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If one does not have a river on his map (just a couple of pools), how can one prepare land for farming?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

What I like to do is simply carve out an underground area next to one of the pools, and then breach the wall of the pool. The water flows through your fortress making muddied soil, and then the murky pool can be blocked off to prevent more water from entering.

Alternatively, you can simply dig down to the first cavern layer, which is completely muddied and ready to be farmed (unless you're on a reclaim).

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Raven Dreamer's answer works quiet well, but you can also designate a pond above where you want your farms, and have your dwarves carry water there.

Note that you will need buckets, a fresh water source, and idle dwarves.

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You also need fresh water for this. If all of your pools are salty it won't work. – aslum Dec 31 '10 at 23:11

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