What were Chinampas used for?

Asked By: Evgueni Schlothauer | Last Updated: 1st June, 2020
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Chinampa (Nahuatl languages: chināmitl [t?iˈnaːmit?]) is a type of Mesoamerican agriculture which used small, rectangular areas of fertile arable land to grow crops on the shallow lake beds in the Valley of Mexico.

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Likewise, why did Aztecs use Chinampas?

Chinampas were essentially artificial islands created for the crops. These islands then provided rich soil for crops with easy access to water. The farmers used channels between the islands to get to each area by canoe. Read more about this type of Aztec farming here.

Subsequently, question is, do people still use Chinampas? Most of the chinampas have been abandoned and filled in - they weren't used as much after the conquest. When the Spanish arrived, the chinampas covered nearly 9000 hectares. However, some remain in use today. Remnants of the canal system can be seen in Xochimilco.

Subsequently, one may also ask, where are Chinampas used today?

The modern-day Chinampas can be used on top of lakes, ponds, or any other fresh body of water. One application of this garden will be cattle ponds, the ponds that cattle ranchers use to provide drinking water for their cattle.

How did the Aztecs make floating gardens?

These floating gardens were a masterpiece of engineering. Each garden was 300 feet long by 30 feet wide. To make a garden, workers weaved sticks together to form a giant raft, and then then piled mud from the bottom of the lake on top of the raft to create a layer of soil three feet thick.

38 Related Question Answers Found

What were the Aztecs known for?

The Aztecs were famous for their agriculture, cultivating all available land, introducing irrigation, draining swamps, and creating artificial islands in the lakes. They developed a form of hieroglyphic writing, a complex calendar system, and built famous pyramids and temples.

What did the Aztecs invent?

The Aztecs are credited with a number of inventions, but in reality, most of their "inventions" were already well-known in Central America. It's more accurate to say the Aztecs popularized inventions such as popcorn and chewing gum by introducing them to the Spanish conquerors.

What foods did the Aztecs grow?

  • Corn. One of the primary crops that the Aztec people grew was corn, or maize, which they used to prepare a wide variety of other foods.
  • Beans.
  • Fruits and Vegetables.
  • Meat and Other Foods.
  • Taking Diet Inspiration from the Aztecs.

How did the Aztecs build the chinampas?

Chinampas were created by piling mud and decaying plants into small stationary islands on top of which the farmers would sow maize, beans, chilies, squash, tomatoes, and greens. The dredging of the mud cleared the way for canals and naturally reinvigorated the nutrients in the soil that fed their crops.

What did Aztecs eat?


The Aztec diet was dominated by fruit and vegetables, as domesticated animals were limited to dogs, turkeys (totolin), ducks, and honey bees. Game (especially rabbits, deer and wild pigs), fish, birds, salamanders, algae (used to make cakes), frogs, tadpoles and insects were also a valuable food source.

What was the Aztecs farming methods?

Three crops formed the staples of the Aztec diet: maize, or corn, beans and squash. To grow all this food, the Aztecs used two main farming methods: the chinampas and terracing. Chinampas were essentially man-made islands, raised bed gardens on the surface of Lake Texcoco's shallow waters.

What is a floating farm?

Floating Farm was envisioned and initiated by Peter and Minke van Wingerden of Beladon, a company that specialises in waterborne architecture, and designed by architecture studio Goldsmith. It is now home to 32 cows, producing dairy products that will soon be on sale in Lidl stores all over the city.

What is Chinampa?

noun. (in Mesoamerica) a long and narrow floating field on a shallow lake bed, artificially built up by layering soil, sediment, and decaying vegetation and used, especially by the Aztecs, to grow crops.

How do you make a floating garden?


Floating Gardens
  1. Building a floating garden.
  2. Step 1: Cut bamboos and tie them firmly using twines to form the base of the floating garden.
  3. Step 2: Cover the frame with palm tree leaves or banana tree leaves.
  4. Step 3: Add a layer of planting media and compost on the top of the base and plant your seeds or seedlings into it.

How do you make Chinampas?

Build an Aztec Water Garden
  1. Step 1: About the Aztec Water Garden. The Aztec floating garden looks like a floating garden.
  2. Step 2: What You'll Need. Saplings.
  3. Step 3: Step 1 - Vines and Saplings.
  4. Step 4: Step 2 - Palm Fronds.
  5. Step 5: Step 3 - Cinder Blocks.
  6. Step 6: Step 4 - Adding Compost and Plants.

What flowers did the Aztecs grow?

Aztec Flower Growing Techniques
For instance, Aztecs were able to grow double-flowered marigolds and dahlias which was a significant innovation in the normal varieties of these flowers.

What time period did the Aztecs live in?

The Aztecs (/ˈæzt?ks/) were a Mesoamerican culture that flourished in central Mexico in the post-classic period from 1300 to 1521.

What kind of beans did the Aztecs eat?

Aztec staple foods included maize, beans and squash to which were often added chilis, nopales and tomatoes, all prominent parts of the Mexican diet to this day.

How did the Aztecs get food?


While the Aztecs ruled, they farmed large areas of land. Staples of their diet were maize, beans and squash. To these, they added chilies and tomatoes. They also harvested Acocils, an abundant crayfish-like creature found in Lake Texcoco, as well as Spirulina algae which they made into cakes.

What happened to the Aztecs?

Fall of the Aztec Empire
The Aztecs were conquered by Spain in 1521 after a long siege of the capital, Tenochtitlan, where much of the population died from hunger and smallpox. Cuauhtémoc, the last Hueyi Tlatoani surrendered to Cortés on August 13, 1521.