Mayan Farming

 The Maya had a very interesting and advanced culture. They werent just advanced in mathematics and astronomy, but in farming in the fields.


Slash and Burn: A way to make more usable farm land available by cutting down vegatation then burning it to give the soil nutrients.

   The South American Natives of the Olmec, Aztec, Inca, and Maya all had agriculture as a large part of their food resources.  The main form of soil furtilization is know as Slash and BurnSlash and burn takes a section of jungle or forest and cut down all the vegetation(but not their roots!) and burns it.  The ashes from the burned vegetations provide fertilized crop land for up to six years.  After the soil becomes depleted(after six years) the land is left to grow over with natural vegetation again(Growing from the roots that were left unchecked for six years) and new land is cleared and burned.

Below: A picture of a forest being destroyed by the slash and burn method.

 Terracing: A way to make unusable slopped hills into a flat stair case to farm on.

   Another way that people adapt to their environment is terrace farming. Terrace farming consists of building a series of step like benches. These benches were cut into the mountains. Each level slows the flow of water runoff, slowing the erosion process. They also bring into view areas that formerly could not be farmed. Instead of flowing freely down the hillside, water stops on the level plain. In this way, the lower terraces are not eroded and, also, the higher terraces get enough water. On a straight, steep slope, water would flow down the hillside, carrying crops and much-needed soil with it, letting nothing grow. But add the shape of a terrace, and you have flat areas on which to farm. The same sort of thing goes on today, in many places around the world. One of the best examples is in the rice field of Southeast Asia. Acre after acre of what looks like unusable land contains terrace after terrace. Much of the rice that comes from Vietnam, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian countries is grown on terraces. Rice, especially, needs a lot of water to grow. The more flat areas existing on which to grow rice, the more rice people can grow. And with the terrace farming idea, water stays on the level surfaces, so rice grows in places that, on first glance, wouldn't necessarily look to be good farmland.

Below: A picture of mountain terraces.

Crops: A type of plant that is able to be harvested processed and consumed.

   The Maya produced seven items: Maize, Cacao, Squash, Beans, Avocados, Pumpkins, and Chili Peppers. Maize was there main crop that they grew and ate. Alot of the things they ate were either mad or associated with maize. Wow isn't that A-Maize-ing? 

Below: Pictures of Maize, Cacao, Squash, Beans, Avocados, Pumpkins, and Chili Peppers crops.

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