Okay so if I have a village out in a desert, and they have access to enough water to drink and some extra(water comes from a magic device that turns magic into water so there isn't a nearby body of water. Also can't use magic to make food). What could they do to feed themselves?

Raise animals and get animal food from trade?

Is there a way to use water to turn some sand into farmable soil?

Is it impossible and the only way for them to have food would be to trade?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Read about Petra, which is in modern-day Jordan. Fascinating. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ ok you cant use magic to make food but can you use it to grow plants? make one plant produce a variety of fruits not belonging to the plant? make cultivation easier? help growing livestock? etc. That aside, you might want to look for Desert Farming $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ Not all - really not even most - deserts are sand. Consider e.g. California's Imperial Valley, naturally a desert, but with large areas of farmland irrigated by the Colorado River. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ define desert, there are many different kinds of desert with different habitability. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Jul 29, 2023 at 13:46

2 Answers 2


The solution could be the use of Hydroponics farming.

It's possible to use the sand as substrates and human faeces as fertilizer.

At last, there are edible plant that can grow in arid area like Opuntia ficus-indica


Maybe there is something like manna which Moses and the Israelite lived off in the desert. Or perhaps some other food source that is plentiful but difficult to reach which adds to the plot.There has to be natural vegetation in order for the animals to feed. Are they animals that are capable of eating inedible plants? Perhaps they survive off migratory insects or the like?


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