Soil on Genertela
By Efendi, translated by Terra Incognita
Condition of soil is almost all decided by activity of microbes influenced from temperature. In torrid zone, it is excessive, in temperate zone, moderate, in frigid zone, very little, in tundra area, too little and in glacier, none. From that, types of soils are decided to be like (*) Latosol, Brown Forest Soil, Podzol, Tundra and Glacier.
Through Orogenic Movement, highland soil derived from hard bedrock and loam (terra rosa (red soil)) are created from it.
While in desert, violent change of temperature between night and day, Grey Desert Soil and brown half-desert soil that surrounding the area of grey desert are made.
In Torrid Zone, microbes resolution activity is greater than absorption amount of plant nourishment, acidified soil turns into Latosol . Metals included in soil are also acidified and exposed over surface, many of jungle plants are poisonous caused by this.
In this situation, normal cultivation of crop is not suited, and inhabitants improve native taros and bananas as principal food with high nourishment. By great effort, making attempt to slash-and-burn farming or trying paddy field, it expects temporal but high productivity but negligence of maintenance rapidly chlorinates soil.
As an image of natural status, imagine the sabanna of Kenya or as civilized image, paddy field of Indonesian Peninsula is fitted.
In Temperate Zone, throughout thousand years heaping of fallen leaves makes Brown Forest soil. It seems sterile on the surface, but inside is rich with nourishment and by using traction plow (heavy and wheeled?) and drawn by domestic animals like cattle, if the farmer manages to make furrow by it, he can live with high productive harvest.(**)
In Kralorela, rice is cultivated, in Peloria, main crop is Maize (Corn), in Ralios, it is wheat. Seshnelan crop goddess, Seshna is goddess of rye [in older setting] unreasonably (?), but I suppose Seshnela also has wheat as main crop. These areas are grain belts maintains civilization holding extra amount of food producing.
As a typical scheme of nature, recall Japanese mountains and plains, Virginia Forest of USA, or forest of Germany. As civilized scene, recall paddy field of Japan, West Virgininia rural area or wheat field of France.
In Frigid Zone, activity of microbe resolution is weak and heap of leaf mold is little. Nourishment is poor and soil is hard. Such kind of soil is called Podzol. It doesn't suit to farming, livestock breeding is main. Rainy Area makes taiga in such environment, and good for forestry and furriery.
In Pent, breeding is the main work. In Lower Peloria and Fronela, while cold resistible crops like barley and rye are grown, breeding, forestry and furriery also prospers, and these specialties are changed to imported crop as supplement food. Furthermore in Fronela, herring fishery is very well in Neliomi Sea. I suppose in Glorantha, pelagic fishing is utterly uncommon for the memory of Closing and it is only in Loskalm of Fronela among countries of Genertela. It is possible only in absolute shortage of food supply, plenty of forestry resource and high technology of Loskalm.
About natural scheme, recall Scotch heather moor or Mongolian steppes. Imagine Civilized area of Hokkaido [North Isle of Japan] or Scandinavian pasture and crop field, or corn field of America.
Tundra is utterly unsuitable for farming. During Summer, it will be good pasture and cold resistible livestocks like elk sustain the lives of nomads. During winter, they go to south and avoid coldness, but people who live in there herding horses go further south. When these horse breeding people go to south, they will close to farming villages and oasis people, and trade or raiding happen. About scheme, imagine that of Lapland.
Glacier is a residence of trolls and utterly unsuitable for humanity. Recall Antarctica scheme.
High Mountainous area is utterly unsuitable for farming. Lives of Herders of goats and sheep climb to mountain in Summer and descend it in Winter and make contact to village people. Mountainous area is rich with precious medicinal herbs and mining can be founded. Mountain is good for mercantile activity. (But most profitable is banditry.)
Recall the scheme of pastures of Switzerland.
In Maniria, lively activity of Mountains brings fallout of ash and it creates terra rosa (or loam). It is poor in nourishment and weak to dryup. For such soil, large scaled intensive farming is no use and mainly rainwater farming and grazing are main industrial activities. Cultivation is easy and available even with wooden plow.
Manirian Crop Goddess, Esrola is guardian of oats....but what is the use of it? Livestock feeding? [in Older Setting...] Wheat Cultivation is possible but harvest is limited only twice or three times of amount of sowing. There are many plants those are more profitable for such area, like olive and leeks, onions. And I suppose Mirrorsea is best for coastal fishery.
Think about olive field of Italy as an example.
But Esrolia is out of this outline of All Maniria. For the meaning of Esrolia being the Central Earth Shrine, it might mean that it is the most fertile land of Glorantha. Anyway, I make up a set that there is steppe soil (especially black fertile soil) under loam stratum of Maniria, in Esrolia, many rivers like Lysos River drove out loam and steppe soil exposed by them. I don't think Lysos brings soil rich with plenty of mineral, for the Upland Marsh. (***)
Desert is of two types, sand desert and rock desert. Former is worth only to cross as sea, but latter is with plenty of minerals and available for farming if there is water supply. In fact, in Oasis, most efficient farming can be found in the World.
Recall natural scene Sahara, as far as I read Drastic: PRAX, Great Waste is not sand desert like Taklimakan or Rub Al Khali.
Brown half-desert-soil surrounds desert and it makes division between desert and normal soil. In natural status, it is merely a steppe plain, but it is fertile and if with regulated irrigation, farming is available. As pasture, it is worthy. Thus such area is always the battle ground of contest to the land among desert nomads, steppe nomads and farming people.
As schemes, recall the scenes of Meseta of Spain or Cappadocia of Anatolia, desolate areas.
<< Reference: Alpine Soil formed from hard rock, Loam (as known as Terra Rosa)
Brown Forest Soil can be widely found in temperate zone, West Europe, North-middle China and northwest area of United States are such cases. In Western Europe, invention of traction plow enables the Age of Great Cultivation and it makes progression of productivity of farming leading Renaissance and Crusades in 12th Century.
(Joerg Baumgartner's Comment for this essay, about Esrolia)
Efendi's essay sparked a slight "aha" effect in me.
High quality real world soil often is either glacial (the huge deposits of loam and ground chalky rock in the morraines and the wind-deposited loess soil of e.g. the Ukraine), riverine (think Nile Delta, Jang-Tse bowl) or volcanic (phosphate rich ashes) in nature.
Esrolia has all three factors to its favour.