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78

The dwarves can keep the bees in the caverns, but provide them with suitable exits. You have your beekeepers on the upper levels of the cities. You'll need ventilation somehow to allow for your city to breathe, so these vents can be plenty useful for the bees to exit and re-enter. The beekeepers don't need to ever leave the caverns (Except, perhaps, to get ...


69

Sedentary Lifestyles aren't Necessarily Easier The problem with being a sedentary farmer is that once you get your seeds in the ground you now have a long standing commitment to care for that plot of land. Folks don't really know nowadays because all our food comes from the grocery store, but pre-industrial farming ain't easy. Its 12 hour work days 7 days a ...


64

I don't think there would be any substantial deviations from how a diurnal species would manage it. Standard farming activities (building, plowing, watering, planting, harvesting) can be performed at night as well as during the day. We do it during the day because we're diurnal, not because it's a requirement. Diurnal pests aren't substantially more ...


58

Use chicken manure. Other animals, besides livestock, also produce good manure, with different qualities. Now, not all manures are created equal; they differ in composition, volume, and production rate. If we define one "animal unit" as 1,000 pounds of animal, then one dairy cow unit produces 15 tons of manure per year, while one chicken unit produces only ...


58

people come out and cut down the trees. How? Quartz sand, water, metal saw and patience. Using those above the Egyptians were able to saw granite rocks to make obelisks. A blend of water and quartz sand, used to lubricate a saw moving back and forth in contact with the hard material will slowly ablate it, opening a cut in it. Applying the process for ...


49

Oh boy, that gives me a nasty idea... Who says it's the ground below them which they farm? So, these creatures live mainly off "huge irregular windfalls" that basically happen when for some reason there's a lot of dead biomass coming down from the surface... What if they found a way to engineer those "windfalls"? The article you link to mentions algae ...


42

I see three main solutions to this problem. 1) Hydrothermal vents Hydrothermal vents are locations of enormous biodiversity relative to the rest of the deep sea. They're places where chemosynthesis can substitute for photosynthesis and allow the conversion of chemical and heat energy into sugars. This is where most of the life in the deep sea has decided ...


42

Dodos as you describe looks more like asset than a problem, better than big sack of grains. Plant large number of traps in crops for dodos, use crops as baits. Most dodo attacks would be at ripping season, you would gather more meat than required, so you will need to consider some meat preservation tech. as your climate is tropical.


38

Use honeydew, either as intermediary or final product Aphids feed on plant matter. When they are eating plant sap, they excrete honeydew, a sugary liquid. You could reasonably make an alcoholic beverage from honeydew, although milking aphids sounds like a chore. However, certain bees will do it for you. They can take this honeydew and use it to make ...


37

If Reinhold Messner can climb all 14 peeks over 8,000 without oxygen, and do Everest twice in two years without it, then a civilisation can happen at that height. That is false. Messner wasn't depending on running water or forageable food at those heights: he was bringing it all with him. He wasn't staying any appreciable time at those altitudes, either. ...


35

The greatest problem European settlers had with the Great Plains was the land itself. The endemic grasses were so deep and thick that they would break iron plows. There are other important reasons which prohibited farming; little rainfall, no wood for construction/fences, abundant insects (grasshoppers, Colorado beetle), and lawlessness. These problems ...


34

Take a look at this description of how DNA sequencing works, both today and 30 years ago. Basically, 30-odd years ago we did sequencing manually with a whole bunch of scientists (and/or interns) chugging through line after line of DNA molecules. It was an incredibly tedious process, which is why we've since passed it off to computers. However, while ...


33

A good first step would be to look at the Ironwood carvings by the Seri. The real ironwood is not as hard as steel, but it is notoriously hard to work with because it is so tough. When it comes to cutting it, you want to pay attention to two things. The first is the weaknesses of the wood. Ummdustry suggested using fire to cut it in his answer. If you ...


32

Honey Mines from The Lost Honey Mines of Texas These caves are filled with millenia worth of the bee's endeavors, as far back and as far down as you dare to explore. Dwarven honey miners brave the dangers to bring back ancient honey, as concentrated as amber. It is from this that they brew their fabled mead. I am very pleased that this question was ...


32

Use bat guano. In a tropical civilization with no domesticated animals, bat dung may be your best option. Bats tend to naturally gather in large numbers and can create huge piles of waste beneath their nesting spots. Your colonists could locate a nearby cave home to many bats and simply fill wheelbarrows full of the guano. Guano is a great fertilizer and is ...


31

You are asking about a world with two centers of food production and asking if they can feed everybody who doesn't live in one of those centers. There are three main factors to consider: preservation transportation motivation Preservation You describe a medieval level of technology (except for agriculture). During the European middle ages, people had to ...


28

Earthworms. The earthworms native to Europe are phenomenal recyclers of plant detritus. For agriculture they are an unalloyed boon. For forests, not so much. You can read about how well invasive earthworm populations recycle plant matter in accounts of ecosystems accustomed to accumulations of that plant matter - for example North American hardwood and ...


27

If an entire race of sapient creatures are moving, they need to take their animals, clothes, tools, houses with them. Their settlements are nomadic caravans, and the few times they get ahead of the dawn/dusk line is when they circle up and rest. They also need to carry their supplies with them. It means having tank carts with water to cross a desert/arid ...


27

On a planet with a 9-year day/night cycle, some plants will adapt to that cycle. They will lay down roots in the day cycle, and then die off for four and a half years, only to spring back to life when the sun comes back. Just look at how any plant copes with a cold winter environment (trees lose leaves, perenials die to the root and grow back from a bulb, ...


27

This is what we do, it's what we've done for thousands of years Plant some of everything to start with, see what survives. You're going to end up with Japanese knotweed, horsetail, Russian vine, bindweed, ryegrass, dandelions. Weeds. The kind of plants where the first google result is "how do I get rid of [...]". Why? because they're hardy, they'll survive ...


27

I'm wondering whether or not this would actually work No and yes. Not if the rocks are in the ground (they're heck on plows; rocky fields are always considered poor fields). Yes if placed between the furrows when an early/late frost is expected, to protect them from cold damage. (This is similar to how citrus farmers used smudge pots to protect their ...


27

The numbers don't add up, with current technology, for a sustainable system. Plants are the most efficient way to convert renewable energy into food, but "the most efficient" doesn't mean "efficient". The maximum power input from solar energy is around 1kW/m^2. Plants convert that energy into food with an efficiency of at best about 3%, and that assumes the ...


26

Get rid of the "gathers" part of "hunter-gather" and make the people to be carnivorous; At least like wolves are, if not obligate carnivores. That would greatly increase the gap between where agriculture becomes more advantageous than a nomadic hunting/herding lifestyle. Most likely they would still pick up skill and knowledge to care for the herd, and ...


26

Farmer traits: Fecundity. If you are a farmer you are more likely to have food than if you are a hunter/gatherer. If you have food it is less likely the kids will starve. If you have lots of kids who are not starving you have more people to help with the farm work. Patience and focus. There is a theory that attention deficit disorder is an old ...


26

Oh, the pain... Bedrock is your first problem. You're not building an itsy-bitsy building like the Burj Khalifa or the Tower of Pisa, your'e building the building, the biggest, honkingest, Oorah-est building on the planet. And you're guaranteed to crack the foundation if we don't go all the way down to bedrock, grind the bedrock flat, drill in a bazillion ...


25

Could a gorse bush provide for food? Yes, they can not only provide food, they can provide for food. But not just that, they have the potential to support a whole culture in many ways: The Tips of fresh growth contain vitamin C and other nutrients and can be used to make a refreshing tea, the flowers (available during the winter) are similarly suitable for ...


23

First, the assumption: The food industry is almost completely centralized, meaning that it's being controlled by a handful of multinational corporations that have power on pretty much every aspect of production. That is not right. Corporations control most of the food international distribution, not its production (which is still at the hands of the ...


23

I think the closest that you can find in history is probably something like Gobekli Tepe which seems to have been created as a religious site that multiple tribes of hunter gatherers would have visited and co-operated in the building and maintenance of. This is also meant to be one of the first places that grains were cultivated with wild grains being ...


22

The Mayan created "floating" farms called Chinampa. But you want real floating farms to handle flooding, the good news is they already exist and have for centuries. Actual floating farms to deal with massive flooding has been used extensively in Bangladesh for centuries. First you make a bed of reeds and bamboo and a thin almost sprinkling of soil followed ...


22

In any environment with abundance of food, populations increase exponentially until there's not enough food for all. This describes a caracteristical S-shaped growth function. It works for bacteries in a petri dish, wild wolves reintroduced in a forest, and humans in a fruitful world. When the world won't support their numbers anymore, they'll start ...


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