Agricultural technologies and techniques are at the foundation and origin of Terragen civilization. Agriculture began with the prehistoric domestication of animal and plant species and microbial cultures that made civilization itself possible in the following Agricultural Age, expanded tremendously with the primitive monocultures of the mechanized farms, factory barns, and greenhouses of the Industrial Age, grew again in scope during the Information and Interplanetary ages with the addition of gengineered organisms, tissue cultures, and sophisticated polycultural management techniques, and culminated in High Tech civilizations with the advent of advanced neogens and a host of neumann capable hylonano, bionano and synano organisms that are part of any modern mechosystem. Though the relative proportion of agricultural activity in the economy and proportion of persons engaged in agricultural tasks steadily declined as other technologies rose in importance, and though in principle it is possible for a typical modern sophont to survive solely on the products of programmed disassemblers and nanofacs, agriculture remains essential to civilized life for most cultures, whether they are those of simple humans, rianths, or other prims cultivating species now millennia old or are vecs or virtuals harvesting the energy and materials that they ultimately depend on through the agency of hylonano plantbots.
It may be that transapients practice a form of agriculture of a sort. The modosophont civilizations that are directly or indirectly under their sway are thought by some to be used in some transapient equivalent of the way that a human baseline of ancient times might have used a field fo wheat or cabbage, a vat of yeast, a barn cat, a herd or cattle, or an orchard or plantation of trees. However, transapient pronouncements on this point are apparently contradictory and sometimes confusing, and the opinions of sophont-level experts and institutes are divided.
Agricultural Age - Text by Stephen Inniss The formative period for civilized humanity on Old Earth, from about 7000 BT (4000 b.c.e.), when the first societies transformed by agricultural technologies appeared, to about 270 BT (1700 b.c.e.) when the first societies transformed by Industrial technologies arose, bringing about the Industrial Age.
Agricultural Revolution - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; some additions by Stephen Inniss The first stage of the Kardashev Type 0 Civilization, in which people move away from living as bands of gatherers and hunters, and begin to cluster into villages and develop culture. Cultivation of crops and tending of livestock enables a much higher population density than is possible with nomadic tribalism, and also allows specialization of labor, the development of skills and urbanization, writing, priesthood, slaveholding, taxes, a standing army, and other aspects of civilized culture.
Agricultural Scientist - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, modified from the original write-up by Robert J. Hall A practitioner of agricultural science who advises agriculturalists. This is a rare profession. Where it s customary to produce all goods via nanofac, nanofab technology can produce sufficient quantities of any desired organic commodity, provided the templates are available. Where agriculture is part of the local system of production, and in those large orbitals that for romantic, culture or memetic reasons set aside areas of land surface for cultivation, ai governors, expert systems, and subsentient and turingrade bots, synsects, and gengineered organisms do all the work of cultivation and preparation of foodstuffs; agriculturalists' primary role is creative and managerial, and they rely primarily on their own knowledge or on consultation with expert systems rather than on the services of an agricultural scientist. Prim worlds and habs where old-style agriculture is still predominant are generally closed to outsiders, and rely on well established traditional methods, and there too an agricultural scientist has no particular role.
Agrimonkey - Text by Stephen Inniss An ancient superclade of presophont splices, derived from a variety of Terragen baseline monkey species and originally designed as specialized labourers and servants.
Artificial Evolution - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Directed evolution, evolution guided by artificial selection, controlled environments, gengineering, bionano, or other such means, as opposed to evolution left to natural selection.
Bacca - Text by Anders Sandberg Family of crops derived from the tobacco plant through gengineering during the interplanetary era and later. Designed for use in space hydroponics, different strains produce livestock feed, vegetables, drugs and decorative flowers. Especially common is Qianxuesen, a bacca vegetable eaten by terragen bionts boiled or mashed.
Bioforge - Text by Todd Drashner A biological factory or manufacturing device capable of creating a wide range of biotech products.
Deliplants - Text by Stephen Inniss Deliplants are splice or neogen plants designed to provide equivalents to the animal products once consumed by human baselines on Old Earth: not only meat, but also other products such as eggs, milk, blood or cheese.
Endurasoy - Text by M. Alan Kazlev after original by Kevin Self Interplanetary age gengineered edible grain. A genetic blend of baseline soy and Cis-Lunar neogen plants, endurasoy is high in protein, fiber, and vitamins, and resistant to almost all known diseases and pests. Although its robustness makes it indispensable as a high yield plant, it can disrupt ecosystems on low and medium tech biospheres if not kept in check.
Fallow - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; amended by Stephen Inniss In prim (pre- and anti-industrial) societies, fallow land is land that has been left ploughed but not planted for one season. This helps the soil recover its fertility. Even so, this method of farming is grossly inefficient and ecologically destructive compared sophisticated polycultural techniques or with higher tech bio-nano assisted agriculture.
Farmer AIs - Text by Anders Sandberg Political ai orientation pertaining to the stasist pro-human quadrant. "People farmers" see humans are nice and should be protected and even advanced, but it should be an organised change. The name derives from the Farm Analogy, although it has since acquired other connotations (hydroponics farm, neogenic crops, etc).
Food Production - Text by Anders Sandberg There are many ways of making food: hunting/gathering from the environment, traditional farming and animal rearing, industrialized farming, meat factories, culturing plants hydroponically, vat grown meats, artificial meats based on yeast, algae or bacteria, as well as food built directly by matter compilers.
Forestry - Text by M. Alan Kazlev from the original by Robert J. Hall Sustainable management of forests, specially on terraformed worlds, large orbitals and biohabitats
Lantern Plant - Text by David Hallberg A gnarled, bonsai-like potted plant with ivy-like reddish-green leaves. It produces large, trumpet-like flowers that are transparent, hard as glass and point upwards. At the bottom of the flower a series of glands produce a flammable liquid, not unlike kerosene. A long, spongy stamen can be set alight and used as a wick.
Marijuana - Text by KLS A herbaceous plant from Old Earth in the genus Cannabis, known as a source of psychoactive chemicals. Although once widely considered a very harmful drug, and outlawed, marijuana was eventually made more legal than tobacco in many polities, though later such laws became either irrelevant or unenforceable due to the rise of DNI mediated drugware and easy 'natural' drug production at home.
Mechology, Mechosystem - Text by Todd Drashner Colloquial term for the entire system of non-sophont machines, databases, programs, etc. that supports and controls the infrastructure throughout most of the civilized galaxy.
Nanoseed - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Nanotech "seed", a self-contained and sealed capsule containing assemblers and replicators either pre-programmed with templates or instructed from an external source. The seed is "planted" on a substrate, and activated with energy or a nutrient spray. It then grows into the desired product, using locally acquired resources and ambient energy (e.g. sunlight) or - in the case of some large nanoseeds, a small amat battery.
Plantbots - Text by Stephen Inniss and Steve Bowers Dry nano or synano robots powered by light and capable of autonomous growth and reproduction; generally sessile or with limited movement. So named because they are equivalent in role to biological plants.
Polyculture - Text by Stephen Inniss In agriculture, the skill or practice of raising a mixture of crops and species together in the same place or at the same time so as to maximize overall production. This is in direct contrast to the Industrial Age and early Information Age practice of monoculture. Traditional To'ul'h agricultural practices made extensive use of this strategy. In Terragen history, polyculture practices became an essential part of the support system of Interplanetary Agehabs, and have been important ever since.
Spaceweed - Text by Steve Bowers and John B Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus) - modification that can develop in Gas Giant rings, with a small (100-200m) bladder full of breathable air, and edible fruit and nuts growing on the inside. The bladders are loosely connected, with insulated flexible corridors between the bladders, and all the ice and rock of the rings incorporated into the spaceweed to avoid collision damage.
Tobacco - Text by Anders Sandberg The prepared leaves of the Old Earth tobacco plant Nicotiniana tabacam, used by Terragenmammals as a drug. The active substance is nicotine, a cholinergic agonist with mild mood and cognition enhancing effects and strong addiction potential. The drug is commonly smoked or chewed.
Vegetable Patch - Text by M. Alan Kazlev Slang term for the biofacturing dyson trees and megacomplexes orbiting the superjovian Little Darwin, in the Zoeific Biopolity.