After the burning of real forest the soil is loose and free of weeds and hoeing of the land is unnecessary. By contrast, when the period of fallow is shortened and, therefore, the natural vegetation before clearing is thin or grassy the land must be prepared with a hoe or similar instrument before the seeds or roots can be placed.
Some intensive horticulturalists employ elements of technology in addition to, or instead of, the ones mentioned above. Polynesian intensive horticulturalists, for example, although they never made use of hoes, did engage in the terracing and irrigation of land. It is clear, then, that intensive horticulturalists have achieved a level of technological development beyond what is typical for simple horticulturalists. It is also clear that people work harder and longer under intensive horticulture. Preparing the land by hoeing, and terracing and irrigating land, are demanding and time-consuming activities. Since people work harder and longer, and since any given area of land is cultivated more frequently, it is obvious why this mode of subsistence technology is referred to as intensive horticulture.
Compared to simple horticulture, intensive horticulture is considerably more productive per unit of land. Intensive horticulturalists, in fact, produce sizable economic surpluses, and these surpluses are used to support a class of persons who are freed from direct involvement in agricultural production. In many intensive horticultural societies, the members of this class are regarded, theoretically at least, as the owners of all the land, and in all such societies they direct many economic activities. Their standard of living is higher than that of everyone else. The standard of living of most of the members of intensive horticultural societies is difficult to determine, but it seems likely that it