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Ancient China Agriculture

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Tim Myers

on 6 December 2012

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Transcript of Ancient China Agriculture

ANCIENT CHINESE AGRICULTURE Some major techniques the Ancient Chinese farmers used were crop rotation, fertilization via manure, and the building of levees to help irrigate crops. Crop rotation is when you have several fields and each year leave a few as fallow, allowing them to "recharge". For example, there are 3 fields. one year, fields 1 and 2 are used for crops, while field 3 is fallow. The next year, fields 2 and 3 are used for crops, while field 1 is fallow. This is crop rotation. Fertilizing crops with manure was and still is common. The only twist with the Ancient Chinese, however, is that they used human manure instead of animal manure. Why? Well Ancient China had a lack of livestock (hence the wide variety of crops) so they used what they had. Levees were important. Each year, the fields would flood. This also flooded the irrigation ditches, killing the crops. So the Ancient Chinese built levees, which are like mini-dams. This protected the crops and thus, the population grew, as less people starved to death. The Ancient Chinese pioneered rice farming, but they also contributed to other agricultural methods. In this presentation, I'm going to show you some things such as:
The crops they grew
The techniques they used
Basic information on the crops they produced
Tools they used
How it reflected their culture
And then I'll finish up with a list of some important tools and techniques of theirs that we use today The Ancient Chinese grew rice, millet, wheat, green onions, ginger, grapes, peaches, japanese plums, soybeans, cabbage, and chinese cabbage. Nowadays, they are well-known for their rice production. RICE
In ancient China, the levees lead the water to the rice patties; rice grows submerged in water
Rice grows on patties, or terraces
China is now famous for its rice production WHEAT
Wheat is a cereal grain
Wheat has a higher protein content than maize (corn) or rice
Wheat was a key factor at the beginning of Chinese civilization because it could be easily cultivated on a large scale GREEN ONIONS
A "green onion" can be any kind of onion; it's simply a onion that's harvested before it bulbs.
Green onion was and still is one of the most widely used ingredients in Chinese cooking.
Also known as Scallions GINGER
Ginger is a tuber native to Asia
Ginger root is a rhizome, meaning that it has an underground stem that grows into a thick, knotted shape with a firm texture.
The ancient Chinese used ginger root to cure stomach problems. GRAPES
The ancient Chinese made wine from "Mountain Grapes"
The earliest chemichally confirmed alcoholic bevereage was found in ancient China, was extremely fermanted and contained wild grapes, hawthorn, rice, and honey. PEACHES
Peaches are native to China
Peach blossoms are carried by Chinese brides
The peach has been cultivated since at least 1000 B.C.
In China, the peach tree is a sign of life and the peaches are signs of immortality and unity. JAPANESE PLUMS
The species of plum called the "Japanese Plum" is actually native to China; the Japanese had it imported from China and spread it across the world.
The ancient Chinese grew the Japanese Plum, not the stereotypical species, which is the European Plum CABBAGE
Cabbage was widely grown in ancient China
China lost land due to being partially conquered by the Tartars, led by Genghis Khan; the Tartars took cabbage with them and it spread across the land. SOYBEANS
The soybean has been grown in China for 5000 years
Soybeans are native to eastern Asia BOK CHOY (a.k.a. pak choi, chinese cabbage)
Bok choy originated in northern China
Widely popular in the Phillipines, Thailand, and both North and South Korea.
During excavations, they have found poetry and other writings praising bok choy; the ancient Chinese considered it to be an extremely nutritious, flavorful, and delicious vegetable. TOOLS
Seed drill
The ancient Chinese discovered iron and used it for their plows around the third century B.C. This allowed them to produce more durable plows, making their plows more efficient, while the Greeks and Romans were still using flimsy wood-and-rope plows. The seed drill is a tool that tills the ground, places seeds, and covers them with dirt. This wasn't introduced to Europe for thousands of years. HOW THIS REFLECTED THEIR CULTURE
This reflected the ancient Chinese culture by showing how much they relied on agriculture, and it shows how much of a lack of livestock they had. It also reflected their culture by revealing to us that they considered farming to be an important art. They also grew some crops for trade among themselves, before the invention of money. MILLET
The earliest known use of millet was in ancient China around 5500 B.C.
Millet is a staple food in modern day China.
Millet has been mentioned in ancient writings from China
there are about 6000 varieties of millet known to man. WHAT TOOLS/TECHNIQUES OF THEIRS DO WE STILL USE TODAY?
The ancient Chinese used some very useful tools and techniques when it came to farming. In fact, a few of these have passed the tests of time and are used today. The plow is one such example. The plow's use is breaking the hard surface of the soil and bringing the soft, nutrient-rich earth to the surface for the plants to absorb the needed "food". We also practice the art of crop rotation. The purpose of this is by alternating the fields that the crops are planted in, the fields "recharge" their vitamins and minerals. This is a foolproof solution to the possibility of the fields losing their fertile soil.
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