fantasy series, the area the main protagonist is from is cool and dreary year-round, but never cold and never hot. For example, it never really gets higher than the 60s farenheit at the peak of summer, but the winters are rarely far below freezing. Rainfall is generally pretty consistent year-round, although some of it is sleet or snow in the winter. As this area is in the far north of its planet's northern hemisphere, the seasonal sunlight hours are similar to the ones found in places like Norway and far northern Scotland. Which kinds of crops could be grown in such an area, if any?

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know, do they grow any crops in Norway or Scotland? I seem to remember something about Scotland and rye... Uisge beatha? $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Jan 2, 2021 at 22:56
  • $\begingroup$ For those googling, 60F is 15C, aka average summertime max temperature in Scotland/Wales according to Wikipedia $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ Down-voted for zero apparent research. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 3:08

4 Answers 4


Basically Anything That Grows in Scotland

Scotland already has similar temperatures and latitude to your desired location in the summer, as well as a long documented agricultural industry. It's even high enough that on the rare occasion you can see the northern lights.

What does Scotland currently grow?

In June 2013, of crops grown in Scotland (excluding grass), cereals accounted for 78 per cent of the land area, with nearly three-quarters of that being barley (340,000 hectares). Wheat was also significant (87,000 hectares), along with oilseed rape (34,000 hectares), oats (32,000 hectares) and potatoes (29,000 hectares). Amongst fruit and vegetables, a total of 911 hectares of strawberries were grown, mainly under cover, which was the largest source of income amongst horticulture crops.[49] The major areas of cereal production were Grampian, Tayside, Borders, Lothian and Fife.[51]


So you can grow quite a lot of things in this climate, likely more than Scotland could due to the all year round temperature stability. In addition to plenty of livestock variety.

How Different Is This From Standard Fantasy Food?

Not that different honestly.

If you want to play it easy/safe, you can copy any standard King Arthur fantasy or any other story set in the British Isles. Their diet shouldn't be too different from existing standard fantasy settings.

  • $\begingroup$ Cereals are grasses, so the grass in "of crops grown in Scotland (excluding grass), cereals accounted for 78 per cent" must be the short green stuff that we think of as grass. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 3:07
  • $\begingroup$ Also whatever grows in Iceland, southern New Zealand and extreme southern and southeastern South America. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 3:13
  • $\begingroup$ @RonJohn the quote is from wikipedia not myself, happy to update it if you submit an edit to the original Wikipedia page $\endgroup$ Commented May 11, 2021 at 13:28

Potatoes, among other things

If the occasional freeze happens root veggies are your best bet (think potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beets), as well as legumes that usually grow in the soil, which should insulate them.

Russia is famous for its potato-based diet.


Buckwheat (gives you flour), some types of apples, plums, pears and grapes. Some leaf crops - collards, spinach and kale. Also certain types of berries and nuts plus fungi. For these and other crops there are cold climate gardening websites with all the details you need.


Places with similar climate include Scandanavia, Iceland, Punta Arenas, and others that can be found here.

These places mostly produce:

  • grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and oat
  • oil plants such as rapeseed
  • sugar beets
  • potatoes

Very often, cfc towns are in coastal regions and rely heavily on fishing as a source of income and food. They are also known to raise sheep and cattle for use, and might have ports, which makes trade a significant source of income and food. Hunting may also reveal foxes, deer, and many small marsupials such as rabbits.

Hope this helps!


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