Hot answers tagged

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 ...


17

Seems a strange starting point but in theory keep doing what they are currently are... keep letting the humans farm them and increasing their number. the more they have that agree to take over the world the more strength of numbers that have. Just remember: Four legs good, two legs bad! One major issue that although mentioned isn't really addressed that ...


16

Sure. Assuming the water was fresh, clean water (if it's salt or contaminated with poisons or pathogens, there are other issues) there are two ways a field can be spoiled by a single flood. First, it gets flooded and destroys the current crop. This will not normally render the field infertile. (Remember ancient Egypt where the annual flooding of the Nile ...


15

Farming in space is actually quite similar to farming on Earth, but with only a few differences. In space, farming is usually done without the typical use of sunlight. I suppose you could use sunlight if you wanted to have a window to the sun in your farming room, but it would be much more likely that you would shine LEDs on the plants to deliver the ...


15

In germany there are heated asparagus fields. The asparagus from this fields can be harvested nearly a month earlier than from ordinary fields. http://www.cooknsoul.de/essen-und-trinken/jahreszeit-und-tradition/spargel-saison-folienspargel/ Beginning of March, winter temperatures, snow far and wide and you can not believe his eyes: the asparagus season ...


15

This is a fundamental misunderstanding of agriculture in Medieval Europe Individual and family ownership of land was not a strongly developed concept in the Middle Ages. Instead of land ownership, the dominant concept was "right to use." A noble had "right to use" of his demesne, use meaning claiming much of the excess produce and taxing the inhabitants. ...


13

Your character farms rice. He is not an idiot: he knows it gets wet. For rice, some flooding is welcome. But this year he got more than he bargained for - maybe a dam or levee failed upstream and his fields were completely washed out. His area has been farmed for millennia. Uphill from him are ancient terraces. https://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-...


13

This is pretty much how hamlets came to be. Farmers on adjoining lands would pool housing, storage, etc., for mutual protection and commercial benefits (like everybody working together to get all the hay to market). The further the farm is from the "city," the less likely the farmer will want to live in the city. Horses were precious, and using them to ...


12

Use inheritance laws to keep dividing up property This is actually discussed by Adam Smith in his famous treatise on the Wealth of Nations. I don't remember what his ultimate verdict was, but he was comparing the inheritance laws of Europe with those of America. In Europe, typically the first-born son inherited the family estate. This had the effect that ...


11

If you are living permanently on a spaceship, do you have gravity? There could be spin sections to provide a stable deck. At the large end, perhaps an O'Neill cylinder. Many fictional settings have some sort of artificial gravity. Completely against physics as we know it. Soil or hydroponics? It is possible to grow plants without soil, like hydroponics or ...


11

What you actually need to make that Fortune 500 (maybe not 500, far fewer people) is a specialized product that can't come from many other places, especially locally. So...a spice that needs a particular climate and soil composition. This island provides that. Along with the diversity of other stuff they can and do grow, the mining, horse breeding and the ...


10

Growing season isnt just about soil temperature but also about light exposure. In the winter there is both less daylight and at a lower intensity. Maintaining growth and foliage for a plant is very energy consuming. In the winter the plants are actually going to consume more energy maintaining growth and foliage than they could get from the reduced sunlight ...


10

Experiments have been done about this: https://theunconventionalgardener.com/blog/growing-plants-in-lunar-soil/ https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0103138 When humans will settle on the moon or Mars they will have to eat there. Food may be flown in. An alternative could be to cultivate plants at the site itself, preferably ...


9

Honestly? Without some amount of artistic license, they don't "win". I win fights with animals not because I'm bigger, or stronger, or meaner (I'm not) and not even because I'm smarter (Dolphins are pretty close to as smart as humans, and they don't rule the world). No, I win because I have thumbs and can therefore manipulate the world around me rapidly ...


9

Yes The key is the right plants to meet the needs. You have things like the water chestnut, taro, Watercress and lotus You can also dredge up mud from the ponds to build raised garden beds for more conventional foods as well as using potted plants


9

The fruit answer seems to have a good point. However, we human do not only kill for food, but we also kill for survival or by accident. By accident we kill when for example we swallow something, often invisible, that was either in our food or our drink.Whatever is in there often finds death in the digestion/assimilation. And if it doesn't, we get further ...


9

Some ideas: Only animals bigger than a certain size or mass die. Small animals like earthworms or insects survive because they are too small for the magical blight. Plants may survive because their cell structure is different to the cell structure of animals. (The magical blight is some kind of radiation) Only warm blooded animals die. Very small animals ...


8

If you mean you want rocks in the ground to heat up the soil, this reminds me of some modern greenhouses which run hot water pipes about 18 inches under the growing beds to heat it up in the early spring, which gets plants growing much earlier (soil has enough thermal mass it is not as useful for extending into a late season). This is very energy-intensive ...


8

This island, considering its good climate, could feed its 50 thousand inhabitants, as well as some 50 thousands in the capital. But grain production would not bring too much riches, you will need more. You have already mentioned more profitable commodities, like wine. You may also add olive oil, linens, or put a silver mine in addition to the gold one. But ...


8

Considering that a plant needs certain conditions to growth and carry fruits, the available time window, at least in temperate climates, for planting the seeds is rather narrow. If the seed is planted too early it may suffer from frost, if it is planted too late it might not have enough time to ripen the seeds. Now, if the soil is too damp, the roots of ...


8

It sounds like you want some sort of middle ground where private land ownership is maintained, but where no party owns too much of it. You can use a couple of different methods to achieve this. 1) Some sort of land tax levied on inactive land, land leased to others, or parcels above a certain size. Set at a high enough level, there would be no incentive ...


8

That is more or less what happened in the dark Ages. Living on isolated farmsteads was an invitation to getting murdered/robbed if not worse. Most farmers either lived in large communal farmhouses, if they were rich enough to afford it, with their extended family, friends and trusted labourers and within eyesight or a shout of a neighbour doing the same; or ...


7

They will develop animal husbandry first. There is no issue with that. However you need one more thing to keep farming from ever happening to supplement food production. You need a highly nutritious (for the livestock) plant that is the most efficient growing plant in all conditions and environments. If such a plant does not exist, the group that grows food ...


7

Lunar soil is made of regolith Regolith covers almost the entire lunar surface, bedrock protruding only on very steep-sided crater walls and the occasional lava channel. This regolith has formed over the last 4.6 billion years from the impact of large and small meteoroids, from the steady bombardment of micrometeoroids and from solar and galactic charged ...


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

Their knowledge base wouldn't change since you've got a nice computer system telling them what they need and a group of experts to be able to interpert that information and move it to the real world. After 10-15 they would probably end up with a bronze age industrial base, maybe iron if they found an easily accessible iron vein. The big killer here is the ...


6

Spirulina would be an excellent candidate for your algae farm (and you've likely eaten it already). It can grow in human urine (waste disposal!) and has all the essential protiens needed by humans. It is used in animal feed (chicken feed contains up to 10% and chickens are another cost effective form of protein). It also removes lead from the water. Its one ...


6

Nutrient deficiency will eventually be a problem in a closed system with irreplaceable losses. In addition to water, CO2 and sunlight, plants require macro and microelements. Humans do too. Macroelements include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulfur. Nitrogen can be fixed from atmospheric nitrogen by certain bacteria, but the ...


6

Farming and animal husbandry developed around the same time in the Near East. But the same people did not develop both at the same time. Pastoral nomads on the steppe did not have farms - they were nomads! They moved their herds from place to place. I read recently that it was these people who invented the wheel, because wagons were useful in toting ...


6

I think that developing animal husbandry without farming is a definite possibility. It could easily come before farming; however, the likelihood of an intelligent species avoiding the development of farming altogether is not very reasonable. There are quite a few reasons why farming is a likely development for intelligent creatures, even if animal husbandry ...


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