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.


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. ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


22

1. Guard dog. You could train a dog to patrol the fields and chase out the dodos. That is dog work. If a cat shows up too that will be fine. 2. Copy the indigenes. You mention a nearby indigenous nation. Pay them a visit. They live with dodos too. How are they doing it?


21

Yes. You are such an animal. Human females will make milk for as long as milk is withdrawn from the breasts. At the farmers market 2 weeks ago I bought jam from a woman who appeared to be nursing a 3 year old. Back in the old days, a woman hired as a wet nurse could successively nurse child after child. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wet_nurse Dr ...


20

I'd probably lean towards something like aquaponics, a combination of hydroponic (or possibly aeroponic) plant farming with fish or crustacean aquaculture to give you a bit of protein and the plants a bit of fertiliser (by way of the fish poop). When you're not tied to a conventional growth substrate, you can put your farms up all over the place, such as on ...


19

Monica laid out the main issues quite well and I'm not going to attempt to duplicate her answer. My answer will focus on some additional elements. Not allowing people to produce their own food is akin to holding them hostage. Or a form of servitude. At the very least, it's a tool of oppression. One example is early 20th century India. Britain ruled the ...


18

First of all, most birds don't chew. They beak, dig and stomp. But don't chew. Rodents are nasty chewing beasts, but not birds. Parrots seems to be chewing (credits @Starfish Prime for pointing this out). Your options: reinforced fences (dig well underground to install them) as passive mean. competitors as active mean: rats, pigs, foxes, dogs. We have ...


16

Protein: Crickets are not only the food fad of the moment but they are easy to raise, don't have the same ethical problems to kill as most meat animals, and are loaded with protein. My spouse thinks they taste terrific. They can be even roasted or ground into a flour for cooking. Oysters can be raised in underwater farms using waste (manure). This can ...


15

Putting a billion people in Yuma, AZ, including food production, industry, and commerce, would require building the entire area to a height of about 2km. The math: Based on the answers on this question, we should be able to feed people using about 25$m^2$ of space, per person, using reasonable near-future assumptions about aeroponic food production. Based ...


14

I grew up on an island, me, and one which both grew a fair amount of fresh veg and on which fishing was a primary concern. You've missed several important elements in this discussion: One: not only salt as a preservative, but the combination of salt and smoking / drying (think both kippered herrings and the Pacific Northwestern Native American salmon ...


13

Good old Asimov, in his "The caves of steel", used engineered yeasts to feed the megalopolis crowding the under surface of planet Earth. Normal yeast can be already used as food supplement: Yeast is used in nutritional supplements, especially those marketed to vegans. It is often referred to as "nutritional yeast" when sold as a dietary supplement. ...


13

Build that fence! Most estimates state that a family of 4 needs 2 acres of land to be self-sufficient. That's the upper limit I've seen (with a couple exceptions). It's a lot more efficient when you have 25 families of 4 working together, you can grow year round in the tropics, and they have food from the ocean as well. Assume at most the settlers ...


12

Liquid water at that height is going to be a challenge: at the Equator the limit for perennial snows is 5000 meter above sea level, so you see that there will be no liquid water in the open. You could go around this if you have some sort of heat source, which can provide local warmer conditions. You mention an extinct volcano, so it might be possible to ...


12

I believe this is not possible for a pre-industrial society. The highest permanently inhabited 'settlement' is indeed at around 5,200 m. But from my experiences in the Himalayas (husband of a doctor who worked at high altitude settlements there), the highest altitude villages are usually considered to be seasonal and the inhabitants need to descend to below ...


12

I grew up with gorse, and though yes, it's pokey, picky and unpleasant to try to move through quickly (especially if it grows thickly as it does on the cliffs of the island of my birth) part of the selective pressures making the resinous outer coating and the sharp spine-like leaves such an advantage is that the actual tissue of gorse is both liquid and ...


12

The Incas grew many varieties of potatoes on the Andes mountains of what is now Peru. They also grew quinoa, squash, beans, and a species of corn that is different from the modern. I would expect also that any spring crop like spinach, beets, and peas would do well in a cool environment. They used terraced gardens to compensate for the lack of flat arable ...


12

If it was purely a matter of statistics, you'd be right. There are proteins, carbohydrates and a much more efficient photosynthesis ratio to consider here, but as always the devil is in the details. In 2013 there was a German study into algae derived supplements and it was found that some of them were actually toxic. There is a toxin called Microcystin that ...


11

I would like to add: Algae and bacteria can be used to produce most needed macro and micro-nutrients and can be easily adjusted by genetic engineers. Insects and mushrooms can be used and they are efficient way to re-cycle waste. Texture, consistency and flavors can be engineered by food-tech to make it less like the Matrix porridge. For plants: What ...


11

I would also agree that what you propose is plainly not possible. By claiming that food production technology are not even medieval but roughly neolitic, you are making the situation worse, not better. The lower your technology is, the more it is labor-intensive - so it means there are more people employed in agriculture, not less. Without significant ...


11

Qingke The best analogue of your nation is actually Tibet. The Tibetan plateau sits some 4.5kms above sea level, and they have crops up there which look reasonably similar to those in lower altitudes, but with some differences. The most common crop in Tibet is something called qingke, which is a form of barley that grows particularly well in high altitudes ...


10

Introduction of foreign crops Lets look at the leading agricultural produce from Nigeria, ranked by mass of production in 2016: Cassava: From South America Yams: Native Sorghum: Native Paddy Rice: From India and China Taro: From SE Asia Pearl Millet: Native Maize: From Mesoamerica Melon seed: Various, native and imported Sesame: From India Here is ...


10

It is certainly possible to turn wetlands into fertile farmland using 17th century technology, because that’s when the Fens in eastern England were first drained and used for farming. So that’s a much likelier option than relocating cities, which is very difficult and expensive.


10

You'll want to start with technology that produces light suitable for growing crops indoors. Grow lights exist of course but they're awfully energy intensive. With near-future technology you'll have better small scale energy sources. Imagine skyscrapers covered not with a veneer of bricks but rather with solar panels that look like bricks (or stone or ...


10

You could give them a mechanism like some goats. Something that occasionally occurs in goats is once they have given birth once they will keep producing milk for their entire lives as long as they are milked every day. This is not unique to goats and pops up in several mammal groups, especially social species. If they are not milked for a few days they ...


9

This is Lobuche. It's located at 16,207' in elevation in the Khumbu region of Nepal. It's the last stop before the Kumbu glacier on your way to Everest Base Camp. As you can see, there is no real vegetation. Moss grows here. Some small ground covering plants. Most plants stop growing around 15,000' rocky tundra begins to give way to snow fields. Moss will ...


9

Very. Very. Very large. Just for some comparison, have a look at a project of this type being proposed for Tokyo bay. Remember, you're not just building a giant apartment block. You need to account for places people work, create food, eat food, most of the stuff you'd have in a regular city. The structure would house 1,000,000 people. The structure ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible