Terrace Farming in the Inca Empire Illustration

Inca Empire for Kids
Terrace Farming

Nobody went hungry in the Inca empire. The commoners ate little meat, but all people ate well.

The Inca were the first to grow potatoes. There were many crops. The big three were corn, potatoes, and quinoa, which is a seed used to make flour and soups.

The three staple crops were corn, potatoes, and quinoa - quinoa seeds were used to make cereal, flour, and soups. They planted grew tomatoes, avocados, peppers, strawberries, peanuts, squash, sweet potatoes, beans, pineapple, bananas, spices, and coco leaves to make chocolate. They kept honeybees.

The Inca grew more food than they needed. Stored food was dried and kept in special buildings. Because they lived high in the Andes, where it was often cold, it was easy to dry food. First, they left it out to freeze. Then they stamped on it until most of the water was out. They left it out in the sun to finish drying. And presto - dried food.

The Inca invented terrace farming. They lived in the mountains. Flatlands were rare. So, they simply created flat land by building steps of land for agriculture down the mountainside. This was great for irrigation. Instead of rainwater running down the mountainside, the Inca channeled it through each step. They also built aqueducts to carry water where it was needed.

They were great farmers, with clever solutions to their farming problems.

The Wild Potato

Chicha, a drink made from corn

Economy of the Inca Empire

Incas for Kids

Interactive Quiz about the Incredible Incas (with answers)