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Farmercraft is one of the traditional crafts on Pern. Its major crafthall is located in Nerat Hold.

Description

A detailed description of the Craft on the basis of the The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern

Masterfarmer Andemon looks like the epitome of the dour farmer. If a reproduction of Grant Wood's American Gothic had survived to this day, cynics might find in it a family resemblance to this Craftmaster.

Holders find Andemon difficult to get along with, but they have to admit that his advice is always sound. He is more inflexible in his relations with other people than with matters relating to his Craft. It was with his influence that F'lar was able to convince some of the Lord Holders that the grubs they had been destroying through the Turns were what saved the Southern Continent from Thread burrows. What convinced the Master-farmer that the grubs were not inimical to plant life was the fact that the plants grown in grub-enriched soil grew larger and stronger than the ones that did not. To him, that was reason enough to endorse their use.

Andemon is always seeking to make every acre of land count, and has journeymen out combing the land for the best of every kind of plant. The Farmcraft experiments with high-yield grains and superior vegetables. They also understand the importance of conservation of the soil, feeding it so it can continue to feed them. With so many humans and animals to feed and good land as scarce as it is, food propagation is a serious matter. The Holders who come for his advice may not like the way in which it is presented, but they cannot fault him on fact.

Like the Beastcraft, Tannercraft, Weavercraft, and Bakercraft, the Farmcraft is the science for the average farmer. It provides the holder with the fruit of Turns of experience and the results of experiments to which the holder does not have to sacrifice precious dragonlengths of land.

The Farmcraft is aware of the uses of cross-pollination to produce larger and healthier root vegetables, sweeter redroots, or bigger tubers, and it understands the need for fertilization to keep the soil from becoming exhausted. The Masterfarmer himself takes on the task of negotiating with Nerat fishermen for fish heads and bones to enrich the soil. His journeymen travel through the farmlands advising small holders on matters of healthy soil, suggesting where to plant what for superior yield, and acting as arbiters on when to plant certain crops. Small cot-holders often refuse, as a matter of pride, to follow the journeymen's directions, but eventually common sense wins out. One problem that has never been solved is the difficulty the holders have with propagating broad roots.

The bee was one species that did not survive the transition from Earth to Pern. Besides having to rely upon vegetable sweetening for cooking, the Pernese also had to make use of the pollinating insects that existed on the planet already. The chief pollinator is the trundlebug.

Trundlebugs cannot fly, but they live long and crawl far. Their bodies are round and black, and when they reproduce, the young trundlebugs attach themselves to the back of the mother like a chain of bobbles. When they grow to adulthood, they detach, and the females form their own chains.

There are several other flying insects that scatter pollen, so the Farmcraft has had to develop a substitute for plastic sheeting that allows a plant to develop without letting pollinators near them. One of the specialties that a journeyman can follow is that of a seedling or nursery master, crossing hybrids and keeping close watch on the results. Others go around and about Pern, gathering seeds, cuttings, and saplings, or raising experimental crops in remote patches.

Positions and responsibilities

  • Agronomists and botanists — these professions, used after the landing, were later abolished and merged into the Farmercraft.
  • Farmer — the general name of specialists engaged in agriculture.

History

First Pass / First Interval

First Interval / Second Pass

  • Craftsmaster:

Second Interval / Third Pass

  • Craftsmaster:

Sixth Pass

  • Craftsmaster:

Eighth Interval / Ninth Pass


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