17 Aug 04 12:51 AM
Reply To: 30518
That's a difficult question. There are a lot of variables that play into it. How long did the flooding last? How much of the land suitable for planting was effected by the flooding? Those sorts of questions.
I am from a part of the US which is largely agricultural, yet we have a relatively short growing season (April/May-August/September.) Potatoes, carrots, squashes, beans, tomatoes, barley, wheat, corn (for the feeding of livestock) – all those sorts of things can be grown in 90-120 or so days. Hence, I would guess that they would have had a crop in the autumn of 2759, assuming no blight or other such complication, so people likely ate that winter, but they didn’t eat well.
One concern would be the physical condition of the population when the flooding cleared off enough to plant and then harvest. Getting ground ready to put seeds into, keeping the growing plants healthy and uneaten (by insects and other starving critters), and harvesting takes an enormous amount of effort – if your population is suffering from starvation, a lot of the people who would otherwise assist in the process are not going to be healthy enough to enable them to take full advantage of the crop.
Another concern would be that cereals (wheat, barley) and potatoes can be harvested and stored for winter, but by themselves they are not a very nutritionally sound diet. There was likely a severe lack of necessary supplemental protein sources -- meat, poultry, eggs and dairy – since, if the people were starving to death in the winter of 2759, so were the livestock and the undomesticated game. These critters depend on either sufficient vegetation to see them through winter or sufficient human supplied food. This is a greater problem because it takes longer for these resources to replenish themselves (one year at least, and even then they would have to be slaughtered sparingly if the populations are to recover.)
So, the long and short of it, the people might have eaten throughout the winter of that year, but they didn’t eat well. I would think it would be safe to put the autumn of the following year.