Friday, December 27, 2013

Fantasy Maps: Crops

Drawing your world map gets you thinking about placement of each continent as well as the climate for each country. This led me to a crop conundrum. In your world, or any made up world, one county is not going to produce every kind of crop your people need- unless you're creating a utopia. There will be a significant amount of trade going on.

But, you can't just list out your continents and say this place will have wheat and this place will have fruit because those types of crop may not thrive in those climates. Of course, history plays a great part in this as well. Some countries have certain crops because the people who colonized it brought the crops with them.

The best way to go about researching this is to know which crops are abundant in different areas of our world and the best times to plant and harvest said crops. Researching crops and climate is tricky because you'll get pages of content on climate change and crops. The below list gives you an idea on how to go about this type of research. And, it also shows you the type of crops available. You should at least know the major crops of our world because more than likely, they will be needed in yours.

United States Department of Agriculture: Major World Crop Areas and Climate Profiles
Knowledge Publishers: Major Crops and Their Producers
Wikipedia: Category: Crops by Country
Wikipedia: List of Food Origins
Northeast Nursery, Inc: Plants: A Complete List of Cool Season/Warm Season Crops 
Sunset: Cool-Season Crops
Sunset: Planting Warm-Season Crops
Image Credit: Bunge
Another way to research this is to use a crop list from the above resources and Google "Climate requirements for/of (said crop). Also, type in "crops by" in Google and explore the suggestions in the drop down menu.