The potato was the most essential component of the Inca diet and the primary source of sustenance for the Inca people. Potatoes, which are considered to be one of Peru’s natural crops, were first tamed and domesticated more than 8,000 years ago by pre-Inca societies. Which crop was the Incas’ primary source of income and why?
Quinoa, potatoes, and corn were the Inca people’s primary food sources, but they also employed a wide variety of other plants for medical purposes.
Maize, coca, beans, grains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, ulluco, oca, mashwa, pepper, tomatoes, peanuts, cashews, squash, cucumber, quinoa, gourd, cotton, talwi, carob, chirimoya, lcuma, guayabo, and avocado were among the crops that were farmed across the Inca Empire. The majority of the livestock consisted of herds of llamas and alpacas.
The people of the Inca Empire diversified their agricultural production by establishing colonies and cultivating reciprocal relationships with populations living at different elevations than the Inca heartland. This allowed them to cultivate a wider variety of crops, some of which could only be grown in climates that were associated with specific altitudes.
The potato was the most essential component of the Inca diet and the primary source of sustenance for the Inca people. Potatoes, which are considered to be one of Peru’s natural crops, were first tamed and domesticated more than 8,000 years ago by pre-Inca societies.
They produced hardy varieties of crops including potatoes, quinoa, and corn, among others. They constructed water storage cisterns as well as irrigation canals that zigzagged and slanted their way down and around the mountains. In addition to this, they hacked terraces into the hillside, beginning in the lowlands and working their way up the slopes.
A wide variety of tubers, roots, and cereals were used as the primary sources of nutrition. There was a high regard for maize, despite the fact that it could not be cultivated to the same extent as it was further north. Guinea pigs and llamas were the most prevalent sources of meat, and dried fish was a significant food source as well.
The Inca civilisation is famous for many things, including the creation of the biggest empire that the Americas have ever seen, the development of outstanding agricultural practices, and the development of art and architecture that innovatively merged geometric masonry with natural landscapes.
Research at Mount Pleasant focuses on beans, corn, and squash, which are sometimes referred to together as the ″three sisters.″ Polyculture is the term used by agronomists to describe the method by which these mainstays of Iroquois cropping are historically produced together on a same plot, imitating the natural systems that exist.
The Incas built a wonderful irrigation system that provided water to farmers all across their empire, from the arid lowlands to the terraced mountains. In point of fact, 85 percent of the agriculture was kept alive by canal irrigation, which complemented the natural rainfall that occurred throughout the year.
In spite of its name, the potato is really a tuber that was first cultivated in this part of the world. This nutrient-dense Andean plant would have been cultivated by the Inca in one of the many terraced gardens that are located close to the sites of most Inca settlements today. Potatoes were a common ingredient in Inca cuisine, appearing in dishes such as stews and soups.
Potatoes were an important crop for the Incas, who not only consumed them regularly but also believed they made childbirth easier and used them medicinally. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Peru in 1532 in pursuit of gold, they observed Inca miners eating chuuu, which is the Inca word for potato. This was their first interaction with the potato.
They considered the Incas to be archaic, and because of this, they coerced the indigenous people of the Andes to switch from the crops that they had relied on for thousands of years to European varieties such as wheat, barley, and carrots.