Ninety percent of Novans sustain themselves through farming. The overwhelming majority of these are subsistence farmers.
It is often said that farmers are the lifeblood of Nova. In some ways this is untrue, as the vast majority of farmers raise crops for their own families and sell only what (if anything) they have left over. However, virtually all farmers are feudal tenants who pay rent in the form of food, and in this way sustain Nova’s [[Knights | knights] and lords, while the food they sell at market sustains everybody else.
Nova Primus is well suited to farming once its forests have been cleared, and many farmers can manage three harvests a year. While this results in a high total yield, most farmers barely scrape by. Feudal rents on Nova are high, and there are always repairs to be made on a farm that require extra crops to be sold. Some farmers attempt to ameliorate this problem by devoting fields to more valuable commercial crops such as cotton, but these are often labor-intensive and cut into a family’s food reserves in the event of a bad harvest. Strictly commercial farming is very rare on Nova, and to most people is more like being a merchant than farmer. Most commercial crops are raised as a side project by farming families and aggregated at markets.
Similarly, Nova has very few full-time herders. Instead, herds of sheep, goat, cows, and other commercially important animals are raised by farmers lucky enough to be able to afford them. Most farmers own a few animals, but ownership of an entire hard is a mark of great prosperity for a farmer.
Farmers provide the bulk of human armies, making sieges and victory over the ork possible – a fact which is rarely forgotten in wartime speeches, and frequently forgotten every time else. Though frequently honored for their service by nobles and the white priests, in reality even successful farmers have a social position only one step up from merchants.
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