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Rise and Fall of civilizations! Farming Practises! [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2010-12-28 15:03:45 |Display all floors
From the study of history, we do noticed that the rise and fall of civilization is closely correllated to Agricultural Practises! The rise of the ancient cities and civilization occured along great rivers - that could support life, massive numbers of citizens!

The key was rains, River WATER and the top soil flooding that brings with it replenishment in the fertility of the soil.
So the BIG ancient civilization arose in the history of times!

China's Great Yangtze River, Yellow River, Mesopotamia, Nile, Indus, Bhrama.
On the other hand smaller civilization grew from plains - like the Greeks, Romans, Mayan, Aztec.

But as land goes unproductive with the constant removal of plant nutrients, civilization falters and were destroyed by either nomadic tribes or mountain tribes with better martial systems, and use of domesticated animals like horses to defeat the great numbers of the great river valley civilizations! We note people still in the "stone age" in Borneo, Papua, probably in some African tribes - the use of shifting agriculture to ensure land are regenerated suitable for farming!

We read from wikipedia (ha ha ha), that European learned the art of CROP ROTATION, where legumes, wheat/barley and left to fallow!

DID the British-Europe (well, it was the Germans who'd found the Haber process) invented Fertilizers by observing ANCIENT CHINESE practise of using NIGHT SOIL to ensure fertility of their land?

DID THE European thought up the idea of FERTILIZERS by observing Chinese Farmers?

Superior original ideas!
China is the place to study!

cheerios!

Green DRagon
Game Master

[ Last edited by greendragon at 2010-12-28 03:05 PM ]

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Post time 2010-12-28 15:18:33 |Display all floors
Jarred Diamond wrote about this subject in "The Rise and Fall of Civilizations".

The world population is presently supported by a food supply dependent on our energy use. Petrochemicals are used to make modern fertilisers. Petrochemicals also fuel our farming machinery and transport food to urban centres.

Top soil is denuded by our current farming practice.

It does not matter who invented fertiliser, I think. What matters is that you must be aware of our dependence on petrochems for food. This means that a price rise in oil will lead quickly to a rise in the price of food.

You personally want to make sure that you have some stored food, if this happens. Or, if your family has farming land, that you can return home, or that they can send food to you.

This big price rise in food is going to happen in our lifetime, I think. There may be a fall in the price of oil first, due to an economic crash, but maybe not.

Food prices have already started rising. We are only four meals away from anarchy, apparently, according to MI5.

I'd say a few months.

Still, food is historically cheap right now, despite the recent rise.
(beast ex machina)

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Post time 2010-12-28 15:30:01 |Display all floors

The Monsoon actually saved the Indus and Brahma civilizations!

With the Monsoon system, the land was made to rotate between PLANTING and land left to fallow for 6 months, probably regenerated by the burning of enormous mass of biomass from the last season!

The Hindus must have noticed that soil was richer, when hot weather ignited biomass heaps or the compost!

hmmmmmm

Interesting opinion, don't you think so?
The thought for the day!
Hindu's became the world's second most populous nation due to an act of nature!

Happy Mid Winter Festival, Merry Christmas and have a great Roaring New Year 2011....
HO HO HO

cheerios!

Green DRagon
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Post time 2010-12-28 15:42:36 |Display all floors
interesting topic, Mr Greendragon

It would be good to hear from our resident botanists.

Blueskies88 may be able to assist.

The older fertilisers were based on organic matter, nitrates, phosphates and carbonates:

1. Ash - mainly nitrogenous ash as I understand - such as soda ash and potash. Ammonium nitrate is a modern day counterpart. Back in my schooldays we could buy this in bulk from a hardware store. You could use this to create bom bs which would explode letterboxes, I am told

2. Excrement - nitrogenous waste.

Johann Glauber reportedly devised a formula for fertiliser based on soda-ash (saltpetre), phosphate, potash and lime (calcium carbonate).

Seaweed extract also makes an excellent plant tonic. I would not be surprised if the Japanese discovered this.
(beast ex machina)

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Post time 2010-12-28 15:44:56 |Display all floors
Originally posted by greendragon at 2010-12-28 17:00
With the Monsoon system, the land was made to rotate between PLANTING and land left to fallow for 6 months, probably regenerated by the burning of enormous mass of biomass from the last season!

...


I'm not sure, as I am not an agronomist, but perhaps the minerals were conserved in the process of burning (nitrates, sodium and potassium). So, adding these to the soil enriched it?
(beast ex machina)

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Post time 2010-12-29 12:22:50 |Display all floors

Reply #4 lebeast's post

Fertilizers can be made into explosives......

Nitrates!!!

ha ha ha

Green DRagon
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Post time 2010-12-29 12:30:05 |Display all floors

Reply #5 lebeast's post

I am thinking, why only China and marginally the Indus-Brahma-Ganges civilization could survive.....

and so many others failed, Mesopotamian, Nile, - just found out, some ancient cities in Niger river as well, and those highland civilizations such as Mayan, Aztec all failed!

Only Greecian survived to this day, while the Romans are disintegrated except for the Catholic Church!

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If you look at the map and history of the world!

Rivers Valley Civilization, and Mountain Civilization (which conquered Agricultural societies and got assimilated) and Volcanic active regions were centres of human habitations! Only China managed to survive continuously till today!

It's got to do with sustainable agricultural practises!

The American Regime currently survived on rotational culture of corn and winter wheat mainly due to advances in soil chemistry! Most of the crops in USA is rain fed, with smaller areas under irrigation! The American regime could possibly increase food production by leveraging on the great Missisippi river!

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The Hindu's got to thank the MONSOON SEASON for their survival!
What would happen to India, if they find a way to irrigate the farms the entire year round?
Would this become a problem.......hmmmm?

cheerios!

Happy Mid Winter Festival, Merry Christmas and have a roaring Great New Year 2011....
HO HO HO

Green DRagon
Game Master

[ Last edited by greendragon at 2010-12-29 12:36 PM ]

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