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46

In medieval Europe, farmland essentially was left unattended over the winter months, because there's not too much you can do with it. The cycle was to sow in spring, and reap from summer through to autumn. At around late autumn, there would be the big harvest festival, when the community would have its greatest abundance of food, this would be an excuse for ...


42

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. I highly doubt that such a species could satisfy any definition of intelligence, let alone developing something as complex as agriculture. Don't forget that ...


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 ...


25

Consider a circle. It’s boundary grows linearly with its diameter, but the area within grows as the square of it. Why is this important? Because you’re thinking the wrong way round. You’re thinking of putting your city inside a ring of undefended farmland. What you should do instead is put your farmland inside the city. Give your houses big gardens. ...


23

Offering a dissenting opinion on those that say the concept of time or even only the perception of causal relationship is necessary to develop habits that show traits common with agriculture (or other "long term thinking" activities) the humans engage in. First at all, a couple of definitions on my choice of terms (to address some points raised - rightfully ...


22

No - if food is available, bears don't hibernate. Bears in zoos will not hibernate if food is available, though they will slow down and sleep more than usual. Some zoo bears are fed year round, and do not hibernate. Hibernation for bears simply means they don’t need to eat or drink, and rarely urinate or defecate (or not at all). There is strong ...


19

HERDS: The obvious choice is to herd animals. This wouldn't work in the boat scenario, but even people who can't hunt can still bring goats along with them. Goats (or insert herd animal here) walk on their own with a little prodding, and produce milk directly and can be slaughtered for meat. Most wagons travel over rough enough terrain that they don't ...


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 ...


16

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. ...


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 ...


14

My money is on potatoes, for the following reasons: They are sturdy plants with a good output. From Wikipedia: According to conservative estimates, the introduction of the potato was responsible for a quarter of the growth in Old World population and urbanization between 1700 and 1900. In the Altiplano, potatoes provided the principal energy source for the ...


14

Someone tried this: They planted crops in simulated Martian soil and subjected them to simulated Martian lighting. ... kale, sweet potatoes, certain lettuces, and, surprisingly, hops grew very easily, tasting no different than their terrestrial counterparts. Other foods, including regular russet potatoes—the famous staple of the stranded astronaut in the ...


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 ...


11

You only have crazy mutation magic. This is not unlike what was done back in the Seventies to Italian grains. We irradiated seeds with neutron radiation and bathed them in ethylmethylsulfonate, then sat back and watched them grow. It took some years, but then a mutant strain took which had several desirable qualities. It was called "Creso" (after the Lydian ...


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 ...


10

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 ...


10

Forget the walls, build something similar to Catalhuyuk. Catalhuyuk is one of the oldest human settlements we have found, and one of the most prominent theories on its design is specifically to keep out predators. With this design you basically use the outer walls of your buildings as the walls of the settlement. There is no access to any of the buildings ...


10

Hyper-instinctual savants: Your beings would have to be skirting the limits of what WE, at least, define as intelligent. It would mean that the individuals would need to be performing complex tasks out of an instinctual drive, but still be intelligent. The species would be VERY rigid in their ability to respond to problems. My answer would not meet the ...


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

The Ideal: There is farming near Las Vegas. For example, this kind of hydroponic indoor farm. This kind of farming can be done in the casinos themselves. You don't need 20 floors of hotel rooms: just convert as much as possible to indoor farming. Your gangsters and johns are simply going to have to be part time gardeners, because hiring farms hands or ...


9

If they are unable to farm and hunt then they are left with trading for food: they can pay with money or barter some of their goods with food provided from the locals they meet during their wanderings. It doesn't really matter what food it is, and it depends on the place they are at the moment. It can be cereals or legumes if they are crossing a farming area,...


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