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Farming in Creation

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  • Ren9077
    replied
    Originally posted by Quaint View Post
    Also, having ample food doesn't mean it is used efficiently. Even deep in historical dark ages one worker in agriculture could feed several other people given enough land to work with. At times serfs were taxed some 75% and still got by somehow. Food can well go into producing meat (which is less efficient than eating crops) or into cashcrops or it can spoil because of inefficient logistics or you can make alcohol out of it just to name a few possibilities. And then the thing is, if they are planting so much rice - rice is very labour intensive, keeps a lot of people busy. It has great yield per area, but if you got enough area other crops yield more per worker.
    Personally, i am all for more food and maybe only 70% or 75% of the population in the country, the rest in cities.
    With 30% of the Blessed Isle's area devoted to agriculture, and no modern machinery, it's going to be very difficult to manage five harvests a year without significantly more manpower than you suggest. Even if we were to deliberately introduce as much inefficiency as possible, such as feeding a lot of the grain crop to cattle, and give the cattle WAY too much grazing land per head - so why are we feeding them so much grain again, when they would necessarily have so much pasture to graze on for so much of the year? - five harvests a year on that much land is a fantastic, gratuitous amount of agricultural wealth. Trying to arrange things in such a manner that this isn't true would be a work of true effort on the part of the Dragon-Blooded, but why do that?

    With five harvests a year and guaranteed good weather, the peasantry could very well be taxed 80-85% and still be fairly well off, oddly enough.

    The main difficulty is justifying the manpower required to keep 30% of the Blessed Isle in agriculture with the price of food as low as it would be under these circumstances.

    The only real fix is to ignore the figures presented for agriculture and substitute in more realistic ones.

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  • Quaint
    replied
    Also, having ample food doesn't mean it is used efficiently. Even deep in historical dark ages one worker in agriculture could feed several other people given enough land to work with. At times serfs were taxed some 75% and still got by somehow. Food can well go into producing meat (which is less efficient than eating crops) or into cashcrops or it can spoil because of inefficient logistics or you can make alcohol out of it just to name a few possibilities. And then the thing is, if they are planting so much rice - rice is very labour intensive, keeps a lot of people busy. It has great yield per area, but if you got enough area other crops yield more per worker.
    Personally, i am all for more food and maybe only 70% or 75% of the population in the country, the rest in cities.

    Leave a comment:


  • Odd_Canuck
    replied
    Increased food output per peasant results in large/more common towns, cities and other areas of specialized or different labour. So instead of 90% of your population being tied to the land, you've got more people for mining, more people for ship building, more people in general to do things with.

    Not that you can't have an adventure of some sort involving farmers, but generally you want more concentrated groups of people for any sort of adventuring.

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  • DrLoveMonkey
    replied
    Please excuse the rushed style and typos, I'm on my tablet in the robot lab.

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  • DrLoveMonkey
    replied
    Originally posted by webkilla View Post

    Headcanon accepted. Imperial City hotboxing.
    The cloak of Cynis Araka fluttered in the wind atop one of the Cynis towers in the imperial city. He glanced over at the sorcerer and his demon servant, who were sitting amidst a spiderweb of runes amd lines.

    "How much longer?" He said, nervously plucking at the string of his power bow and fingering the blunted arrows he kept.

    "Soon, not to worry." The demon replied "soon not a puff of smoke will enter or leave this city."

    Then a cry came from the stairwell "My lord!" A breathless soldier came stumbling onto the platform "My lord, I think an exalt from house Ragara is leading a group of black helms up here, we couldn't stop them.""

    A voice bellowed from the stairs "Lazy whoremongers!"

    "Stuck up loan shark!" Araka shot back, firing twin ball-headed arrows at the foreheads of two advancing guards, causing the, to drunkenly slump against one another.

    "It is done.." The sorcerer's eyes flashed.

    Quick as a breeze through the trees Araka darted over to a massive mounted horn and blew hard into it. The deep ringing tone echoed through the city, signalling dozens, maybe hundreds, of massive braziers to ignite. Their smoked poured into the air, but hung low, filling the city. The Cynis dynast slumped to the floor and breathed deeply.

    "The senate is going to have one hell of a day." He glanced over at his aid/retainer/bodyguard and pounded his fist as they both began to laugh.

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  • Lundgren
    replied
    Being the direction of Earth, I have always imagined the Blessed Isle to range from gentle hills to mountains. So quite a bit of the farmlands are terraces, and most of the Isle is not used for crops at all (even if it feels like it, as roads tend to go where the people are).

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  • webkilla
    replied
    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

    like if house Cynis wants to hotbox the imperial city so plant 400 acres of pot or something, it can make sense.
    Headcanon accepted. Imperial City hotboxing.

    Leave a comment:


  • DrLoveMonkey
    replied
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    When food is more abundant, people eat more frequently. I'd also say that food security means a fairly high proportion of farmers can diversify into cash crops, although on the Blessed Isle, most of that cash is just going towards your tax payments, so your capacity to prosper is sharply limited. Also, in the Realm and Scavneger Lands, big surpluses make large armies really easy. In any case, I assumed that "harvests three crops a year" meant that by the time people finished eating one crop, the next would be ready for harvest, so there's never really a lean season where you have to conserve while awaiting the next harvest; was I mistaken in that implication?
    I sadly don't have the time right now to check but I seem to recall the blessed Isle has a simply ridiculous portion of its land mass dedicated to agriculture, and the crop yields are fitting of a place made blessed by the primordials with cooperative, mostly, gods. I suppose with the right ratio of crops, like if house Cynis wants to hotbox the imperial city so plant 400 acres of pot or something, it can make sense. Barring that though even with needing to feed armies on the march I don't see how you can grind through three or four bumper crops of food.

    I can't recall, how much food does the Isle export? I know that a large portion of the south is kept fed by the fields near the Lap, the East is super fertile and the North had bad trouble with a short planting season. Maybe large areas in the north rely on the Isles export? Now I'm picturing a "buy local" campaign in the Haslanti league.

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  • Lundgren
    replied
    A one yield area and a three yield area can be equal amount of work per yield. But the former might not be usable (to dry or to wet, etc) for a period of the year.

    But of course, how much work has to be done to maintain irrigation systems, pest control, and so on, can vary quite a lot.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    I mean, as a unit of value, the number of crops per year seems like something more focused on how much time is spent working, not how much food there is, because it doesn't articulate what the actual yields are like. I also find something erroneous in what seems like an assumption that pre-industrial farming was uniform throughout time and space.

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  • Lundgren
    replied
    Rice is a labor intensive crop. So it still ties up a lot of farmers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_production_in_India
    "India, being a land of eternal growing season, and the deltas of Kaveri River, Krishna River, Godavari River and Mahanadi River with a thick set-up of canal irrigation, permits farmers to raise two, and in some pockets, even three crops a year."

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey
    I think the problem is more, who the fuck is eating all of this food?
    When food is more abundant, people eat more frequently. I'd also say that food security means a fairly high proportion of farmers can diversify into cash crops, although on the Blessed Isle, most of that cash is just going towards your tax payments, so your capacity to prosper is sharply limited. Also, in the Realm and Scavneger Lands, big surpluses make large armies really easy. In any case, I assumed that "harvests three crops a year" meant that by the time people finished eating one crop, the next would be ready for harvest, so there's never really a lean season where you have to conserve while awaiting the next harvest; was I mistaken in that implication?

    Leave a comment:


  • hippokrene
    replied
    Creation’s fecundity means that for any given community, a smaller number of adults will have to be farmers so more people are freed to do non-food production work. This doesn’t remove the presence of peasantry or create a post-industrial setting.

    It does mean there are more urban centers, many societies will have a quasi-working class, it’s easier to insert hidden kingdoms in inaccessible or hostile locations, and small nations can still manage sophisticated and educated non-nobles.

    These are all desirable for the setting of a sword and sorcery game.

    Creation is a wondrous place. The first thing the core tells you is that the "real world" is what happens when Creation is bent, it's magic stripped away, and humanity's soul becomes stunted and withered. It wouldn't make much sense if it resembled real world bronze and iron age cultures as those are to the Second Age what the Second Age was to the First.

    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

    I think the problem is more, who the fuck is eating all of this food? With the blessed isle being a sea of fields that yield harvest after harvest every few months there's just so much food everywhere for supposedly a fairly small population. There aren't New York style super cities or anything.
    I think that's where the dissonance is. The Blessed Isle's population is huge and the Imperial City is a place of 'labyrinth streets and towering spires' with an 'unparalleled collection of wonders.' The average man and woman of the Realm is six-foot tall. Port cities host 'countless merchant fleets,' and most cities on the Isle are able to support 'large populations.'
    Last edited by hippokrene; 04-07-2015, 04:39 AM.

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  • DrLoveMonkey
    replied
    Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
    I think even if the long term yields might be inconsistent with real world societies, it doesn't necessarily mean "industrialization" or anything like that comes into play. I think it's viable* to see industrialization as the outcome of increased access to energy sources and trends in science, machining, trade, land ownership. If you just have very high yields, you may just end up with a lot of peasants sleeping in fields, or merchants bustling around, or boxers fighting rival dojos, or swordsmiths dedicating their lives to the perfect no dachi, and so on. I wouldn't really be averse to taking that tack, as we don't really know what magically high yields would do in a pre-industrial situation.

    *as in viable for people who have studied it.
    I think the problem is more, who the fuck is eating all of this food? With the blessed isle being a sea of fields that yield harvest after harvest every few months there's just so much food everywhere for supposedly a fairly small population. There aren't New York style super cities or anything.

    Here's the thing, there's some things in the setting that are big and epic and don't make sense, but they're kind of awesome. Like mountains that climb far into the sky such things. In this case I think overstating how giant and badass the crop collecting is.

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  • Ghosthead
    replied
    I think even if the long term yields might be inconsistent with real world societies, it doesn't necessarily mean "industrialization" or anything like that comes into play. I think it's viable* to see industrialization as the outcome of increased access to energy sources and trends in science, machining, trade, land ownership. If you just have very high yields, you may just end up with a lot of peasants sleeping in fields, or merchants bustling around, or boxers fighting rival dojos, or swordsmiths dedicating their lives to the perfect no dachi, and so on. I wouldn't really be averse to taking that tack, as we don't really know what magically high yields would do in a pre-industrial situation.

    *as in viable for people who have studied it.

    Leave a comment:

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