A Question Concerning Agriculture
Alright, so I was not sure where to exactly post this...so I hope this is the appropriate place. However, I need some help, and decided this would be a great place to ask.
What I'm currently working on is designing a temple set in the mountains. This temple would need to be self sufficient, which entails the ability to produce their own food. Farming in particular is giving me some trouble. The mountains in which I've placed this temple are rather rugged, and quite cold for the better part of the year.
Would anyone know anything about mountain farming? I've begun doing some basic research, however I'd like to see if anyone else has thought along the same lines as myself. It would be ideal if the denizens of this temple are able to farm for themselves, without relying on trade from villages or towns.
I realize this is quite the random question. However, any advice on where to look or any ideas would be most appreciated.
Think about terraces and indoor/outdoor farming. Mountains shorten the growing season, but a system of terraces for growing grains and root crops would allow them to get the most possible yield out of limited space. If you have affordable glass then they could have greenhouses. If glass is rare, then they could use carts to move potted plants out under the sky during the day and into a protected space at night.
Mountain soils are typically poor, as precipitation leaches out the nutrients and sends them down slope, so they would ultimately need to bring in more nutrients from elsewhere. One way to do that would be goats and sheep allowed to range out during the day and brought under protection at night. Another way would be to cart up hay to feed animals, or manure, or any kind of animal waste from lower elevations on a periodic basis. Total agricultural self-sufficiency on a mountain would be tough, but it could be arranged so that they could grow most of their own food and bring up the least expensive amendments from below.
Look into Inca agriculture for some more ideas.
This article on Tibetan farming may be of some help, probably a lot more stuff like this out there.
Perhaps the occupants of your temple produce some kind of "superfood," like quinoa. It can act as a complete protein source, despite being a plant, and is consumable as both a grain and a green.