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Old 04-13-2021, 03:58 AM
CraigD6er CraigD6er is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: England
Posts: 23

Interesting. As they have neither horse nor vehicle to start with it is going to be a massive amount of work to manage a farm with 11 people. Farming isn't an instant process and they are going to have to become hunter/gatherers whilst the crops come in. Assuming someone over the radio can talk them through what to do, there is still a massive learning curve for people that haven't perhaps even grown vegetables themselves; it is also a lot of hard labour for people that may not be used to it. I have a couple of inherited books showing both hand tools and horse drawn farm implements. Firstly clearing the land of the vegetation that has sprung up after any period of neglect. Without horses, you're looking at breast ploughs if they want furrows, hand sowing or maybe a fiddle spreader to sow the seeds at some point, hoes to keep the weeds down and prevent them strangling your crop, sickles or scythes to harvest the grain (a trained farm hand with a scythe can possibly do an acre of wheat a day, which may yield 4-5000 loaves if the crop is very good and there is little to no wastage at any stage of the processing), flails or similar to process (threshing/winnowing) it. That may produce 6 or 7 bushels per day, for experienced farm hands with no interruptions, and your acre will produce 40-50 bushels. All of that assumes that someone knows what these tools are and can find heritage ones or make them and then learn how to use them, otherwise it's really backwards (and backbreaking) using make-do tools. Even in the early twentieth century when farm implements were far more common, labour was a massive drain on a community. One source I have suggested an average English farm could keep a large staff busy over the winter just processing the grain they'd harvested. That's without maintenance of fences and buildings, looking after any livestock, and in this setting guarding against marauders or wild animals etc.
Depending on the terrain and climate, there is drainage and watering to manage, pests to be kept down (insects, small mammals and birds). There's the threat of a bad harvest, blight, storm damage and more. One bad event and the years produce is lost. If all does go well, then next year you prepare the ground and repeat, ad nauseam.
Assuming all goes well, 5,000 loaves will provide for these 11 people for a year, but at less than subsistance level, especially given the work they are doing and the calories they are burning through. So they are going to need to diversify. Fruits, root crops etc to make up the balance, plus whatever they can hunt or fish.
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