Try encasing it in mortared stone at least 10 blocks below the nearest dirt/water blocks. I have heard various advice on this matter and the general rule is deeper is better.
I have also heard that you can now encase tailings above ground now too. Has not been tried on the server i am on currently but If you are impatient then it is probable worth a try just be prepared for the problems that may follow.
nice script.. currently getting script warnings/errors when running it though.
find_best_food.py:43: SyntaxWarning: name 'ban_items' is assigned to before global declaration
global max_food_combinations, ban_items
C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\deap\tools_hypervolume\pyhv.py:33: ImportWarning: Falling back to the python version of hypervolume module. Expect this to be very slow.
"module. Expect this to be very slow.", ImportWarning)
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "find_best_food.py", line 93, in <module>
data = load_data(path_to_food)
File "find_best_food.py", line 75, in load_data
if(len(only_craft) == 0 or match.group("craft") in craftstations):
NameError: global name 'only_craft' is not defined
Temperature and moisture don't appear to update. I checked some cliff plots with extreme differences between the z levels of various blocks, and the temperature doesn't change. Likewise, irrigation - if it's working as intended - ignores z levels at the moment. You should even be able to create a floating farm this way. On mountainous maps you can use this to your advantage by excavating farm areas into cliff sides.
You can also take a triple optimal plot and build a farm tower. Even bushes don't seem to suffer much from extreme overcrowding, and with high enough skill levels you'll get a minimum yield of 6 per plant anyway, even if base yield is only 1.
There are no sandworms on Eco yet. But who knows, it's modable...
As for deforestation, each plant has various parameters attached to where it can grow. Change these parameters by ruining the world around you you could create circumstances were it's possible.
A much easier way to prevent/limit self-reforestation is to only use the logs and leave the site full of pulp and a stump.