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Old 10-08-2009, 05:40 PM
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Default Urban Farming

I've long thought that urban farming as described in T2K modules like Ruins of Warsaw and Armies of the Night to be a little far fetched but I heard a piece today on NPR's Marketplace radio program about just such practices currently taking place in Detroit, Michigan.

With the decline of the U.S. automotive industry, the city's been in a state of economic depression for years now and it's only gotten worse the last couple. There are hundreds of empty lots there and, recently, folks have started planting various vegetable crops in these plots. They're even clearing rubble-filled lots and transforming them into large garden plots.

One of the problems that urban farmers in Detroit face is the high levels of toxic lead in the soil from its decades as an industrial center. To surmount this obstacle to farming, urban farmers have been creating raised plots by building large planters and filling them with soil and compost trucked in from outside the city. Using this method, folks are growing safe, healthy food crops.

Anyway, it seems to be somewhat of a trend and if it can work in urban detroit, with its somewhat toxic soils, it could probably work in nuked or otherwise devastated cities.

Food for thought (pardon the bad pun).
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:36 PM
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If you plant two crops of silver beet and destroy the harvests you can generally assume healthy soil. Do not, of course, plough the harvests back in or you've done nothing. Silver beet is great food, grows quickly anywhere and is something a GM can happily make the PCs sick of in no time flat.

I've always disliked urban farming when it's obvious that good farming areas are nearby and untilled. It then makes no sense to stay in an urban area, so if you really want to have urban farming the GM has to make it make sense. Either/and;

- Chemical attacks have poisoned the ground and groundwater outside the city.
- The rural areas are dangerous due to undetonated cluster munitions, remote deployed mines and other UXO.
- The walls of the destroyed urban area provided shelter from radioactive dust from upwind (unlikely).
- Outside the urban area is too open, and marauders use sniper rifles on visible individuals.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:14 PM
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Urban farming will of course definitely be coming back and Detroit is not an exception. Right now, in France, we are not really having urban farming but collective crop gardens are being developped everywhere. With the reduction in incom many people can't afford to buy vegetables and this is seen as a good option by associations and people (actually it's a good option IMO).

In T2K, Urban farming will come back fast and it will take several aspects.

The first thing that will be developped, however, will probably be animal raising: chickens, rabits and pigs. These animals don't need much and can be raised in basements and back courtyard. In addition you can feed them with garbage and corps (at least for the pigs). Just as an exemple take Paris: France made laws in the 1980's to ban urban animal raising (and you still find some around). These three animals were found in Paris until well after ww2 (as in London..., and you can add turkeys). Moreover, before ww2, the main nuisance in Paris was coming from the 500.000 roosters singing every morning at about 5:00am.

Then, farming will take place again in backyard courts and at windows probably (this might seem limited but it is already taking place, people have gardens at their windows and on balconies). Then, it will spread to public parks, first starting around zoos and farms.

Right now you still have a farm in the middle of Brussels and when I was kid, a man was raising horses two blocks away from my grand mother's place in the city of Liege. In Europe, you still have plenty of "urban farm" that can be turned back to their original purpose.

One last thing, the bee population is going down all over our countrysides but it is booming in our cities.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:17 PM
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I've always disliked urban farming when it's obvious that good farming areas are nearby and untilled. It then makes no sense to stay in an urban area, so if you really want to have urban farming the GM has to make it make sense. Either/and;
Urban farming will be the rule for only two obvious reasons: people can't travel any more and the good lands located a few miles outside of the city is simply out of reach. In addition, you can protect it and you feed marauders more than yourself.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:21 PM
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Urban farming will be the rule for only two obvious reasons: people can't travel any more and the good lands located a few miles outside of the city is simply out of reach. In addition, you can protect it and you feed marauders more than yourself.
Well, most people will want out of the city as fast as they can. That's where disease is going to be first. Also, they're natural targets for military operations.

Farmland makes nice, open killing zones. Having fields around your canton gives you the ability to reach out and smite when the enemy must expose themselves to close. They can't mortar you if they want your supplies.

Given that the average person moves at 4km/h, it's not really valid to have people in cities without a way of making outside the city less hospitable.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:45 PM
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Habit is one of the reasons people will stay put. That and the fairly limited number of firearms capable of taking advantage of wide open fields of fire.
In the city you have shelter, admittedly without power, running water, sewerage, etc. You also have limited fields of fire and you can with just a little effort chanel attackers into kill zones where your assorted shotguns, pistols, bows, crossbows, spears, thrown rubble, etc can be used to it's full potential.

Of course I wouldn't be found dead in a city post nuke, but then I've a country background...
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:14 AM
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Of course I wouldn't be found dead in a city post nuke, but then I've a country background...
LOL... well if you WERE in a strike zone city on the day, you might be dead there, but still nothing left to find...


I'm of the same accord though. I HATE cities... they serve a purpose for limited visits... I live in a town that think's it's a city.. and hate that even.. give me the country any time.


I agree that urban farming is plausable, and folks are creatures of habit though. One thing is SOMEONE in the area has to have SOME knowledge of how to raise the crops and animals. I scratch my head as to WHY they might stay, though if they have adequate source of water and good, secure shelter then perhaps. I find urbanites not cooperative enough for a real venture though... ummm on second thought, rural America is getting that way too.. nothing like it was when I was a kid and farmers more often than not worked together on harvests.. today it's all about being better than the Jones' it seems.

BUT a catastrophe such as Twilight (and that IS an understatement) will bring out the best in people.. as well as the worst. It then boils down to life of good vs evil as always.
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:11 PM
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That's not strictly true, Graebarde, when you were a kid it was all hunter gathering, agriculture hadn't really been invented in those days...
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:25 PM
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Urban Farming;

AWESOME TOPIC!

I think it would be beyond cool! And totaly doable. As for who would remain in a city. I would just to do it

In a secured city like in Warsaw and Krakow well, the town is secured. The crops are to suppliment what those towns trade for and grow in the countryside. But as has been stated, it can be too dangerous to work the fields in an area where there is signfigant hostile activity. So, within the walls and buildings of a city you have a more or less controlled area. Remember, folks working the fields are targets. An attacked can hide wherever he wants and has greater freedom of movement. And he can also set the fields afire. If you can't take it, then deny it to everyone so they have one less asset.

If you are in a village, and you are besieged you are now held hostage. You are trapped in your city/village. And you certainly can not get out to tend to your fields. And you surely can't make use of your crops. The marauders/badguys can just sit and wait. If it gets to costly for them, or taking to long they can just burn your fields and now you are without the fields and what they would provide. As well as all of that time and labor is wasted.

Remember, someone sitting on the edge of your fields they can move. They can forage. They can get water, they can remain mobile. But, the folks in the little village, they are stuck. And then we also have the phsycological factor as well. Mobility allows for greater stricking power. The people in the village have limited options for combat unless they leave it to engage in the open. The force besieging them can move and attack from any direction, or cover. They also can infiltrate through the fields if the crops have grown enough it would be a farily easy task to crawl low enough to get within effective rifleshot. Again this would also be very damaging to the defenders psychologicaly. Think of the Winterwar between the Finns and the Russians and how the Finns managed to cut and isolate the Russian forces into what they called "Woodpiles." Where they isolated them and then destroyed them. And this could easily be done with small farming communities who have fields surrounding them as well as the wide open visible target of a cultivated field litteraly RIPE FOR THE PICKING!

Inner city gardening you have control and protection and it can be hidden as well.

A secured city or portion of, well you have the advantages the buildings present. A higher platform to observe things at a greater distance. Cover and concealment. And should an enemy cover into the city well house to house fighting is much more man and material intensive for an aggressor and thus a major asset to the defender, oh yeah and also, it channels the attackor forcing him to go through specific routes anf again limiting his manuverability to areas who know and can prepare for a greater defense.

Now, as for a modern full city. Think about this. They will be ghost towns after a couple of years. Between disease, starvation and general chaos and breakdowns most of the remaining population will die off, wander away from the city with a very small fraction being left who forage and etch out a liviing as best they can, with a few who may have a real industry remaining in the city.

I posted this on the yahoo T2K site a long time agoand I shall repost them again thoughts here.


Cities would be cool to be in after for the following:

Wait until things have settled. And the population has starved, died off, been evacuated or just moved on. <Remember New Orleans? that in my mind is what would happen except it would go on for a much longer period of time, months or even a year or two. With just a few diehard hanging on.>

Now, you hide out until "the crazy ride comes to a complete stop." Thus, there will be less human activity, fewer maruaders and since its a dead city, well, it will no longer be a military objective so no one will have any interest in it.

Move into the rooftops. Or, remove the roof leaving the walls so you now have an open area with tall walls to sheild your activities from prying eyes.

Now you move soil upto the roofs and recently opened floors and you created garden plots. Or you just place it the soil on the ground. Although personaly I would go with planter boxes for real plants, grains sould on the ground method. Maybe in very shallow large plots.

Now, one can remove access to the upper floors by removing all means at the lower floors.

Also, making large planter or window boxes. About a meter wide and running the entire length of the wall with access to water and harves by simply leaning out of the open/missing window. Or, even balconies of apartment buildings, these one could with the use of nets or old fences give a means of them crawling up the side of the building. Imagine a building with one side covered in grape vines or tomatoes or beans or melons.

Also, one could build a chicken coup and pigeon coup atop the buildings as well. Pigs, turkeys as have also been mentioned. But also, with the tanks that are found atop most roofs, pools in some and even flooded parking garages could be converted for use in aquaculture, or even growing algae which is also edible, so you can end up with several decent amounts of food.

Further, one can have several rooftops converted to this purpose again removing access to the lower floors. And maybe having one or two buildings where one can get access. Then using suspension and rope bridges connecting the tall buildings and maybe even some ziplines elevators and lifts and even primative cable cars to move people and goods from rooftop to rooftop you could manage safe, secure community that could be self sustaining.

Water could be a problem, so in a coastal community is where you would have better chances, using the natural moisture from fog, heavy dew and rain. Cisterns to college rain water, and a series of pumps from ground water and maybe channeling water from a river in the area.

As for defenses, well you can do all maner of things, it would be similiar to defending a castle of old. Dropping ruble atop an attacker. Firebombs, firearms, logs with spikes, nets as well as regular weapons. The only downside is, if an enemy had demo then they could take out your buildings, or alot of men with saw, picks and crowbars to attack the foundations of the buildings <this is long and dangerous for the demolition crew not only could the building or parts of it colapse on them, while working the defenders could drop and attack them as they are easy targets.

Think of the above idea similiar to the Ewok Village except instead of living in trees, it is skyscrapers.

All the while the community will not only be tending their crops and animals, they will also be foraging the items within the buildings and the surrounding areas and of course using the raw materials for their own manufacturing projects on the various middle floors.

Those are some of the ideas of how one could survive in a city.

As for getting the soil. Most cities are built atop good land. Simply break the concrete or dig into the basements of some of the other buildings and areas and take it from there, it should have been protected from any contaminants by whatever was built over it.

As for community gardens, yes alot of lots here in the Los Angeles area are turning into community gardens as well. Some legal, others not so legal. About two years ago there was one that was "illegal" and the owners wanted to actualy use it. That caused alot of comotion with the media and the activits. i mean how dare a property owner want to use his own property!

But Grae made a good point, how many people live in a city who would be able to manage and tend to crops and animals as well as manage resources and of course clear, build and defend them.

But, like I said, it would be cool. One just needs to withstand the initial turmoil and have the talent to do it.
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:16 AM
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Default Secure, Urban food production

How about urban aquaculture (fish farming). AFAIK the Romans started this tradition in Europe - with carp in fishponds. In medieval times every monastery, manor and castle had ponds, moats etcetera stocked with fish.

The modern version would be 'aquaponics' where you combine fish farming with hydroponics. This needs very little space and the plants live off the fish waste-products.

check out youtube for a small-scale version known as "barrel-ponics". It uses an electric pump - but presumably this could be replaced by a worker with a bucket, or the Roman technique of dams and sluice gates.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwMEulvJ2Ps

How about this scenario? In the T2K situation, indoor swimming pools become 'farming' assets for their town. The glass windows may have been shattered - but that just means raw material for the new (vegetable-growing) greenhouse while the old swimming pool is stocked with carp, trout or catfish.
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:54 AM
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Yes, I mentioned that in my urban city in the sky idea a few posts ago, where former water tanks and swimming pools found atop many tall buildings would be converted to aquaculture. And yes, it is quite common to grow multiple things in aquaculture. An example, in the US South where they farm crawfish they also grow rice. Or should I say they raise crawfish in their rice fields yeilding about 2 harvests of the criters before they harvest the rice.

Other mollusks and crustatia can be farmed in similiar conditions, where one may grow water chestnut or cress, cattails and even cranberrys, one could toss in some carp, or even bass or catfish as well as snails and shrimp.

There are a few operations where they grow sturgeon in tanks that are about the size of a larger kiddie pool. And others where prawns are raised in a slightly deeper tank. So, it is entirely possible. Here is one for urban aquaculture: Turning the underground parking garage, or even the basement since these would most likely become flooded anyways into places to grow various water creatures like fish, shrimp and shellfish.

Here is another idea. Simply making an indoor aquarium or even a tank inside, using 1 solid brick wall, wotu either glass or plexiglass and caulk, or just another wall of bricks/cinderblock so you have a space of about 2 or 3 meters by the length of the wall that is say chest high thus allowing you access to fish, clean and refill the tank. A tank that size would also help stabilize the temperature in the room since water tends to absorbe heat and holds it a bit longer.

Another idea is the various cisterns that would be found to hold water could be used to do double duty for aquaculture as well.
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:20 PM
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Aquarium is a good idea but bathtubs might be the simplest options.

Transforming flat roof into gardens is of course a good solution but there is nevertheless a weak point to this. Several will ultimately fall down on your head as they are not built for that and as they will be damaged by the water (+ the additional weight). Therefore, if you want to do that, don't forget to do some transformations or be unforgiving with your PCs.

I like the idea of transforming basements and parking lots but I'm not sure it works. I would assume that most species need light but I might be wrong about that. However, basements would be perfect to grow mushrooms.
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Old 10-11-2009, 05:21 PM
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Well, light can be let in by cutting holes in the roof of the basement or underground garage to let light in. Or if one has the ability light, or even phosphorecent light or even plants and fish. Remember, many fish operate at night when light is absent.

And of course as we said, childrens pools or those portable pools one can buy and set in their backyards would be well suited as well.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:41 PM
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Community Technology by Karl Hess has some good ideas for small, sustainable communities in urban settings.

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Old 10-11-2009, 09:53 PM
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And of course as we said, childrens pools or those portable pools one can buy and set in their backyards would be well suited as well.
They already end up as fishing pools toward the end of summer, fill up by storms and colonized by frogs. At least ours end up like this every summer.
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:37 PM
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The above ideas for utilizing urban space for food production are almost all quite good, and I feel they have a place in Twilight: 2000. The single greatest drawback, I believe, is that all of these ideas require a few things that will be in short supply in at least the United States in 1997. Provided some preconditions can be met, virtually all of the ideas above can be put into practice in at least some locations, if not many locations. As usual, I’m going to address conditions in the United States, as I don’t feel qualified to offer any but the most generalized ideas on the situation in other countries.

The first precondition is sufficient order. In the first year after the TDM, there will be a lot of desperate fools running around who are more interested in taking what others might have than in producing for themselves. Fire is a danger that goes hand-in-hand with civil disorder. There are lots of options for dealing with the disorder, but it has to be dealt with before any sustained food production can be undertaken.

The second precondition is stocks. Survivors need seed. Tools for intensive gardening, which is essentially what we’re talking about in a city, can be improvised. Seed cannot. This problem isn’t insurmountable, but again it has to be addressed if urban cultivation is to occur. By the same token, livestock must be procured from someplace if it’s going to be raised in an urban environment. The livestock is going to need to eat, too. How does one acquire chickens, rabbits (sigh), catfish, or crawfish in a post-Exchange American city? There are answers, but we’ll need to provide them for the scenario to be believable.

Going hand-in-hand with the issue of civil disorder, livestock is going to be a prime target for hungry survivors. Those who have chickens or ducks or whatever are going to have to fight for them or be very clever about concealing them.

Water is another critical issue. After the TDM, electricity for pumping water will be out right across the country. People and crops need water, and they can’t go without it for very long. I have a bad habit of letting two or three days go by without watering my container tomatoes. The rainy season hasn’t started in California, so the only water those tomatoes are going to get comes from my hose. What would I do if the water were out? The same applies to everything in my garden. In cities that get rain year-round, such as those cities east of the 100th Meridian, it may be possible to rely on a combination of rainfall and improvised cisterns. Throughout much of the American West, however, rainfall is both seasonal and scanty. The more the solution to acquiring water in these places depends on civil order, planning, cooperation, etc., the less likely the solution is to be executed. Albuquerque is in a much tougher spot than Cincinnati.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’m not saying that any of the proposed ideas for producing food in urban areas aren’t viable. I’m saying that opportunities have to exist. Crawfish are only going to be successfully farmed in places where the situation is not so chaotic as to preclude farming or animal husbandry, where there are crawfish to be found and kept alive during the initial turbulence, where there are adequate facilities (possibly the least restrictive requirement), where fresh water is available in sufficient quantity, and where food can be provided for the crawfish before they are eaten. The same goes for urban corn, albeit with a slightly modified list.

As a consequence of all this, I think we have to look back at the timeframe between July, 1997 and November, 1997. What was really going on in the US during this time? Howling Wilderness would have us believe that the American population was more-or-less caught by surprise by the nuclear attacks on US soil. To the degree that it is possible to make a sweeping generalization of the frame of mind of a nation of 280 million, what were Americans really thinking? I’ve been writing a piece to address this timeframe, based on a careful reading of the rhythms of nuclear weapons use from July through November, 1997. I’ll try to summarize here by saying that I strongly doubt the nation was sitting on its collective hands during this time. Some people would be, of course. Denial is a powerful coping mechanism. However, the first use of nuclear weapons would have prompted a strong reaction. I don’t believe the nation (or any nation) would have found itself nearly as unprepared as if a nuclear attack had come out of the blue.

Thunder Empire is an extreme case of preparedness. I have been trying to justify why the whole place didn’t blow away in the wind with my lengthy narratives on how certain characters drove contingency planning after the start of the Sino-Soviet War. Southeastern Arizona needs that kind of lead time in order to make it. Other parts of the country—particularly the Midwest—will be better suited to a more Johnny-come-lately response. Five months isn’t enough time to start an effective State Guard from scratch, but it is enough time to affect public awareness about what to do in the event of a crisis. Ergo, many of the food-production solutions proposed in earlier posts are entirely plausible on a case-by-case basis—even where otherwise hard-to-imagine developments involving stockpiles of seed or livestock (poor bunnies) are involved.

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Old 10-12-2009, 09:04 PM
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I think there will always be some crafty critters who survive and when the pressure comes off <like most of the anarchy crazed hoardes move on or die off> will rememerge and start to repopulate an area. Others, will wander and move into these now areas or ranges. This is quite common with animals. It is sorta like animal over population, where competition exists, they wander looking for greener pastures with less pressure for resources. And it is in the once over hunted areas that a few years ago thronged with survivors but when there was no longer food the people died/left, now the animals reclaim it.

As for seed, they shall become a comodity, a valuable resource and mayber even its own currency. Although, some plants grow wild and could be cultivated.

Water, yes some areas will be a problem. I propose that a city like Los Angeles would have its problems. However, alot of areas near the coast where we get lots of fog will be able to survive with moisture from the fog and mist and dew. That is what eneables the giant redwoods to thrive. And then cisterns and rainwater catches and I would even say pumps, elevators and simply manhandling the water. Filling a tank of water from a flooded underground garage to the second floor on monday. Tuesday you haul it to the 4th or 5th floor, Wed to the 6th or 7th, Thurs to the 8th or 9th, Fri to the 10th or 11th and so on and so on. A person can haul about 10 gallons a trip, 10 minutes a trip, so 60 gallons an hour, do it for two hours could net 120 gallons. Or, a elevator hauling 55 gallon drums or even an old hand pump.

One could channel water from one of the numberous springs from the L.A. river into an underground garage where it would pool out of sight. Of course building the system would be the thing to do without notice.

Here is a question. How many of us really consider water in our campaigns? I mean, how bad would the water systems be between nuclear and chemical/bio weapons as well as politions, and contamination with disease? If that is the case, then wouldn't water be a much bigger problem?
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:34 PM
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Regarding chemical contamination of water supplies, I honestly have avoided attempting to model the problem. In one of my previous lives, I was a hazardous materials manager. Hazmat is ubiquitous. The sheer quantity of chemicals that would be released following the breakdown of society beggars the imagination.

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Old 10-12-2009, 10:45 PM
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Water, yes some areas will be a problem. I propose that a city like Los Angeles would have its problems. However, alot of areas near the coast where we get lots of fog will be able to survive with moisture from the fog and mist and dew. That is what eneables the giant redwoods to thrive. And then cisterns and rainwater catches and I would even say pumps, elevators and simply manhandling the water. Filling a tank of water from a flooded underground garage to the second floor on monday. Tuesday you haul it to the 4th or 5th floor, Wed to the 6th or 7th, Thurs to the 8th or 9th, Fri to the 10th or 11th and so on and so on. A person can haul about 10 gallons a trip, 10 minutes a trip, so 60 gallons an hour, do it for two hours could net 120 gallons. Or, a elevator hauling 55 gallon drums or even an old hand pump.

One could channel water from one of the numberous springs from the L.A. river into an underground garage where it would pool out of sight.
A number of crafty inventions would make life easier. An Archimedes screw would serve well if attached to a stationary bicycle frame and a gear system for transferring the motion of pedaling to a system for turning the screw. The truly motivated might go so far as to install a tank on the top floor and a windmill to transfer wind energy to the gear system for turning the screw, plus a cut-off device for preventing overflow. Any halfway decent mechanic could manage such a thing.

Alternatively, a bucket with a pulley and counterweight could raise considerable quantities of water for a low calorie count.

Lots of possibilities present themselves, once sufficient order exists to implement them.

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Old 10-17-2009, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by simonmark6 View Post
That's not strictly true, Graebarde, when you were a kid it was all hunter gathering, agriculture hadn't really been invented in those days...
ROTFLMAO
Boy am I slow off the mark... But you know it might come back to that in some resepects, though the game will playout pretty dang fast, though they (game) are smarter than the urban hunters seeking them in most cases.
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  #21  
Old 10-17-2009, 06:12 PM
simonmark6 simonmark6 is offline
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Now that is true, in fact the easiest prey for city folk is city folk, we'll start off with looting and eventually some gang will work out that as their victims are going to starve anyway, they might as well eat them.

Thus leading back to another thread on TK2 cuisine...
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Old 10-18-2009, 02:00 PM
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Urban farming probably would be very subsistence in nature. At the turn of the (20th) century in the US, four farmers could feed ten people. I’m not clear on whether those four farmers were feeding themselves and six others or themselves and ten others. Obviously, there’s a big difference. However, even if we go with the smaller figure, forty percent of the population is producing food while sixty percent is doing something else. Urban farming probably would produce even smaller surpluses—at least while the experience base was building.

We’ve discussed ratios of farmers to non-farmers before, but I believe it’s a key factor in determining what the post-Exchange societies are like. According to Howling Wilderness, somewhat more than half of the pre-war US population is dead by January 2001. I won’t debate whether this figure is realistic other than to observe that the survival rate varies enormously from place to place. Colorado is supposed to have 90% of its pre-war population, while according to Howling Wilderness Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada are virtual wastelands. Even in my considerably more optimistic Thunder Empire, only twenty percent of pre-war Arizonans are alive in January 2001; about 60% of the survivors live in the three counties in the southeastern part of the state.

Mind, I’m not knocking subsistence farming. The more folks survive to more stable times, the quicker the march back up the ladder of progress will be by, say, 2010. Really, that has been one of the main points of Thunder Empire; the goal of the leadership has been to keep as many Americans alive while the post-Exchange situation sorts itself out. In due time, improved practices should result in more efficient farming methods and an increase in the non-farming population. I guess I’m supporting Mo’s thesis that urban farmers supplement, while the majority of the food comes in from outside the urban area in a reproduction of the situation in Krakow.

Webstral
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonmark6 View Post
Now that is true, in fact the easiest prey for city folk is city folk, we'll start off with looting and eventually some gang will work out that as their victims are going to starve anyway, they might as well eat them.

Thus leading back to another thread on TK2 cuisine...
And also leading back to a post I made (about using tallow as biodiesel) in the Alternative Fuels thread. The more people you kill the more you get to eat and the further you can drive. Nasty.
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:53 PM
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Default Solar collectors/concentrators for farming and other things.

If we have dared to borrow from GDW's other lines of RPGs (Dark Conspiracy, 2300 AD, Cadillacs & Dinosaurs) why not steal, errr, creatively mimic one of the backbone technologies of Space: 1889, the Solar boiler, or in this case, solar concentrator.
The stage is set:
The Duke is sending out raiding parties for very odd items: satellite dishes and mounts ("Duke must have a link to the Mil-Gov ComNet"); mirrors of all kinds, even pieces of broken ones ("to defend against the Vampires, of course!"), Spotlights from the Broadway theaters ("He's gonna use them to hunt the dements/Mayor's troops/Dragons/Dragon Lords/River Vikings at night!", and rear-projection TV sets ("Hey, mebbe he's gonna show movies or sumpthin' to the Downtowners? I dunno...")

What the Duke IS gonna do is make as many mirror-lined satellite dish collectors that he can, and mount them on buildings that oversee rooftop gardens. By maneuvering the collectors, additional hours and concentrations of insolation may be applied to the plants struggling with the adverse growing conditions. Adding the Fresnel lenses from the spotlights and rear projection TVs will enable the users to concentrate the light even more, turning the parabolic collectors into giant magnifying glasses, which might, when multiple units are focused on a single target in a sort of solar furnace mode, might conveniently burst into flame or collapse from hyperthermia, or be blinded by the concentrated glare. Nice weapon for a sunny day?

This sort of focused sunlight can be made to power a boiler for a small steam engine, or to boil water to purify it, or to cook food without fuel or smoke, or....

Large solar furnaces can generate temperatures of up to 6330 F, but even small, crude ones may reach over 2000 F.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_furnace
Thought just crossed my mind--what if a solar furnace caught the flash from a nuke on a clear day?
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Old 06-15-2012, 05:37 PM
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I think what you would find after TDM here in the USA is a lot of small, family size gardens. One of the MAJOR issues, as I see it, is/was/will be the THANKSGIVING DAY Massacre.....

Think about the timing for a moment. Thanksgiving day is the fourth Thursday in November. If you are any where north of the Carolinas, you have a small problem with growing anything. It's called winter......

PLUS both v1 and v2.2 mention an extremely cold winter after TDM....

So even in the southern states, growing anything outside is going to be iffy at best.

May be, if you are REALLY LUCKY and skilled, you could rig a green house for some planting over the winter.

More realistic, you have to wait until spring. Then hope you have enough skills to manage a small garden. AND you have enough food to last until the crop matures. AND you can keep the bad guys out of your garden. Both the four legged and two legged varieties. (The squrells and rabbits end up in the soup pot!! That is why God invented the .22!! )

IF you manage all of this...then come summer, you finnally get to eat a good meal.

My wife is a wizard when it comes to growing things. IF I can keep her alive, then we have a chance. Me, I have the proverbial black thumb. I kill cactus.

I would think a crop of sweet potatoes (Grows very well here in NC) and soy beans (Ditto) would be the answer. May be a small herb garden for trading??

My $0.02

Mike
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeo80 View Post
I think what you would find after TDM here in the USA is a lot of small, family size gardens. One of the MAJOR issues, as I see it, is/was/will be the THANKSGIVING DAY Massacre.....

Think about the timing for a moment. Thanksgiving day is the fourth Thursday in November. If you are any where north of the Carolinas, you have a small problem with growing anything. It's called winter......

PLUS both v1 and v2.2 mention an extremely cold winter after TDM....
Which dovetails nicely into the books where it states a large proportion of the wars casualties weren't from the nukes themselves. We know bullets and bombs do a lot of damage, but starving mobs are in my opinion at least, probably nearly as destructive as a nuke when searching for food, shelter and medicines. At a guess, casualties after the nukes will be mainly from conflicts between those who have not, and those who have, or even just perceived to have.

A "fun" time to be alive....

Those who survive until the 1998 harvest are going to be the toughest of the tough and have likely done some pretty damn horrific things to stay alive over that first winter and spring. By 2000-2001 not too many squeamish types will be left and trusting anyone outside your immediate circle of survivors will be a thing of the past.
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:45 AM
mikeo80 mikeo80 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legbreaker View Post
Those who survive until the 1998 harvest are going to be the toughest of the tough and have likely done some pretty damn horrific things to stay alive over that first winter and spring. By 2000-2001 not too many squeamish types will be left and trusting anyone outside your immediate circle of survivors will be a thing of the past.
I agree with this sentiment. Which leads me to an interesting question. How could MilGov or CivGov even survive?

It seems to me that any one who survives TDM and the aftermath, did so on their own or with a VERY small group of like minded individuals. This is not the stuff of nation building. At least, not yet.

It seems to me that if MilGov or CivGov comes to me and mine, the first response is "And just what the F*** did you do for us when we needed help. We survived with out you then. We will survive with out you now. Leave. NOW."

Mil Gov would have an advantage in this type of discussion. They do control most of the existing military assets. A small bunch of survivors is going to have a difficult time saying "NO" to a squad of soldiers in a M113/V150/name your favorite light armored vehicle. But Mil Gov does have to tred lightly. They can kill only so many "traitors" before there is no one else to rule.

My $0.02

Mike
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:31 AM
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There are indications in the books that military units were used for civil relief missions in the nuke aftermath. Those areas which received this assistance are likely to be favourable to the government. As most of these units then sided with Milgov, Civgov is definitely in the weaker position with only a handful of areas coming on board with the units they gain. Civgov does have the advantage in the PR war though as much of their governmental manpower is likely to have been involved with politics at some point, while Milgovs leadership is much more used to simply issuing orders and having them obeyed without having to convince those under it's power (the military) that they a) know what they're doing and b) it's in their best interests. Civilians are more likely therefore to resent Milgov control and over time drift towards Civgov sympathies. This is likely to take a few years though.

Milgov will have to either learn a little "tact" or expect to loose supporters (unless they use more and more authoritarian methods).

However, generally the populace will support the organisation which is putting food in their bellies and a roof over their head no matter how harshly they may be treated. If martial law and curfews is what's required to keep you from starving, it's a small concession to make...

Milgov may also have the leg up on Civgov during reconstruction s they're less likely to care about how the people feel. If a civil engineering task needs to be done, they'll simply assign those people necessary to the task to it. If farmland needs tilling, crops weeded or harvested, then manpower will be made available.

Civgov on the other hand will need to be more "diplomatic" about things, lacking both military manpower to force the people, and generally being fundamentally opposed to such heavy handedness.

Getting back to the topic of the thread, it would therefore seem likely small plots of land under crops would be more common in Civgov controlled regions where government controls are lacking (in comparison) and large scale operations harder to organise.
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:00 PM
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I think with the lead up to Nuclear Exchange you could Victory Gardens coming back


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ory-garden.jpg
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:57 AM
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Given combat had only been happening for 7-8 months before nukes were used, would that really be likely on a wide scale?
Also, up until the first nukes were fired, Nato was holding the upper hand and actually winning!
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