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.


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 ...


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 Human females will make milk for as long as milk is withdrawn from the breasts.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 ...


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 ...


15

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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


11

The reason why certain variety of corns are used for popping is in the specific properties of the seed (you need a proper shell permeability and a proper humidity of the core to pop it). All the rest is perfectly viable for general purposes nutrition. You might have additional risks due to the limited genetic variety, but that's applicable with any ...


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

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 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

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 ...


8

Sure. All land vertebrates descend from bony fish. If those (or other equivalent) never evolve in your world, and land animals depend on a tracheal system or branchia to breath, they won't get much big. How big they can get depends on the availability of oxygen in the atmosphere. Nowadays insects rarely grow larger than 10cm long, though some land ...


8

No, middle age farming technology is not advanced enough to generate any significant surpluses. Estimates vary, you can find different numbers, but generally you find 80% or more of the population was directly involved in agriculture during medieval times. This means you need 4 people to generate food for themselves and a single other person. This means the ...


7

First we need to set a standard, given that crew selection criteria should eliminate people who have specialised needs the RDI will do. That means we need 2000 food calories worth constituted as 50g of assimilable Proteins, 275g of assimilable Carbohydrates, 80g of assimilable Fats, about 30g of Dietary Fibre and a bunch of minerals that, to my thinking, ...


7

I am not an expert but I did find a few things. Everything I found is about grains, specifically wheat, rye, barley, and oats. I tried to find things on the other plants you asked about, but could not find anything I deemed of use. I don't know if what I found will be of any use, but here it is: The most common means of calculating yield was the number of ...


6

I think your question should be broken up into 3 questions. However I am posting this elaboration as an answer because I will show you how to calculate what you want from the answer to the 3 following questions. Question: (1) "How much fishing (in Kg/year) per square mile of ocean, is sustainable?" (2) "How many calories of food per year does an average ...


6

Welcome, and good first question as far as I'm concerned :) General domestication Depending on how cat-like your critters are going to be they may well have an easier time domesticating animals than humans. Cats are the hosts for a very interesting parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. It spreads in cat faeces and infects other warm-blooded animals via ...


6

I can't tell you how big the whole structure is going to need to be but I can give you a couple of figures that will help you get your head around the scale: Farmland, you'll need the equivalent of 25000 Hectares (roughly 62500 Acres) of farmland to feed that kind of population, hybrid Aeroponic/Aquaponic systems may reduce the overall volume this requires ...


6

Yes, peat, water and nitrogen fertilizer will go a very long way to making nearly any kind of desert land bloom even without the rest. As a comment noted, it's a lot easier if you start with an arid area having some sort of soil rather than nothing but sand, but its doable in either case. The first thing to remember is that organic matter is not needed -- ...


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