Raised Field Agriculture in the Lake Titicaca Basin

Raised Field Agriculture
While reading my new Permaculture Magazine I was struck by an article that spoke of an ancient Incan way of agriculture called Raised Field Agriculture. They would dig up canals near lakes and pile the soil on the sides to create raised beds. These canals help the plants by providing water most, if not all, of the year. This also creates a micro climate because of heat retention from the heat retention qualities of water in the waterways, thereby protecting the plants from frost. If that is not enough to get you thinking of renting some heavy machinery… it’s reported that fish could have been raised there, creating a kind of aquaculture that at the same time replenishes the soil with some needed Nitrogen. Did I forget to mention canoeing?

3 comments

  1. Nice to hear somebody talking about the advanced agricultural technology of the pre-columbian Americans.

    I’m think your mistaken by citing the Maya above, as most of the research has been done on the raised fields of the Titicaca basin in Northern Bolivia and Southern Peru. This is the realm of the Inca, although the raised fields precede their empire by almost a millenium if you familiarise yourself with the scientific journals of A. Kolata.(A quick internet search will give you access to much material)

    The Maya you refer to were based in Central America in and around what we would call Southern Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras today. Your brief synopsis is nice all the same.

    Good Luck,

    T.

    1. Thanks Tigger error corrected. I have this sad mental block with Inca/Maya culture. Always get confused. Same with onions or garlic and some others. It seems to be when it’s a A or B choice and I initially get confused. My mind usually never catches up…

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