When the pilgrims first came to America they almost all starved to death because they adopted communal agriculture. How the pilgrims saved themselves was to adopt the primary prerequisite for a capitalism economy, private property. Mayflower pilgrims had a system in which all goods were owned by the community. All produce was in a common store, from which each individual would receive equal ration regardless of how much he had contributed. The colony was unable to produce enough food until individuals traded with Indians and fellow Pilgrims.
More info: Thomas DiLorenzo - Myths About Capitalism: http://youtu.be/MwoHwf7kL-U
What Really Happened at Plymouth by Murray N. Rothbard: http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard130.html