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  #1  
Old 04-12-2021, 08:34 PM
Enfield Enfield is offline
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Default Getting a Farm Going

My campaign is going to be focused on a group of survivors mostly civilians, trying to get an abandoned farm going. It is in Western Washington (Cascadia, as per the Pacific Northwest Sourcebook) The players love the idea of following the Proconsul but he is nowhere near where they are. They have neither a vehicle nor horses at the moment, so he is just a voice on the radio they hear making inspiring speeches.

I worked out a series of tasks for the characters to get the farm up and running, but are there any things I'm missing?

1. Figure out how to do farming. None of the civilians or PCs are farmers.

2. Plow, seed, irrigate, care for the crops. They can find a silo with wheat seed, and bins with potato, carrot, peas and beans.

3. Figure out how to get the well working.

4. Find fuel for the diesel generator

5. Find machinery for the farm

6. At present, the group have MREs but there are 11 people with the group and they will only last another 24 days. Food is also going to be a problem.

My intention is to make the first phase of the campaign about them gaining control of the farm. Then I may have other events happen after that, but I feel that in a way the mini adventures will almost write themselves as they will have to forage and scrounge the area.
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:55 PM
wolffhound79 wolffhound79 is offline
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That sounds interesting. I be interested to hear updates. Sounds like one of those reality survivor shows of a group of people trying to rebuild after a natural disaster.
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Old 04-13-2021, 12:44 AM
mpipes mpipes is offline
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They are also going to need to clear out the fields. After even just a full year of no agricultural activity, a lot of undergrowth will be there. Easiest way is slash and burn.

Plowing is going to be a bitch. If you have a horse plow, you still need a trained horse or mule, and the harness to attach the plow to the horse/mule.

You need a tractor, then to attach to the tractor you need a plow (minimum), a bush hog, a planter, a fertilizer spreader, and a sprayer (assuming there are any insecticides around). The sprayer can double as a water sprayer as well.

If trying to raise livestock, you need a hay bailer, a cutter, and a hay rake. Of course you can opt for round bails, but that is really not recommended for horses.
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Old 04-13-2021, 01:27 AM
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I suspect they'd want to start small - a patch large enough to support just themselves plus a few extra bodies. Keeping things small to begin with should keep it manageable with only hand tools and whatever small, manpowered equipment they can scrounge up to begin with.
Definitely don't want to go with a monoculture, but grow numerous different types of crops just in case of disease, pests, etc attacking one (or more) of them.
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Old 04-13-2021, 02:58 AM
CraigD6er CraigD6er is offline
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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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Old 04-13-2021, 03:44 AM
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They are also going to need to clear out the fields. After even just a full year of no agricultural activity, a lot of undergrowth will be there. Easiest way is slash and burn.

Plowing is going to be a bitch. If you have a horse plow, you still need a trained horse or mule, and the harness to attach the plow to the horse/mule.

You need a tractor, then to attach to the tractor you need a plow (minimum), a bush hog, a planter, a fertilizer spreader, and a sprayer (assuming there are any insecticides around). The sprayer can double as a water sprayer as well.

If trying to raise livestock, you need a hay bailer, a cutter, and a hay rake. Of course you can opt for round bails, but that is really not recommended for horses.

When I was researching Kettle Falls, there are several construction and farm equipment companies based out of it and Colville, so I will be using a scrounge table to see if they can get the right equipment.

I decided that there are two small communities within reach that will refuse to take in any new people but will trade with peaceful travelers. One community will be based on the Everytown from 2013, so they can also perform tasks for them in exchange for some of the surplus goods from there.
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Old 04-13-2021, 03:46 AM
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I suspect they'd want to start small - a patch large enough to support just themselves plus a few extra bodies. Keeping things small to begin with should keep it manageable with only hand tools and whatever small, manpowered equipment they can scrounge up to begin with.
Definitely don't want to go with a monoculture, but grow numerous different types of crops just in case of disease, pests, etc attacking one (or more) of them.
Keeping things small may work for them. The idea of a variety of crops is a good idea too. I take it you are referring to a variety of cereals, like say corn, wheat, oats, etc?
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Old 04-13-2021, 03:53 AM
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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.
One thing I want to do is have their shortwave contact with the Proconsul's people give them advice. That will be one source of information. Your ticking off the points above is well taken. I have a hard time imagining the people in the group managing a farm without heavy equipment. I knew a young woman from Nepal who was an actual peasant, as an example and it was kind of shocking how good she was at manual labour. I don't think even modern farmhands in North American could manage what she did. (For example she could mow a lawn with a machete as efficiently as a weed whacker with the neatness and consistency of a professional landscaper)

One thing I was wondering about is how well the orchards that are in the Okanagan Valley would have fared. I don't know how well they will last if any of them are untended.
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Old 04-13-2021, 04:24 AM
Silent Hunter UK Silent Hunter UK is offline
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Finding an intact library with books on farming would be very helpful.
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Old 04-13-2021, 04:43 AM
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I take it you are referring to a variety of cereals, like say corn, wheat, oats, etc?
Corn isn't very economical for the space required, and neither are most other grains.
They'd be best served growing higher yield per area crops such as potatoes, carrots, bean, tomato, pumpkin, etc. Basically what you might find in the average backyard garden.
Save the grains for later when they'd obtained a way to till larger areas.

Animals are another item that can wait to begin with, although if they do happen to come across some cows, sheep or whatever, there's no point not grabbing them, provided they've got a secure field to put them in (and winter shelter if it's an area that would require that). That said, a small herd of goats or pigs will do wonders when it comes to clearing away weeds, and pigs have the added bonus of digging up the earth for you too.
Chickens are likewise great to have scratching around, eating pests and fertilising as they go.

Once they obtain livestock they're going to have to think about predators too, both four and two legged. Dealing with them might involve locking the animals away in a barn at night, posting sentries, or hunting potential predators (or even all three and more options).

After harvesting, vermin could become a major problem. Mice LOVE food stores, especially grains.... https://youtu.be/rAdNJ1jczVI Note that's happening now at a time when baits, electronic repellents, etc are all readily available.
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Old 04-13-2021, 04:45 AM
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Cats are good for vermin. Cute too.
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Old 04-13-2021, 08:25 AM
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Cats are good for vermin. Cute too.
Not exactly terrible as emergency rations either.....
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Old 04-13-2021, 08:51 AM
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Also keep in mind are you just farming to produce food only for the 11 people or are you looking to get something you may be able to use for trade or even biomass for ethanol fuel. And the choice of crops is important as some vegetables keep much longer than others and thus will provide a longer duration source of food.

Finding someone who can show them how to properly jar tomatoes for instance can lead to them having to search abandoned houses for canning jars or containers that could be used.

Also they should be looking for ways they can maximize growing that wont require a lot of fuel or clearing/plowing land - you can grow mushrooms inside your house if you know how to, potted tomato and pepper plants, potatoes grown using dirt in large garbage cans.
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Old 04-13-2021, 04:34 PM
Enfield Enfield is offline
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Corn isn't very economical for the space required, and neither are most other grains.
They'd be best served growing higher yield per area crops such as potatoes, carrots, bean, tomato, pumpkin, etc. Basically what you might find in the average backyard garden.
Save the grains for later when they'd obtained a way to till larger areas.

Animals are another item that can wait to begin with, although if they do happen to come across some cows, sheep or whatever, there's no point not grabbing them, provided they've got a secure field to put them in (and winter shelter if it's an area that would require that). That said, a small herd of goats or pigs will do wonders when it comes to clearing away weeds, and pigs have the added bonus of digging up the earth for you too.
Chickens are likewise great to have scratching around, eating pests and fertilising as they go.

Once they obtain livestock they're going to have to think about predators too, both four and two legged. Dealing with them might involve locking the animals away in a barn at night, posting sentries, or hunting potential predators (or even all three and more options).

After harvesting, vermin could become a major problem. Mice LOVE food stores, especially grains.... https://youtu.be/rAdNJ1jczVI Note that's happening now at a time when baits, electronic repellents, etc are all readily available.
Good point on the grains. I think that the other problem with them too is that other than sweet corn they require a lot of processing, threshing, husking, etc.

And geeze, I didn't even think of the vermin problem. Rats and mice will be a huge issue. How good are they at getting into food bins and silos?
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Old 04-13-2021, 04:38 PM
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Also keep in mind are you just farming to produce food only for the 11 people or are you looking to get something you may be able to use for trade or even biomass for ethanol fuel. And the choice of crops is important as some vegetables keep much longer than others and thus will provide a longer duration source of food.

Finding someone who can show them how to properly jar tomatoes for instance can lead to them having to search abandoned houses for canning jars or containers that could be used.

Also they should be looking for ways they can maximize growing that wont require a lot of fuel or clearing/plowing land - you can grow mushrooms inside your house if you know how to, potted tomato and pepper plants, potatoes grown using dirt in large garbage cans.
Thanks, these are also very good points. I was assuming that they'd be growing crops. I think as far as the group goes, they may just be thinking of trying to survive the year.

What kinds of vegetables keep longer? Things like potatoes?
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Old 04-13-2021, 06:04 PM
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On the animal side, rabbits are a surprisingly good animal to raise if you can keep them safe, clean, and fed. A herd of cows produces about 20% of their mass as harvestable meat per year. Rabbits or chickens are 500%, and rabbits can be fed more things that aren't edible for humans. An acre of hutches (which sounds ridiculous, I know, but this was being researched for space stations) running efficiently will produce 145 pounds of meat per day. Their manure is also better for fertilizer than cow, horse, or chicken, and it won't burn plants if it's not composted properly.

For preservation, winter squash, potatoes, and onions will last a long time if stored in a cool, dry area. Some other root crops can be left in the ground during winter in cool areas if they're covered with a thick layer of leaves or straw. (This also makes them less visible to raiders or scavengers).

Lots of stuff can be dried, which will keep for months or years. It's (ironically) a bit water-intensive, since most things should be blanched before drying and water's often needed for reconstitution, but it'll preserve food. Even without a purpose-built dehydrator, vegetables can be dried near a stove or with sunlight.
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Old 04-13-2021, 07:19 PM
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Have the PCs be taught the Ruth Stout method of gardening, it partially mitigates some of the main issues that complete newcomers to farming would have to deal with - it's not so labour intensive, it doesn't need as much water, it doesn't need weeding. But it is not without it's own negatives, it requires nitrogen which can, however, be conveniently supplied by fresh grass.
Much better detail here: -
https://www.bigblogofgardening.com/g...-stout-method/

And as an example of how effective it can be, how does 337 pounds of potatoes sound? Details in the following video: -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlratwBT5OI

The YouTube channel where that video is from is definitely worth browsing, they explore some questions we typically don't think of, such as, can you eat grass, how to make a root cellar out of an old chest freezer and so on.
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Old 04-13-2021, 08:00 PM
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What about the Native Americans' "Three Sisters" method of planting beans, squash, and corn all together? It's pretty efficient in terms of labor, and the space-to-yield ratio is favorable.

https://www.nativeseeds.org/blogs/bl...sisters-garden

Here's a quote from the blog:

"Corn provides tall stalks for the beans to climb so that they are not out-competed by sprawling squash vines. Beans provide nitrogen to fertilize the soil while also stabilizing the tall corn during heavy winds. Beans are nitrogen-fixers meaning they host rhizobia on their roots that can take nitrogen, a much needed plant nutrient, from the air and convert it into forms that can be absorbed by plant roots. The large leaves of squash plants shade the ground which helps retain soil moisture and prevent weeds."

https://gardening.cals.cornell.edu/l...three-sisters/

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Old 04-13-2021, 08:59 PM
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On the animal side, rabbits are a surprisingly good animal to raise if you can keep them safe, clean, and fed. A herd of cows produces about 20% of their mass as harvestable meat per year. Rabbits or chickens are 500%, and rabbits can be fed more things that aren't edible for humans. An acre of hutches (which sounds ridiculous, I know, but this was being researched for space stations) running efficiently will produce 145 pounds of meat per day. Their manure is also better for fertilizer than cow, horse, or chicken, and it won't burn plants if it's not composted properly.

For preservation, winter squash, potatoes, and onions will last a long time if stored in a cool, dry area. Some other root crops can be left in the ground during winter in cool areas if they're covered with a thick layer of leaves or straw. (This also makes them less visible to raiders or scavengers).

Lots of stuff can be dried, which will keep for months or years. It's (ironically) a bit water-intensive, since most things should be blanched before drying and water's often needed for reconstitution, but it'll preserve food. Even without a purpose-built dehydrator, vegetables can be dried near a stove or with sunlight.

Good ideas. The characters might try to explore other farms in the area. I am going with the idea from the module that the area near the Columbia River north of the Coulee Dam is mostly insular. So that could be interesting. I figure that livestock like rabbits or chickens that go feral would be surviving, but they also could trade for them.

Thank you for the ideas on preservation. I will include that in the advice the PCs are given.
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Old 04-13-2021, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
Have the PCs be taught the Ruth Stout method of gardening, it partially mitigates some of the main issues that complete newcomers to farming would have to deal with - it's not so labour intensive, it doesn't need as much water, it doesn't need weeding. But it is not without it's own negatives, it requires nitrogen which can, however, be conveniently supplied by fresh grass.
Much better detail here: -
https://www.bigblogofgardening.com/g...-stout-method/

And as an example of how effective it can be, how does 337 pounds of potatoes sound? Details in the following video: -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlratwBT5OI

The YouTube channel where that video is from is definitely worth browsing, they explore some questions we typically don't think of, such as, can you eat grass, how to make a root cellar out of an old chest freezer and so on.
that's a good idea for the options, and I can use the Youtube video as inspiration for their instructions.
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Old 04-13-2021, 09:02 PM
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What about the Native Americans' "Three Sisters" method of planting beans, squash, and corn all together? It's pretty efficient in terms of labor, and the space-to-yield ratio is favorable.

https://www.nativeseeds.org/blogs/bl...sisters-garden

Here's a quote from the blog:

"Corn provides tall stalks for the beans to climb so that they are not out-competed by sprawling squash vines. Beans provide nitrogen to fertilize the soil while also stabilizing the tall corn during heavy winds. Beans are nitrogen-fixers meaning they host rhizobia on their roots that can take nitrogen, a much needed plant nutrient, from the air and convert it into forms that can be absorbed by plant roots. The large leaves of squash plants shade the ground which helps retain soil moisture and prevent weeds."

https://gardening.cals.cornell.edu/l...three-sisters/

-
There is a major reservation near the area. I wonder if they practice such growing in that area though? Isn't that practice an Eastern tradition?
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:01 PM
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Good ideas. The characters might try to explore other farms in the area. I am going with the idea from the module that the area near the Columbia River north of the Coulee Dam is mostly insular. So that could be interesting. I figure that livestock like rabbits or chickens that go feral would be surviving, but they also could trade for them.

Thank you for the ideas on preservation. I will include that in the advice the PCs are given.
Good article on vegetables that can be left in the ground for your players for the farm - https://lovelygreens.com/storing-roo...0and%20carrots.
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:04 PM
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I am only a rancher here in California but, as for agriculture I know that it all depends upon water, weather, and luck. If I were to go about it I would:

1st.. Catch Rabbits. For an immediate food source. Easy to breed. Cheap. Food is fairly easy to get for them; weeds, grass, flowers etc.

2nd... get a water source. Spring Boxes are easy to build. A redwood box dug into the ground about 3 or 4 feet. Pipe at the bottom going down hill into a storage tank. Pump water to high elevation and gravity feed from there.

3rd.. Harvesting and ground work equipment would be tough to maintain I think. Far harder to find or make the correct bushings for a disk plow than that of a Chevy pickup.

4th.. Cultivating ground for farming. Cow manure, rabbit offal, etc is a good fertilizer in lieu of the real stuff! Remember that someone with civil engineering could get the fall right for irrigating also.

4th.. Start transplants. Efficiency is found by growing transplants and planting the little started plants into actual farm fields. Think Green House to start them.

5th.. Get Cows and horses. The West Wasn't won on Carrots. (Had to plug my livelihood.) (Also Vesper, depending upon breed of cow, health etc etc. We look for a 60 to 65% yield. It takes me about 7 months of normal natural grass to get a 600 to 700 pound steer and I live in a lackluster enviroment.)

6th.. Pesticides, weeding, and water. Irrigation pipe would be fairly easy to find, especially in suburbs. 3/4" pvc with 1/8" holes drilled into it would work and that is found in every yard, with a shovel.

7th.. Rotation due to season. Strawberries do NOT do well in the rain for example. They get destroyed.

8th.. harvesting storage etc. I would again go with cats. I will also admit that this is where my knowledge starts failing me.

I hope I'm not being too wordy but there is quite alot of roll playing that can go into this and I am interested to see how this plays out with your group. Once it got going it is viable.
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:45 PM
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...it requires nitrogen...
Rotating or companion planting a crop of legumes helps a LOT to fix nitrogen in the soil for use by other plants. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edi...re-legumes.htm
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:50 PM
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How good are they at getting into food bins and silos?
My house is damn near airtight, yet I'm still getting them inside.
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  #26  
Old 04-13-2021, 11:58 PM
Enfield Enfield is offline
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Originally Posted by Olefin View Post
Good article on vegetables that can be left in the ground for your players for the farm - https://lovelygreens.com/storing-roo...0and%20carrots.
Thanks!
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  #27  
Old 04-13-2021, 11:58 PM
Enfield Enfield is offline
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Originally Posted by Legbreaker View Post
My house is damn near airtight, yet I'm still getting them inside.
Poison apparently works quite well. What do you use?
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  #28  
Old 04-14-2021, 12:12 AM
Enfield Enfield is offline
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Originally Posted by Milano View Post
I am only a rancher here in California but, as for agriculture I know that it all depends upon water, weather, and luck. If I were to go about it I would:

1st.. Catch Rabbits. For an immediate food source. Easy to breed. Cheap. Food is fairly easy to get for them; weeds, grass, flowers etc.

2nd... get a water source. Spring Boxes are easy to build. A redwood box dug into the ground about 3 or 4 feet. Pipe at the bottom going down hill into a storage tank. Pump water to high elevation and gravity feed from there.

3rd.. Harvesting and ground work equipment would be tough to maintain I think. Far harder to find or make the correct bushings for a disk plow than that of a Chevy pickup.

4th.. Cultivating ground for farming. Cow manure, rabbit offal, etc is a good fertilizer in lieu of the real stuff! Remember that someone with civil engineering could get the fall right for irrigating also.

4th.. Start transplants. Efficiency is found by growing transplants and planting the little started plants into actual farm fields. Think Green House to start them.

5th.. Get Cows and horses. The West Wasn't won on Carrots. (Had to plug my livelihood.) (Also Vesper, depending upon breed of cow, health etc etc. We look for a 60 to 65% yield. It takes me about 7 months of normal natural grass to get a 600 to 700 pound steer and I live in a lackluster enviroment.)

6th.. Pesticides, weeding, and water. Irrigation pipe would be fairly easy to find, especially in suburbs. 3/4" pvc with 1/8" holes drilled into it would work and that is found in every yard, with a shovel.

7th.. Rotation due to season. Strawberries do NOT do well in the rain for example. They get destroyed.

8th.. harvesting storage etc. I would again go with cats. I will also admit that this is where my knowledge starts failing me.

I hope I'm not being too wordy but there is quite alot of roll playing that can go into this and I am interested to see how this plays out with your group. Once it got going it is viable.
Thank you for the recommendations for planning.

As I understand it, the Okanagan Valley is a somewhat dry climate but works well for orchard crops. Do you know anything about ranching in that part of the state?

One thing I have often observed when watching post apocalyptic TV and movies is how often characters avoid areas in rural towns where they might have construction equipment, farming equipment, etc. If the rural folk have been driven out by hordes of refugees or marauders, it seems to me that there might still be heavy equipment to scavenge. One problem will be that they will not be experienced at handling or maintaining it if they do find it. The other will probably be finding a supply of diesel or getting the vehicles converted to alternate fuel.

One good thing the party does have is a well, which they have to maintain and clear contaminants from.
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Old 04-14-2021, 06:02 PM
Vespers War Vespers War is offline
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Originally Posted by Enfield View Post
Thank you for the recommendations for planning.

As I understand it, the Okanagan Valley is a somewhat dry climate but works well for orchard crops. Do you know anything about ranching in that part of the state?
Portions of a 2011 census of crops and farm animals for Thompson-Okanagan:
Grain 6,500 hectares
Corn for silage 3,344 ha
Hay and pasture 437,000 ha
Alfalfa 42,418 ha
Hay 61,162 ha
Potatoes 170 ha
Fruits, berries and nuts 9,598 ha
Field grown vegetables 887 ha

Hens and chickens 1,808,625
Cattle and calves 171,000
Pigs 1,135
Sheep 13,603
Horses and ponies 11,672
Rabbits 987
Goats 3,534

(all from this PDF)
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:20 PM
Vespers War Vespers War is offline
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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
What about the Native Americans' "Three Sisters" method of planting beans, squash, and corn all together? It's pretty efficient in terms of labor, and the space-to-yield ratio is favorable.

https://www.nativeseeds.org/blogs/bl...sisters-garden

Here's a quote from the blog:

"Corn provides tall stalks for the beans to climb so that they are not out-competed by sprawling squash vines. Beans provide nitrogen to fertilize the soil while also stabilizing the tall corn during heavy winds. Beans are nitrogen-fixers meaning they host rhizobia on their roots that can take nitrogen, a much needed plant nutrient, from the air and convert it into forms that can be absorbed by plant roots. The large leaves of squash plants shade the ground which helps retain soil moisture and prevent weeds."

https://gardening.cals.cornell.edu/l...three-sisters/

-
Long-term, milpa agriculture ends up being basically a five field system, because it follows two years of cultivation with eight years left fallow. It's effective, but it ends up requiring a good amount of space over the long haul because of the long fallow period.

Other crops can also be included - pumpkin, avocado, chili - but I haven't read what the proper spacing of planting is for the additional crops.
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