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Mushroom Farming

A practice relatively unique to the Children of Aktar and its native peoples, the cultivation of mushrooms has been adopted by dwarven peoples in rough and mountainous lands. Accustomed to deep caves and high mountains, the dwarves of the Children of Aktar often find themselves in environs lacking flat arable land, sunlight, or both. While the first problem can and has been solved through earthworks, the dwarves have sought to solve the second by cultivating edible fungi in convenient places in the mountains and their underground homes.   They most common species of mushroom so cultivated are the Qeyfhar and the Tenebrani. Both species do poorly in the light, and in the wild tend to be found near underground rivers and shadowed creeks. Both remarkably hardy and both edible, the basic method of farming each fungus is to simply spread spores on a spread of dead organic material and loose soil. While not an especially efficient source of food, both mushrooms can be grown year-round and in complete darkness.   The Qeyfhar is more commonly cultivated by the Thaner, and consists of small mushrooms with thin stalks and a small cap that appears red to dwarven eyes in low light. Commonly fed by dead grass and whatever the farmer can muster, mixed into an organic sludge, this often stinky mixture is placed into an out of the way pit and seeded with qeyfhar spores. Then, it is a simple matter of waiting and harvesting the fungal bodies once they grow. Both the qeyfhar and tenebrani are known to grow on near anything more nourishing than bare rock.   The Tenebrani is more commonly cultivated in the Gafahraz, and is often pejoratively referred to as "grave-meat" by the Thaner in reference to the Gafhi custom of planting tenebrani on the graves of the deceased. The Thaner find this distasteful, while the Gafhi contend that returning the dead to the soil and to then feed the future is the will of the God of Roots. Compared to the qeyfhar, the tenebrani is darker, but also colorless, and the individual fungal bodies are larger.

Social Impact

Mushroom farming is widely understood in the Children of Aktar, though not practiced outside of it due to its relatively low yield. Though relied upon as a supplementary food source among both the Gafhi and Thaner, particularly in the highlands, the Thaner have typically considered mushroom farming to be an unskilled and low-class activity.

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2 Jan, 2022 00:37

This makes so much sense for a subterranean dwarf culture to do. Also, I'm obsessed with the slang "grave-meat"

12 Jan, 2022 16:22

Grave meat is such great slang - such a great cultural note that really helps the world feel real. :) Really interesting article!

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet