83 votes
Accepted

How can Dwarves produce honey underground?

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 ...
Andon's user avatar
  • 11.6k
69 votes

Why would the tribes choose herding instead of agriculture in the Great Plains?

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 ...
TCAT117's user avatar
  • 21.1k
67 votes
Accepted

How can a nocturnal race develop agriculture?

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 ...
user28463's user avatar
  • 376
61 votes
Accepted

Really, really hard wood - how is it cut and formed?

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 ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
58 votes

How can I make manure without cows?

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 ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 101k
58 votes
Accepted

A wizard is magically engineering the perfect agriculture animal that will replace as many farm animals as possible, what is he making?

Super Cow Can eat almost anything (replacing pigs as garbage disposal) Puts out huge amount of milk under constant nipple compression (replacing dairy cows, and removing the need for complicated ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.2k
50 votes

Farming the Abyssal Plain?

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 ...
Michael Borgwardt's user avatar
44 votes
Accepted

Would a purely agricultural world exporting its production be sustainable when it comes to water?

Technically it's Not Sustainable But you're probably ok. Current worldwide food production is 4,000,000,000 tonnes of food per year. Let's assume that food is 100% water, just to make things easy. All ...
codeMonkey's user avatar
  • 10.9k
43 votes

Farming the Abyssal Plain?

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 ...
Dubukay's user avatar
  • 12.2k
43 votes

How can Dwarves produce honey underground?

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 ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 85.4k
43 votes

Would a purely agricultural world exporting its production be sustainable when it comes to water?

Cargo ships hate to run empty. Your farm world exports crops. Cargo ships leave full of crops. Then they come back. What do they bring on the return trip? Maybe the worlds buying crops have ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
42 votes

Keeping the dodos out of the field

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 ...
Rupesh Patel's user avatar
42 votes
Accepted

Could agriculture still be developed by intelligent species that lack the concept of past and future?

If they have no sense of past or future, they live in a continuous present, answering the stimuli they are getting right now: pain? move away! hunger? eat! Thirst? drink. Nothing more than an amoeba. ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
39 votes

Basing a civilization on maize, beans, and squash as staple foods?

The Three Sisters? Aztecs had cities well over 100,000 inhabitants based on growing those three. The only thing I would worry about would be whether you had enough water to raise them.
Mary's user avatar
  • 28.9k
38 votes

How can massive forest burning be an entirely terrible thing?

The 445 Australians who died of smoke inhalation from the 2019/2020 bushfire season couldn't be contacted for comment. Big forest burning is a terrible thing: My state (South Australia) had a higher ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.2k
37 votes
Accepted

At great altitude, what conditions are needed to support a human community?

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 ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 123k
35 votes

Really, really hard wood - how is it cut and formed?

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 ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 132k
35 votes

Could animal husbandry in space ever hold economic value?

Don't forget the exclusivity. Why do some people spend money on having golden toilets, sinks and taps, when more industrialized material exist? Because those are for common folks, while splurging in ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
34 votes
Accepted

Can you design your own plants without a computer?

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) ...
enpaul's user avatar
  • 2,129
34 votes

How can Dwarves produce honey underground?

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 ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
34 votes

What is the most efficient crop for converting kilowatts of UV light into calories people can eat?

UV is a poor energy source for agriculture, with enough energy per photon to easily damage living organisms. If you have a source of kilowatts of UV and want to grow crops, you need to convert it to ...
Christopher James Huff's user avatar
33 votes
Accepted

How can I make manure without cows?

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 ...
svenvo7's user avatar
  • 625
33 votes

What is the most efficient crop for converting kilowatts of UV light into calories people can eat?

It's going to be hard to get more efficient than algae. We're happy (some of us, at least) to put spirulina powder in smoothies, and so forth, so we already eat it. Algae will be probably the simplest ...
lupe's user avatar
  • 5,437
33 votes

Why would a highly advanced society still engage in extensive agriculture?

The Bucolic Ideal -- AKA they like it. Your aliens have advanced technology. They COULD do vertical farming and lab grown meat. They COULD live in busy big cities surrounded by loud, smelly strangers....
Daron's user avatar
  • 66.2k
30 votes

Is a world with one country feeding everyone possible?

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: ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
28 votes

How can I make manure without cows?

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 ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
28 votes

Practicality of Heated Crop Fields

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 ...
RonJohn's user avatar
  • 17.6k
27 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to have a habitable planet unsuitable for agriculture?

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 ...
John_H's user avatar
  • 2,819
27 votes
Accepted

How does a migratory species farm?

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 ...
Mindwin Remember Monica's user avatar

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