During the 2021 conflict in Tigray (north Ethiopia) crop cultivation has been hampered by warfare. Oxen have been looted and killed, farm inputs and tools destroyed by Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers. Farmers felt vulnerable out in the open with their oxen. To produce, farmers evaluated risks involved with ploughing and organised lookouts. Overall, a large part of the land had been tilled in difficult conditions, and crops sown that require minimal management, without fertiliser, what led to low yields. True Colour Composite images, produced from Sentinel satellite imagery show that smallholder irrigation schemes were operational. There was a shift from commercial crops to cereals. The situation in western Tigray was particular, as there has been ethnic cleansing of the population and often the 2020 rainfed crops had even not been harvested. Overall, our findings show that the Tigrayan smallholder farming system is resilient, thanks to community self-organisation, combining common strategies of agrarian societies in wartime: spatio-temporal shift in agricultural activities to avoid the proximity with soldiers and shifts in crop types. Rather unique is the relying on communal aid, while the blockade of the Tigray region made that outmigration and off-farm income were no options for the farmers.