Chinampas are long, rectangular floating gardens that the Aztecs constructed on the shallow lakes of the Valley of Mexico beginning around the 10th to 12th century A.D. Chinampas supplied lakeside cities, such as Tenochtitlan, with over half their total food needs.Continue Reading
Chinampas were made by enclosing rectangles ranging from 8 to 30 feet wide and 100 to 300 feet long with cane, hedges or wattle. The interior was layered with mats, decaying vegetation and lake sediment to form floating islands. Water channels between plots were wide enough so that farmers could pass through in their canoes. The lake water provided abundant moisture for the plants. The rich canal mud kept the soil unusually fertile. A wide variety of crops were grown on chinampas, including beans, maize, tomatoes, chili peppers and squash. Because of the rich soil and easy irrigation, crop yields were extremely high, and farmers managed to attain as many as seven harvests every year.
Although most of the lakes that contained chinampas have been drained and covered by cities, remote sensing techniques have identified sites of ancient chinampas. Additionally, archeologists have excavated sites near lakebeds to study chinampa agriculture, and chinampas are described in early Spanish colonial literature. There are remnants of ancient chinampa canals in lakeside towns, such as Xochimilco in Mexico.Learn more about Agriculture
Modern agriculture may create substantial environmental effects, such as adding toxins and pesticides to water that leaches into rivers, lakes and the atmosphere. Although such modern products are used to benefit crop production, they come at the cost of negative impact on the environment.Full Answer >
The Aztecs adapted to their surrounding environment in several ways, including making floating gardens to enable agricultural production on water surfaces, building canoes and creating dikes. The Aztecs lived in a swampy and moist environment in the vicinity of Lake Texcoco, which lies in the Valley of Mexico. The Aztecs encountered hurdles specific to their environment, such as frequent floods, which necessitated certain adaptations to allow the Aztecs to survive and even thrive.Full Answer >
Aztecs used chinampas, or long, narrow man-made islands built on the shallow lakes of Central Mexico, for their most intensive farming. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that these chinampas provided fertile, dedicated fields composed of layered dirt and mud divided by wide navigable canals.Full Answer >
The Green Revolution refers to the introduction of new agriculture methods that began in Mexico in 1945. The Green Revolution was initiated by the Mexican government to start new varieties of grain in the country to feed the growing population, according to Reference.com. USAID director William Gaud created the term “Green Revolution” in comparison to the “Red Revolution” of the Soviets and the “White Revolution” of the Shah of Iran.Full Answer >