Fruit Walls

mr_mercer

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During a late phase of what is known as "The Little Ice Age" crop production in northern climes was big problem. The innovation of fruit walls might very well have been a deciding factor in saving European civilization.

Fruit Walls: Urban Farming in the 1600s

The linked article only goes into the basics, but it really was these things that saved Europe from collapsing into major problems. People were growing oranges in Belgium and northern England by forcing the plants to grow against thick, heat retaining walls facing southern sunlight, and then heating the walls with fires during the frost seasons. Often the walls had internal furnaces and piping to efficiently channel heat.

Eventually the innovation of fruit walls evolved into the modern greenhouse. There's no reason you can't grow your own oranges in Minnesota now. In fact, it'll be somewhat easier because you won't need the pesticides and fungicides. You'll just need a very well built greenhouse.

I wonder if in the future a major fraction of food will be produced in greenhouses. Our fungicides and pesticides are all failing and there may be no other choice.

I have no point other than that fruitwall and greenhouse technology is a fascinating development in human history. It's interesting that northern people were very eager to grow sugary sub-tropical fruits as soon as they could figure out ways to do that.
 
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