The chinampa and the terracing were the two primary agricultural practices that the Aztecs utilized in order to produce all of their food. The Chinampas were basically raised bed gardens that were constructed as artificial islands on the surface of the shallow waters of Lake Texcoco.
Beans and squash were also common components of Aztec cuisine. It goes without saying that corn and beans are still a staple in the Mexican diet. This duo makes for a balanced and nutritious meal, particularly if you don’t consume a lot of meat.
The Aztecs used floating gardens on Lake Texcoco to cultivate a significant amount of the food components they need. They accomplished this by first preparing boats by layering them with earth, and then growing a variety of veggies on top of the dirt. These canoes were moored to the bottom of the lake or to the trees that were close by, allowing them to float freely on the water.
After that, the farmers would plant crops in the fertile mounds of earth, such as corn (also known as maize). When paired with other methods of farming, such as conventional farms and terraced hill sides, the agriculture of the Aztec Empire flourished to an extraordinary degree and became an essential part of the economy.
The Aztecs relied heavily on maize for their nutrition. They prepared a diverse array of meals and beverages based on maize in their culture. One of the dishes that were developed from maize was called a tortilla and it is a type of flat bread that is still quite popular in Mexico today. The flour manufactured from maize was used to make this loaf of bread.
After that, the muck from the canals was spread out on mats that had been woven together using weeds and straw.After that, trees were planted at each of the intersections.The chinampa was kept in its position when these trees established their roots and began to grow.When the Aztecs had the floating island under their control and it was ready for use, they planted their primary crop, which was maize.
Agriculture, particularly in the form of chinampas, was the primary contributor to the Aztec economy because of the island’s position. Chinampas were mounds of dirt and other waste that were piled up in the shallow and marshy parts of Lake Texcoco that encircled Tenochtitlan. These chinampas were sometimes referred to as ″floating gardens.″
Growing their food in beautiful chinampas, which are also known as floating gardens, allowed the Aztecs to do so without negatively impacting the surrounding ecosystem.
They called maize, beans, and squash ″the three sisters″ because of the way that they helped each other grow and thrive when planted together.This was the primary reason why they grew these three plants more than any others: Tomatoes, avocados, chili peppers, limes, onions, amaranth, peanuts, sweet potatoes, and jimacas were among the other crops that they cultivated (Mexican turnip and yam bean).
Crops were also fertilized using a combination of sludge dredged from canals erected wherever Aztecs took up residence and human feces purposefully gathered from urban centers. This was done in order to fertilize the crops.
The chinampas system was rather vast, and these water-based gardens were an important part of the Aztecs’ ability to sustain themselves. In order to construct the chinampas, parcels of land of around 30 meters by 2.5 meters were staked out on the lake bottom.
Pochteca were the merchants of the Aztec culture. They were known for their extensive travels across Mesoamerica while carrying their wares on their backs. They traveled across the empire and beyond, making purchases and sales of luxury products like as jade, turquoise, cacao, quetzal feathers, and obsidian wherever they went. Pochteca was also responsible for carrying information.
Tortillas, tamales, casseroles, and the sauces that accompanied with them were among the most frequent types of Aztec cuisine. The Aztecs were particularly fond of their sauces. The three items that were considered to be staples were maize, beans, and squash, to which nopales and tomatoes were typically added. Both pepper and salt could be found everywhere.
A typical meal can consist of tortillas, tamales, beans, and a casserole made of squash and tomatoes, with either water or pulque as a beverage. To get their meals started, noble Aztec families would begin with the staples of tortillas and beans, despite the fact that they had access to a wider range of foods and were especially fond of eating meat in some manner.
It is believed that the Aztecs only attempted to domesticate ducks and turkeys as their sole livestock species. There is also evidence that they consumed domesticated canines, but the majority of their other meat was obtained by hunting. This included deer and rabbits, in addition to iguanas, gophers, frogs, tadpoles, and insects.
It is believed that the Maya, Aztecs, Huastecs, and other societies from ancient Mesoamerica were the first people to consume pulque, an alcoholic beverage. It is produced in a manner comparable to that of beer by fermenting the juice or sap of the maguey plant (Agave americana). It was called octli in Nahuatl, the language used by the Aztecs, while the Maya referred to it as chih.