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Old 12-08-2008, 05:28 AM
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Default FARMING in T2K

Not sure if this warrants a thread of its own or if it should be bunched with GM RESOUCES thread or not .

Many NPCs or PCs will find that life revolves around agriculture and substinence farming after the shtf. ( shit hit the fan).

Imho most people live like this after an apocalypse in some capacity or they take instead of make what they need .(See marauder - or just hungry or desperate)

So what can you expect from an encounter with a "Stout yeomanry " as they are called in the V.2.0 book .

gear ?
stockpiles?
resources?
- what would they have ?

crops - and crop yields ?
- how big a plot to feed 10 peopel for a year ,and what should they grow?

human factor?
- a thousand possibilities but something along the lines of who might they be,traits that might be characteristic, how would they respond to a certain type of situation etc

Clearly the GDW people didnt think farmin a very big part of the roleplaying fun - but for a touch of realism or the campaign that centers on more of a survive aspect and less of the fight and loot aspect I find it interesting .

Everyone else that have something -I hope you will chip in and of course that Kato will systemize as needed .

Last edited by headquarters; 12-08-2008 at 05:43 AM. Reason: new idea
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:35 AM
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Default Stout Yeomanry

the encounter in the book v.2.0 that goes under the name "Stout Yeomanry" could do with a little fleshing out imho .Since many people will be living ruraly fending for themselves in T2K , a little something about them and the way they live could be useful .

here is a link to a company that seem to specialize in building them ( albeit not staffing them ).

http://www.readymaderesources.com/

The definition of a stout yeomanry seems to be a semifortified farmstead geared towards survivalism in the book ,but as a GM it is not always easy to come up with what such a place might entail in terms of gear and resources available - this site has everything the discerning yeoman or survivalist could desire imho.

If the players get the opportunity to go through the inventory of such a facility ,the GM could quickly run through the site and come up with some pretty detailed stuff like hydroelectrical generators,seed reserve,survival gear and security measures.
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:16 PM
Graebarde Graebarde is offline
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Default Farming after TEOTWAWKI

I will address this from the American perspective. Farming is hard work, even in the mechanized era. The slide to muscle-powered subsistence agriculture will be very difficult at best. There are several problems to be addressed going into this scenario for the unprepared individual which includes the vast majority.

Using your own muscle, vs. that of a four-legged creature, for the grunt work. Most persons, even hard working farmers, are not prepared for this. It will take time to prepare the land for some crop planting. Since the fall takes place in the non-planting season (late November) for most of the US, this can be an advantage in some areas. Hand digging with a spade and hoe is gruesome work. I dug a garden by hand from a sod yard using the deep bed method. It took me about four hours to dig the first 4x25 bed. This entailed digging down about three feet. Now this is probably excessive, but that’s what the plan called for. A regular plan would be to dig at least 12” though and does not bury the sod. And that is just the FIRST installment. You need to dig it and rake it to get rid of clods. Of course the more hands you have the faster it will go, to a point.

Advancing to the use of quadrupeds for power work entails having TRAINED animals. Here we’re talking horses, mules and oxen generally. It takes at LEAST four years to get an animal to the age where it can be worked without destroying the animal in the process. It’s like a kid shouldn’t be doing power lifting until their body structure has matured to a certain point. Of course during this time you train the animal. Oxen are relatively easy to train and maintain compared to horses and mules. But as I said, it will take time. There are few experienced persons (and animals) in comparison to projected need, for this at day one.

Tools for the trade vary from the foresaid spade and hoe, along with a rake, to do primary digging. Seeds will be hand planted, weeded, and harvested. A LOT of stoop labor for untrained muscles. Fat America will be a thing of the past for survivors. And I do mean survivors, for it will be a survival of the fittest after the fall. For draft animals, the trailing tools such as plows, cultivators, planters, etc are museum pieces, and far and few between in most sections of the country. Modern farm equipment can be modified to a point, but is usually so large it would take a herd of drafters to pull it, which we have deemed will not be the case. So during the four-years (yes I realize it will not take that long in general, but that’s the time to raise a work animal to maturity) farm implements will be modified and made. A good job for the mechanic.

Seed, fertilizer, pesticides of modern agriculture will be a thing of the past. While there is some problems with small grains with regard to hybrids it is nothing in comparison to the corn-bean cropping of the Midwest. Hybrids seeds will be good for year one, and the seed can not be relied on for future cropping in any certainty. There will not be 100 bushel corn and 60 bushel soybeans, generally speaking. It will take time and coordinated effort to get the necessary open-pollinated seed for future crops. Will our government allow the farmers to keep back seed for the next year when people need food now? It will be a tough decision. Chemical fertilizer and pesticides went the way of the oil refineries. Most of the plants are/were located in the same general vicinity of the refineries and used refinery stocks for production. It will take several years to build the soils back up using manure and crop rotation.


I have done a lot of work with yields of crops. Using my 1948 text as a base, since the yields we can expect from field crops will drop drastically. Wheat yields will be about 12-20 bushels per acre, compared to 30-50 now, while corn will fall back to the 30-40 bu/a compared to the 100+ now. Vegetables will be in the same deciline of yields as field crops until open-pollinated seed is used and people learn (the hard way) to raise a garden that will yield organically. Yes, American agriculture will be ORGANIC again, as it was for the centuries before the big boys got involved.

Now I have been dodging the actual question of sorts. How much land does it take to feed one person? The variables include the location, growing season, rainfall, seed used, experience, and LUCK to name a few. Yes LUCK is a good part of it. I have seen a wheat field ready for harvest the next day look like a flock of sheep were run through it during the night from hail. It is heart breaking from and economical perspective, devastating from a survival perspective if that was the food to get you through to the next crop. Diversity of crops helps some, giving a variety in diet among other things.

But to answer the question properly requires some assumptions to be made. Assume ‘average’ conditions, using hand tools, with some experience (at least the second crop). A precise calculation using caloric requirements and caloric yields of food stock, which I have, but not with me, will give you how much a person needs per year. However a rule-of-thumb gives about 6 pounds per day per person, which is 2190 pounds. Now not every thing that is harvested is eaten, such as with pumpkins in which the rind is discarded, so there is a processing loss in all crops. IF you assume a modest 10% or so, that takes the needed production to ~2400 pounds/person/year of all food stock.

Let’s say you grow corn, winter squash, dry beans, cabbage, potatoes, mixed vegetable and wheat. You do not double crop other than dry beans follow winter wheat and interplant squash with the corn. You will have a variety of vegetables in one plot such as onions, carrots, tomato, turnips, lettuce, etc. You have 1 acre tilled of fair land split into five plots. You were lucky and the bugs, birds, deer and other critters only got 20% of your crop. You kept the weeds under control, had sufficient water and pleasant growing season, with no disease problems. Your 0.2 acres of corn and squash gave you 400 pounds of corn and 250 pounds of squash (that makes the table). The dry beans and winter wheat give you 120 pounds of beans and 240 pounds of wheat. Heck you fought off the cabbage worms and actually got a decent crop, though not a pretty as what you saw before TDM, it was still about 3000 pounds of cabbage. Hope you like sauerkraut. Your spuds did well enough to give you 2000 pounds. Now whether you peel them or not depends on if this is all edible, but the nutrition is in the skins. The mixed vegetables will give you about 800 pounds of finished product or more. So the one acre has given you about 6800 pounds of mixed ‘finished’ goods. It would be enough for 2.8 persons (a couple and child?). I deducted for seed production already, For wheat and beans you need about 90#/acre, corn only needs about 8-10#, potatoes need almost 100# while the vegetables, including cabbage would take a couple of pounds at most (though that is variable too, and collecting seed from vegetables can get tricky. Ever had a hot bell pepper?)

Notice no livestock has entered into this equation. A hutch of rabbits will give you ~24 rabbits per year, which you can feed on the screenings, grass clippings, vegetable cuttings, weeds, etc. Same with chickens, where a broody hen will give you 8-12 fryers a couple times a year (or you can run an incubator/brooder). Meat is not the main thing, but the variety helps and chickens especially IMO are a bonus for bug/weed control and manure.

Grae
(I'll get some more direct answers next post)
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:23 PM
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Default Crop Yields

Attached is a yield table I have worked on. The sources are varied, but the main portion is from a book on intesive gardening. Remeber that the more you try to grow, generally the yield per unit becomes less (diminishing returns). The less is more concept is true. For yields of vegetables, I generally take 50% as the base yield. Then adjust with perctile increase or decrease from that.

Remeber diversity and crop rotations are essential for good sustained production. Animals add to the production cycle, eating waste and giving back produce and variety in diet.

CODE:

sp/in is the spacing of the plants in inches (recall this is intense gardening from the start)
y/plt is the yield in pounds per plant
4x20 is the number of plants at the recommended spacing in a 4' x 20' bed
yield is the yield in pounds of a 4x20 bed
y/0.1a is the yield in pounds of 1/10 acre plot

It should be noted the 1/10 plot for vegetable is ambigious as you need more walk space, which takes up approxiomately 1/3 of the total area.


hope you can find some use. As for the field crops, they are amgigious and I would use 1/3 of the yield given lacking other data for post-oops base line. Work is on going.

Grae
My degree is agriculture and avocation is primative/obsolete technology.
Attached Files
File Type: txt Yields.txt (3.5 KB, 136 views)

Last edited by Graebarde; 12-08-2008 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graebarde
Attached is a yield table I have worked on.
Grae
This looks great. Can you explain the headers. Kilograms or pounds is my first question, but I would like to make sure I am understanding all the others as well.

Edit: Thanks for the update.

Last edited by kato13; 12-08-2008 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:41 PM
Graebarde Graebarde is offline
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Headquarters: Not sure if this warrants a thread of its own or if it should be bunched with GM RESOUCES thread or not .

Many NPCs or PCs will find that life revolves around agriculture and substinence farming after the shtf. ( shit hit the fan).

Imho most people live like this after an apocalypse in some capacity or they take instead of make what they need .(See marauder - or just hungry or desperate)

Grae: Yes I agree. The first YEAR is going to probably the worst. A lot of die off the first winter from the cold, starvation, and disease. More the second winter for those that didn't get lucky and/or adapt the first crop season.

HQ: So what can you expect from an encounter with a "Stout yeomanry " as they are called in the V.2.0 book .

Grae: This depends on the location of the farm really. In GDW they listed 'isolated' farms in the four hour encounter while moving. Do you realize HOW MANY farms there are in Poland? I finally got a topo map of Poland after the wall came down, and was dumb founded as it looked as if pepper were spread on the map. Granted not all were habitated, but it 1% made it, there were still hundreds aroudn Kalize alone.

I'm going to answer the other questions in a general way for an American farm. (SW Missouri is a good location for this, but as I said it depends on location as to the setups and what you would find.)

Next Post.

Grae
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kato13
This looks great. Can you explain the headers. Kilograms or pounds is my first question, but I would like to make sure I am understanding all the others as well.

Edit: Thanks for the update.
Check under CODE. They yields are in pounds.

Grae
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:58 PM
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renamed thread "FARMING in T2K". Still like the idea of an "Encounters" thread if someone wants to make one.


Wow this was this website's 3000th post. And one day shy of our 3 month anniversary not bad at all.

Last edited by kato13; 12-08-2008 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:52 AM
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Default great info

Thanks Graebeard.

A degree in agriculture with specialization in obsolete practises.
I would say that thats pretty much the motherlode of knowledge on this one .

I was thinking (but should have said ) that I was assuming lucky conditions as you say , as far as losses to weather ,bugs and wildlife etc is concerned
and average as far as resources in T2K -meaning no machines,fertilizer is shit and compost .

Weather is a big factor and I was thinking something along the lines of seasons with tempratures like :
winter : november- february -cold ,possible frost and snows
spring: march-may - rising from 0-3 C* to 15-20 C*
summer:june - september 20-30 C*
fall: september-october 15-5 C*

or something like that .

Point being a limited growth period and a winter with no growth between harvests.

I guess we assume pretty much alike .
Thanks for the "crop schematics"
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headquarters
Thanks Graebeard.

A degree in agriculture with specialization in obsolete practises.
I would say that thats pretty much the motherlode of knowledge on this one .

I was thinking (but should have said ) that I was assuming lucky conditions as you say , as far as losses to weather ,bugs and wildlife etc is concerned
and average as far as resources in T2K -meaning no machines,fertilizer is shit and compost .

Weather is a big factor and I was thinking something along the lines of seasons with tempratures like :
winter : november- february -cold ,possible frost and snows
spring: march-may - rising from 0-3 C* to 15-20 C*
summer:june - september 20-30 C*
fall: september-october 15-5 C*

or something like that .

Point being a limited growth period and a winter with no growth between harvests.

I guess we assume pretty much alike .
Thanks for the "crop schematics"
My degree is in agriculture, specifically production agronomy (field crops) from North Dakota State. My obsolete technology is self learned from an interest in history and how things were done. Also how I was brought up on a diversified farm in the 50s-60s. Though mechanized, we still had a working team of draft horses, rather heavy riding horses that pulled too. And a working steam tractor and threshing machine that was used on the farm for oats harvest (primarily for nostalgic reasons) until about '65.

Without doing the math for the temps, that looks about right for a large central section of the US. Also east of the 100th meridian the rainfall is 40" or more, usually in a good pattern for crops. Key word there is usually of course.

I will put together another table from my 'little black book' on field crops in particular. I really don't like the figures on that table much. The figures I have for pre WW2 would be much closer to what could be expected in post-mechanization agriculture.

Grae
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headquarters
So what can you expect from an encounter with a "Stout yeomanry " as they are called in the V.2.0 book .

gear ?
stockpiles?
resources?
what would they have ?
crops - and crop yields ?
how big a plot to feed 10 peopel for a year ,and what should they grow?
human factor?
I have addressed the crops yield in previous posts. The good rule of thumb is ONE acre per person for crops, though as I stated elsewhere this would depend on WHAT crops. Wheat yield potential is ~ 20 bu/a which is ~1200 pounds, where as potato yield potential is ~ 100 cwt/a ~10000 pounds. However wheat is easier to grow as it has less problems and takes less moisture than spuds. Spud storage can be a problem.

SO what does a 'typical' farm have.

Buildings: Primary common buildings include housing, barns/shed for livestock, grainery/storage for crops and supplies, workshop, well and fuel facilities. These are the basics and types would vary from one region to another. Additional types of structures would include greenhouses, smokehouses, woodsheds, outhouses (toilets), icehouses (in northern climes close to bodies of water that would freeze over in winter), processing buildings (summer kitchens or just a place to butcher and can/process food for storage out of the weather). This is NOT an all inclusive list by any means. Some farms would be like a village with specialty shops even.

Equipment:
In mechanized days there would be in all likelyhood a light truck, perhaps heavier trucks, tractors (small and large), implements for cultivation, planting, hayings, harvesting what ever crops, fertilizing, chemical application, etc. On the post-mechanization farm, the equipment would be MUCH smaller versions adapted to muscle power.

Tools (and equipment) for all sorts of tasks:
Carts (the two wheeled garden type with bicycle wheels relatively easily constructed)
garden-farm tools such as spades, digging forks, hoes, and rakes for garden type crops (and others too);
sickles and scyths for harvesting hay and grain, large rakes, flails for threshing the grain (if a machine is not available) and winnowing baskets; carpentry tools (non-powered basics),
metal working tools (forge and anvil, whether large or small depends, hammers, thongs, etc),
mechanics tools (wrenches, pliers, hammers, screwdrivers, etc)
Livestock tools (pitchforks, shovels, brooms, buckets, ropes, shears (large scissor type to shear sheep, trim manes, etc)
Leather tools (for working on harness, saddle, or even shoes usually knives, awls, large needles)
Textile tools (cards, combs, spinning wheel (or spindles), looms, dying vats, boiling kettles)
Butcher tools (knives, saw, scrapers, buckets, meat grinder (with sausage funnel), hooks for hanging, rendering kettle, scalding barrel/trough)
Mills for grinding grains, extruder for getting oils out of seeds, presses for getting juices out of such as apples.
Dairy tools (pails, strainer, covered cans/pails, kettles, cheese cutters, cheese press, butter churn, cream seperator, butter molds)
Canning/processing tools (knives, drying racks, canning jars, lids, crocks, slicers, shredders, pressure cooker/canner, large kettles, ladels)
Fuel production (axes, saws, wedges, sledges, chains, tongs)
Methane digester
Stills

This is but a partial list. Much of the items are multi-purpose. For example the pitchfork from the barn would also be used in the hay fields, the cart used everywhere to haul, buckets and pails have many uses.

Stockpile:
In the present there would be feeds, seeds, chemicals, fuels and lubricants, hardware (nuts and bolts), common repair parts, twines and ropes. A long and varied list indeed, and quantities depending on size and location.

In post-mechanization the stocks would be the seed for next year, food for the year or more depending on the season (18-months from the last harvest is a minimum I would shoot for, which means you have just enough to get to the next harvest if the crop fails entirely IF your careful). Butr FOOD for the humans and animals is the largest stock pile.

Food is followed by fuel. Here again it depends on location and availability of fuels, but wood would probably be the main sourse in most locales. A years supply is a good goal, allowing for the seasoning of the wood. It will be used for more than just heating the house in winter also. There's the cook stoves, smoke house (though corn cobs have been used for this also), still operations... lots of wood. I would plan a minimum of eight cords for the year in an average house though I'm not that fixed on quanties for wood yet.

Metals for use in the smithy-metal working would probably be the next stockpile and the hardest to come by. Also spare tools and repair parts for tools, such as handles. Bags and baskets for storage of grains and produce also come to mind. Cut lumber and hardware; leather for harness repair and other such. Here the imagination is key. It would depend on the scrounging plan and ability of the farmer and his/her extended family.

Resources:
Human resources would be valuable. I envision the typical survival farm as an extended 'family' operating in a community effort (a commune of sorts I guess, but isn't that what a family does or at least should?) Land should not be the restricting problem, but getting people working it might be. The farming communities would be targets for starving urbanites. The influx of relatives going to visit Uncle Ben, who they ignored up until this time. I would, if I had the food to feed them without starving my own established family, take in 'qualified' strangers. Remember we're on muscle power now. They have to 1) have SOME useful knowledge; 2) be relatively able to work; 3) most importantly, WILLING to work and learn for food and shelter. It would be hard times and tough love.

Food and seed resources I have already addressed somewhat, but overlooked the time of year this all come down in the US. Thanksgiving. One of the seasons where kids come home to the family farm, even if they live in the city now. A time neighbors get together as well. It is also AFTER the harvest. MOST farms in the midwest would have full grain bins, not having marketed every kernal at harvest.

These steel bins, or silos as some call them, range from 1000 bushels to 50000 bushels ON THE FARM. Now a SMALL operator would probably have at least one of the small 1000-1500 bu bins full at this time. Let's say it was 1000 bu of wheat stored. That is 60 000 pounds of wheat. IF it takes an individual 600 pounds of wheat a year to survive (basic survival here), that bin will feed 100 persons for a year! That gives Farmer John some options taking in folks and getting them up to speed. Of course Uncle Sam will probably be poking his nose into the matter too, wanting it to give to the folks who are to lazy or unwilling to work for the food, demanding what is their right and all.

So this is my basics folks and should give you a starting idea. It is not all inclusive and has room for clarification I know, so if you interested, ask away. As I said this is for the US and probably Canada as well. Agricultural practices and grouping of farms is different in other parts of the world. Germany for example is clusterd in villages usually, though there are 'isolated' farms that are more modern. From my readings, Poland uses a linerar type village, so the farms are relatively close to one another but along roads with long fields traditionally. Korea uses the village approach, with fields/paddies in the outside. This is common in other areas of the far east I have 'visited'.

One thing I know about farmers in general, the world over, is they just want to raise food for their families, enjoy some basic luxuries, and be left the hell alone!

Grae
(Sorry for the soap boxing, but it all ties in I think)
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:42 AM
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Question alternative crops

Grae... you seem to know alot about farming in general. What I've wanted your anser on is this.

What about hemp production for food/energy/clothing/rope/medicine/ - http://www.jackherer.com/chapters.html - here lies abriv. of the chapters in the book - good read I may say.

(even recreational alternative to alcohol etc etc)

I read Jack Herer's "The Emperor wears no clothes"
http://www.jackherer.com/

and after a nuclear war and collapse of society/government I'd guess massive production of hemp would be smart and lucrative.

The US actually had add-campaigns like "Hemp for victory" in WW2.

Your thoughts...

PS: This is a T2K based survival question and is in no way pro-drug advertising. The hemp in question wouldn't get you high.
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:18 PM
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First of all Grae Cheers for providing such good information! I have dealt with some of what you are talking about first hand from growing up in Maine as well as having a strong interest in homesteading and organic farming. I have also spent a lot of time talking to my grandfather about what he had to do working on the farm, as a boy age 12-17(just before ww2) Just what you described sent my mind racing as I imagined functioning farms similar to the ones I have seen here in the northeast only perhaps more contained and fortified. Reading about raising small animals made me think of my experiences and I will share some of what I have learned about them.

Rabbits are a brilliant animal for the small farm. They are easy to keep and feed and they are good eating. They can be raised by children as a daily chore. So they require very little care and produce many babies. They also can be skinned for there fur to make things like mittens ,hats and liners for boots. One of the best things they do is make small pellets of manure which can be stored indefinitly. A large trash can works great for storing the collected rabbits pellets use them like time release fertilizer for plants, by putting a scoop at the base of the plants and as they get rained on the nutrients from it will seep into the soil and help the plants grow. You can also add water to the pellets and make what off the griders call "poop-tea" which can be sprayed by various methods. In any case rabbit pellets are one of the least offensive fertilizers and is easily handled and transported.

chickens are also good for as previously mentioned reasons and do eat a lot of bugs. Eggs are an amazing thing to add to your diet when you eat the same ho-hum beans and corn all the time. Ducks are also excellent and are a bit heartier than chickens thought not as good to eat in my opinion,. Ducks are a bit smarter than chickens as far as taking care of themselves go. But either are decent, one thing I have noticed about poultry is they attract a fair amount of predators like foxes, weasels ,fishers and mink. Though they aren't likely to hurt people they can be devastating to the birds. My grandfather lost 40 pigeons to one Mink and I have had ducks, chickens pigeons and geese harmed and killed by such animals.

Speaking of geese a pair two two are an excellent addition to any farm they don't need to be fed, as they eat grass and are the best watch dogs a farm could ever have! They can spot enemies long before a dog can and are remarkably vicious and loud. They are edible but often tough, there eggs are massive as one is a good sized good omelet. Also there feathers can be collected to fill pillows and jackets and sleeping bags.

Pigeons are another creature I have had lots of experience with my grand father has raced homers for many years. They can forage for themselves and will return home after foraging at night, they are also good to eat. They also produce a large volume of manure which is very high yielding in Nitrate....so much so that in the past they used the product of dove coats (pigeons coops) to make gun powder in the 17-19th centuries.

I also thought I would add a little to what the general wrote. Particular concerning cannabis sativa or hemp. As far as growing hemp goes its a very easy plant to grow, it is very hearty and requires little maintenance. It has many uses and can be cultivated specifically for its seeds as a source of food, and as an oil crop (which can be made into biodiesel). It can also be cultivated for fibre as eventually fabrics will have to be made by hand. Hemp can be made into very hard wearing strong fabric. And while its said that industrial hemp cant be used to get you high this is sort of misnomer, as the cannabis sativa used for making rope is also the same plant that is cultivated for marijuana. However, it is cultivated differently and from the strains grown specifically for industrial uses. In other words it depends on what your growing it for the plant is grown and characteristics selected over a long period of time to obtain the product it is used for. Weather or not its grown for food or fiber there is no doubt Marijuana would make an excellent trade good once the world collapses. One of the the best things about this plant is it easily found in non hybrid form and the saved seeds will germinate.
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Old 12-09-2008, 02:20 PM
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General: In all honesty I do not have much knowledge about hemp, though I do agree it would be a good crop to cultivate. There are strains used known as industrial hemp that have very low THC levels (the drug substance in hemp) which produce jsut fine and are being licensed in several states for use.

The only food reference I see for hemp is bird seed, and as I said I don't know enough about the plant. I do know it is an ancient fibre crop for cloth, cordage, and paper making. In fact, the first paper as we would know it, not papayrus (sp) was made with hemp fibres from the textile process, or so it is beleived. I know hemp is said to make excellent bow string, on par or surpassing linen. The fibres are generally very long which helps the process.

As for recreational use, to each their own. And yes during WW2 there was a lot grown in the midwest from Kentucky north generally, under permit from the feds since it was a controlled substance even then. It goes wild rather easily and is relatively easy to grow and harvest.

Bro:
I agree with the small critters for small holdings. The idea we 'need' meat in every meal is proven to be wrong (no I am definately NOT a vegan), but it sure does help break the monotony while adding protien the body needs and also is a way to cycle unedible (to humans) vegetable matter to what we can eat.

I whole heartidly agree with the geese. They will 'attack' as well as raise a ruckus at ANYTHING that is not suppose to be there.

Weasels are blood suckers. They will puncture the neck and drink the blood of chickens, or what ever they get a hold of. Ferrocious for their size too, the cousin of wolverines. Any ways, IF you could get the chicken before it layed too long after the weasel got to it, you could still cook it. I think one of the most destructive critter though is the coon. They will get chickens, eggs, vegetables and what they don't eat they will destroy. Had a family visit the corn patch one night (about 1/4 acre) and they destroyed 1/3 of it 'looking for the right ear' . BUT they can go into the pot too

Grae
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:10 PM
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Grae

hemp seed can be made into a paste and eaten as is or and as additives to other foods to increase there protein levels. Its most often used for baking. There are several hippy cook books that are all about hemp seed and hemp seed oil. (can you tell I used to live in Burlington VT) It can also be made into flour after it has been pressed of its oils.

Im thinking that eventually for fibre alone it would be worth its weight in gold and if anyone ever wanted paper again. But I wonder if people would actually want to record anything? Debts perhaps?

weasels indeed are blood suckers one wiped out my small pigeon coop (8 birds)

I once ate a chicken that a fox had killed, I caught saw it running away with it in its mouth, just before he a run in with some #6 shot. Another fox got to see what it was like to be Normandy, when it had a run in with an M1.

Wow I had no idea that raccoons where so bad to cultivated fields. There is a lot of woods for them here to roam in Maine so I haven't heard of them causing trouble. But I do think that is what attacked my goose in the middle of the night once. It Didn't kill him but we had to put him down.

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Old 12-09-2008, 04:18 PM
Graebarde Graebarde is offline
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Grae

hemp seed can be made into a paste and eaten as is or and as additives to other foods to increase there protein levels. Its most often used for baking. There are several hippy cook books that are all about hemp seed and hemp seed oil. (can you tell I used to live in Burlington VT) It can also be made into flour after it has been pressed of its oils.

Im thinking that eventually for fibre alone it would be worth its weight in gold and if anyone ever wanted paper again. But I wonder if people would actually want to record anything? Debts perhaps?

weasels indeed are blood suckers one wiped out my small pigeon coop (8 birds)

I once ate a chicken that a fox had killed, I caught saw it running away with it in its mouth, just before he a run in with some #6 shot. Another fox got to see what it was like to be Normandy, when it had a run in with an M1.

Wow I had no idea that raccoons where so bad to cultivated fields. There is a lot of woods for them here to roam in Maine so I haven't heard of them causing trouble. But I do think that is what attacked my goose in the middle of the night once. It Didn't kill him but we had to put him down.

Brother in Arms
Like I said, I don't know a bunch about uses of hemp other than fiber, though I've heard of the hemp oil. As for feed stock after extruding oil from a seed, the same is true for soybeans, peanuts, sunflowers. Very high protien contents in the meals, hence the use as a pro sup for cattle, but are also digestable for humans. (note I said digestable, not necessarily palatable.)

As for the coons.. there's a saying with them, "what they don't eat or tear-up they sht on." My youngest son's name use to be Coon, though he didn't necessarily sht on anything, but would leave it strewn to get rained on or what ever. He changed when HE had to buy stuff. LOL

Grae
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:55 AM
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Default Field Crop Yields

Attached is a file with the yields in pounds per acre (and kg/ha) for most field crops. Hemp is on the list, along with 'southern' crops such as cotton, tobacco, sugarcane, peanuts. In the notes area, there is given the 'average' percent oil content for oil seeds, and tow yield for fiber crops as well as other information pretaining for that crop. This information was initally gleaned from the first edition of Field Crops, published some time in the 40's with most of the data pre ww2. I think it's a pretty good rule of thumb. Hope it helps ya.

Note this is not an all inclusive list, and yields vary with variety and locations. These were NATIONAL averages of crops harvested, not planted from what I could determine. Note the difference of yields from that in the first file. For example with potato.

Grae
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:05 PM
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I'm not ever going to go up against Grae's data, coz' he's an expert and the go-to man for this stuff. Seriously, FORD should write a book for this stuff.

Back in the pre-Renaissance, it took an acre of feed to provide for one horse for one year, plus pasturage. As you can guess, that's a lot of food and it could supply a human for a year, so deciding whether to have one-man year's surplus or a horse that may die of a sniffle, lameness or stepping on an AT-mine is a big decision. Working horses aren't grass-fed, or if they are you suffer a lot of wastage.

I don't really think we'll go back to feudal level technology for more than five years, at most. There will be some survivors, and those that live through dangers such as famine will have knowledge like Grae's (of course they'll die from a lot of stuff no one can protect against; diseases, bullets etc).

What Grae has alluded to is the great amount of pre-motorised farm mechanisation. These instruments, usually made entirely of metal, can be seen planted in front of people's yards across every country. They are the invaluable (although probably radioactive) templates from which other machines can be built. I'm sure a quick search will turn up a wealth of data on the pre-motorised agricultural machinery, and give GMs ideas for including these valuable items into play.

As an aside, I once had a great picture of a T-55 hauling a plough.
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ChalkLine
I'm not ever going to go up against Grae's data, coz' he's an expert and the go-to man for this stuff. Seriously, FORD should write a book for this stuff.

Back in the pre-Renaissance, it took an acre of feed to provide for one horse for one year, plus pasturage. As you can guess, that's a lot of food and it could supply a human for a year, so deciding whether to have one-man year's surplus or a horse that may die of a sniffle, lameness or stepping on an AT-mine is a big decision. Working horses aren't grass-fed, or if they are you suffer a lot of wastage.

I don't really think we'll go back to feudal level technology for more than five years, at most. There will be some survivors, and those that live through dangers such as famine will have knowledge like Grae's (of course they'll die from a lot of stuff no one can protect against; diseases, bullets etc).

What Grae has alluded to is the great amount of pre-motorised farm mechanisation. These instruments, usually made entirely of metal, can be seen planted in front of people's yards across every country. They are the invaluable (although probably radioactive) templates from which other machines can be built. I'm sure a quick search will turn up a wealth of data on the pre-motorised agricultural machinery, and give GMs ideas for including these valuable items into play.

As an aside, I once had a great picture of a T-55 hauling a plough.
Thanks Chalkie. But I don't profess to be an expert, just full of IT as my wife say... what ever IT is?

Yes the pre-motorized mechanization is found in museums and front yards all through the midwest. You'd actually be surprised at some of the stuff that would still work. A great part of the equipment was made with cast iron parts, easier to fabricate than forged steel parts, but more fragile.

An interesting note on this tech-level which we discuss here, Back in '86 I was in college (actually grad school at the time) and there was to be a speaker from Niger (NOT Nigeria) sponsored by one of the on-campus organizations (African Students or some such). He was the head of their countries equivalent of the USDA, a cabinet member, so I thought I'd go see what he had to say. After the rubber chicken dinner (actually it was pretty good the way they fixed it up with some spices and such we don't normally use) it was time. He told a story of getting a call from his Deputy that was on holiday traveling around the US. It was something after 11pm and this excited voice gets on the line "I have found the solution!", to which he replied, "TO what?" since they had MANY things they needed solutions to. What the deputy had 'discovered' was the Ford Museum in Detroit, the agricultural display. All the horse drawn equipment on display. The typical third-world country must learn to walk before it can run, and the World bank was trying to 'modernize' the farms by loaning money to by tractors and the equipment for them when they really only needed equipment pulled by a draft animal. What amazed me, and got me to thinking was this aspect of the world. You see, my interst in 'obsolete' technology is applicable to places like that. Yes, it might be reinventing the wheel to us, but it IS the wheel never invented for them.

A good NPC to come across might be a Peace Corps worker, or VISTA, or USAID, that worked in developing countries.

Well I got off tangent as usual.
As for the T-55 pulling a plow.. Heck they could chew up a plot with OUT the plow. Soviet tracked vehicles are like construction crawlers in they did not use track pads like the US did. They will definately tear up the infastructure.

Grae
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:48 PM
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Random thought (maybe more to follow.....it's late )

Any info on acorns?

Or fruit tree's and berries (wild and domestic)?

Also most of the info presented seams to presume a pre existing dedicated farm of one sort of another. What about more add hoc arrangements? Rural locations with a variable level of farm now how (personal veg gardens up 3/4 to almost an acre are not unknown were i live) and maybe more importantly a more variable level of relic equipment.
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:24 AM
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The table of yields, not the field crops, has some information on yields of various fruit and nut trees. I would cut the production considerable from what I have on the list. It was intensive management, or so they said.

Any of the fruits are very climate sensative. A late hard frost in spring will take out an entire crop before it gets started. Even the hardiest of the varieties are still prone to abnormal temperatures, and all are suseptable to drooughty conditions.

Acorns and wild foods I have not addressed, however in a good or better year an acorn tree will drop 100 pounds or more. Making flour from acorns is 'relativel' easy. Just grind them and leach them in several changes of water to remove most of the tannin. Indians supplemented their diets with it and it was even the main source for some tribes. It also makes good hog and deer feed in addition to the tree rat and other smaller critters. You can tell a good year they say in the rack of the deer... don't ask me other than it is nurtrition driven.

There is also amaranth (sp?) which is a cereal type crop. Though originally wild (hummmmmmmm come to think of it ALL the domestics were at one time duhhhhh) it has come under cultivation is some places amoung BTL folks. It is still found in the wilds though.

Wild fruits generally do not produce what domestic does under care. There are wild plums, apples (crabapples), grapes, and all sorts of nuts other than acorns. Just check the per plant yields and adjust the yields down by fifty percent or so. It's all a throw of the die in a game as it is luck in RL. There are good years and bad years. Averages are misleading. ALWAYS look at statistics with a grain of salt, and never trust them unless ther is an LSD listed (learned from regression analysis)

(Lesson Learned: Did the rainfall average for TAMU Ag Research Station Beeville several years ago. Used data for 100 years. Before I started my lead scientist (Boss) told me we were under perpetual drought with intermitent floods... laugh, but it is true. September average at the station was ~3", not a bad rain fall average you say? FIVE years with ZERO rain, and ONE year with 18" (read as tropical storm/hurricane) give an AVERAGE of 3"! )


Hope I answered at least part of the question before I got carried away with tales.

Grae
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Old 12-15-2008, 02:44 PM
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Good point 'Barde.

If we're going to look at crop yields, we have to get really back to basics;

- Define how the nuclear exchange occurred in your campaign. (Intensity, tempo and coverage)

- Define what climate changes result from the exchanges.

- Define the local effects of those climate changes.

For instance, a Nuclear Autumn means you're not going to get good grains. A localised devastation of forestry can change the micro-climate (this happened in the middle of the state where I live, the trees were cut down for pasturage resulting in an increase in aridity. The entire area is now drought-prone in the nation's wettest state) and bring drought to formerly wet areas.

It also gives the Gm the excuse to have weird weather effects
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Old 12-15-2008, 07:48 PM
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It also gives the Gm the excuse to have weird weather effects
I try to freak the characters out in my campaign with oddly bright and extended light displays somewhat like the Aurora Borealis but more purple in colour (the after effects of high altitude nuclear detonations and particulate matter in the upper atmosphere).
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by firewalker
Random thought (maybe more to follow.....it's late )

Any info on acorns?

Or fruit tree's and berries (wild and domestic)?

Also most of the info presented seams to presume a pre existing dedicated farm of one sort of another. What about more add hoc arrangements? Rural locations with a variable level of farm now how (personal veg gardens up 3/4 to almost an acre are not unknown were i live) and maybe more importantly a more variable level of relic equipment.

There would of course be ad hoc arrangements, however if you do not have basic knowledge of what your going to do, your project is going to suffer greatly. ("raided Hastings and found several books on gardening and back to land. Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living is great.")

Where do you get the seed? ("raided the garden center for all they had. Don't know what the heck celeric is but I guess it's edible. It was in vegetables at least. Got hand tools as well. You know they had this nifty cart with bicyle wheels. We just loaded it up. Spades, rakes, hoes, digging fork.. watering cans and buckets too.")

The land? ('We're digging up the back yard.. and there's a golf course down the road. They aren't playing there anymore and........")


Yes, there is larger gardens around the country, and as the war progressed up to fall, I would expect more gardens going in. Perhaps "Victory gardens". As for tools/implements, they are around as lawn orniments, sitting in the woodline rusting away, in museums, and yes in use on some operations. There are companies in the Midwest that build draft animal implements now for the Amish and others using draft horses. If you google you'll be surprised at the number of folks that have draft horses and oxen. Most are hobby interests, but some operate their farms with the animals, totally or in part.

That's a knowledge base as much as resource for animals, though as I said it takes upwards of four year from birth to get a viable working animal, ~five if you start at conception.

AND there is a workforce IF you can get organized, and not be eaten out of house and home before the first harvest.

Grae
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:47 AM
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I found what you are all saying very interesting and I agree with what you said about basic knowledge but keep it simple and that will work fine in T2K (however, I have been raised next to a farm and that might help).

Seeds would be the most difficult thing to get indeed as you'll need to raid some kind of storage. By the way if the world turns to gene modified seeds which cannot reproduce itself, you'll have only two things left to do: starve and pass out (Hopefully this is not yet the case). For the next planting don't foget to keep a bit of everything. You'll have plenty of failures but you'll learn eventually if you don't starve during the first year.

About berry's and fruits, you'll need bedding plants (I don't know if it is the right name in english) and a good knife will do. Don't forget about the wild berrys, they are often easily turned into more or less domesticated ones (ask any eco-nuts they'll have some idea about it). People have also been known to eat grass and do soup with it.

About the places where you can do some planting, just pick the dark ground (usually reacher) and turn any graveyard into a crop field. You'll quickly find out that the dead are very helpfull for that matter (praise them and do the planting). Harlington would be the greatest crop field in US (no offense). Any rotting biological stuff might also be of some help.

Your first year will be very hard anyway. Choose wild picking in order to complement your diet and survive. Mushrooms are great as are wild berrys but don't forget to raid a library before you turn to them (this time your common sense might not be enough). however, you can use slave labor to test what you pick; if they survive you can eat it.

Raising animals is not that hard and don't worry in times of needs all animals are great. According to some in my familly, cats, dogs (your step mother puppy will become a perfect christmas meal) and rats are very fine meats. Moreover dogs or rats are easy to hunt and to raise (you can feed them with things you wouldn't eat and they breed about every 3 weeks for the rats). Enjoy people . Just for the little story, nowadays, governments in Asia (including India) are advising their populations to turn to rat's meat in order to replace beef. In some areas, don't forget about insects such as worms and grasshoppers. Some people in this world are making great stews out of them. In Africa or Asia, monkeys will do if you can forget about the fact that they look like human babies. Turn to fishing instead of hunting as I doubt that many of us are very good with bows and spears. You'll need to save ammunitions for self defense. I know how to make simple traps and everyone with a working brain can figure one out to catch small animals (again, rats and cocroach, Yummy!!)

As a matter of fact just use common sense and that works. about tools, you just need basic things to realize some great stuff: a small axe (even a knife will do if you have patience) and fire will be more than enough to do whatever you need. Then, you'll just need some wood sticks (usually 2) to realize some working tools. Floating woods will be everywhere and you'll find woods from ruined houses. If you really want metal tools, you'll need a hammer and an oven and again some brain (don't forget, that you'll have tons of metals around to melt).

Finally, if you don't have draft animals, women or kids (or again slave labor) will replace them perfectly. Nevertheless, when you get to this you are already heading toward industrial agriculture, for the basic your small exhausted muscles will be more than enough. How do you think they were doing in time when they couldn't afford draft annimals? Anyway women are usually doing great at work while men are useless and leasy. Keep the men for when you need raw strength and hard fighting. In T2K we are already doing most of the killing and you want also do the cooking.

Last edited by Mohoender; 12-16-2008 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:20 PM
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I agree Moh, for the most part.

One thing I would not recommend to the novice is mushrooms. I have no adversion to them, but I only know enough about them to get myself dead in the wilds. Some are so toxic on spore can kill you if ingested.

And yes, cats, dogs and rats are good when properly prepared (sautee with butter and garlic).. Also in the survival situation, it is best to cook the food in a pot as a soup or stew rather than broil, bake of fry if possible. It conserves the vitamins into the broth. Perpetual soups: kept over the low fire all the time and added to daily with what is foraged.

Harlington? I guess I missed that. Could you explain?

Grae
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:03 PM
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I was thinking about Arlington National Cemetery (a spelling mistake on my part, sorry about that). A large graveyard full of minerals and good earth but as I said no offense. Especially as, in T2K, that location will be wiped out by a nuke.

I would use any such graveyard, including the ones around here. That will need more work here as we will have to get quite some stones out. However, the way cemeteries are made in US or in Germany will make things easier. Post Apoc after all.

Grae about Mushrooms, most are not only toxic, they are nice and fun in the way they kill (so to say). They are as good as nerve gas and will slowly attack and destroy your nervous system. You might even survive if you are unlucky. I learned about them when I was 10. Actually, I suspect several scientist to have thought of them when they conceived some of the nerve gas that you can find around.

Last edited by Mohoender; 12-16-2008 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohoender
I was thinking about Arlington National Cemetery (a spelling mistake on my part, sorry about that). A large graveyard full of minerals and good earth but as I said no offense. Especially as, in T2K, that location will be wiped out by a nuke.

I would use any such graveyard, including the ones around here. That will need more work here as we will have to get quite some stones out. However, the way cemeteries are made in US or in Germany will make things easier. Post Apoc after all.

Grae about Mushrooms, most are not only toxic, they are nice and fun in the way they kill (so to say). They are as good as nerve gas and will slowly attack and destroy your nervous system. You might even survive if you are unlucky. I learned about them when I was 10. Actually, I suspect several scientist to have thought of them when they conceived some of the nerve gas that you can find around.

Well I think in the US there is even a better area than a cemetary to dig up, that being the golf courses. Of course a lot of them are on sandy soil, but they would still work, with work and luck.. always luck.

Fun ways to kill..... yeah slow and painful... though with mushrooms the good ones are delicious... and add to a meal... rich in minerals. Now I'm hungry for a rich creamy peppered mushroom soup.. thick as gravy almost.. with whole meal bread.. and green onions... and a nice cheese for after... washed down with some ale or lager.... (drooling on the keyboard...)

FB
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graebarde
Well I think in the US there is even a better area than a cemetary to dig up, that being the golf courses. Of course a lot of them are on sandy soil, but they would still work, with work and luck.. always luck.

Fun ways to kill..... yeah slow and painful... though with mushrooms the good ones are delicious... and add to a meal... rich in minerals. Now I'm hungry for a rich creamy peppered mushroom soup.. thick as gravy almost.. with whole meal bread.. and green onions... and a nice cheese for after... washed down with some ale or lager.... (drooling on the keyboard...)

FB
....drooling here too.....sounds delicious......
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Old 12-16-2008, 07:47 PM
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I move that Grae cooks us dinner... anyone want to second that motion?
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