View Single Post
Old 04-10-2016, 03:12 AM   #27
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default Re: [ATE] Farming example

Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
I like what you've done, in this thread, rather a lot. Here's an interesting scenario, for you:

-TL 8 technology available at the time of the collapse
-Area is a temperate rainforest (two varieties -- most in the world are coastal, but it could also be one of the pockets in the Appalachians, or the Changai Mountains)
-Humanity is hunted by an enemy that has early TL9 assets.
--A rogue AI, perhaps.
--Possibly aliens who either arrived in an ark vessel, or got FTL early, or shifted over from another dimension.
-Alternatively, humanity is hunted by reasonably intelligent, winged, monsters or mutants.
-The enemies use two methods to target or hunt.
--Clusters of heat signatures significantly higher than ambient temperatures
--Interruptions (especially straight lines) in the physical geography


I'd think the situation would require a focus on foods that grow natively, planted in what I almost think of as "elvish agriculture." Rather than carve out areas in the forest to dedicate to foodstuffs, the existing biome is shaped to maximize useful plants while minimizing anything recognizable as "agriculture." Interruptions of the forest canopy are especially to be avoided.

At the same time, human beings need to work together for defense against actively hostile enemies, but must avoid clustering in large settlements.

So, what sorts of crops would work best (I'm betting grains aren't available, except for wild rice, possibly), what sorts of livestock could be supported (pigs would probably work best, and perhaps small cattle, but horses are right out), and what would be the population density?
Whaler's Bay

Additional assumptions
- Fire is to be avoided
- Some kind of cooperation happens between communities, either trade or organized resistance.
- Family sized groups of people, up to ten people.
- Highest density fruit tree plantings are about 5% of a "farmed" area
- Due to home garden plantings there are a range of fruit trees and nuts available.
- Planting under glass is to be avoided due to reflected light

- Whaler's Bay is a large coastal valley containing three or four small micro-climates.
- Netting and other barriers to protect plants would be valuable salvage.
- If it is possible to conceal the electrical activity then Hydroelectric power could be used for numerous purposes. Refrigerating and Microwaving food would be very useful.
- Even without electricity water power would be very useful.
- Wheel barrows and hand carts
- Alcohol and vinegar would be extremely useful for food preservation, vacuum and cold stills might be used.
- Airtight containers extremely valuable.
- Nomadic is a switch for this example. It could also be modified to work from a central point.
- Assuming fruit and nut trees are producing about 5% of modern yield due to pests, shade, nutrition and diffuse planting.
- 120 kgs of produce per hectare, farming skill rolls are all about timing in this environment.
- 5 hectares per person for fresh food for 9 months of the year.
- Large amounts of food wastage
- For 3 months of the year the diet would be stored food would be supplemented by hunting.
- Good hunting with high animal populations.
- Odd bits of machinery are stored all over each family groups territory, stills, presses etc.
- 50 hectares (productive) to support a family group, assuming 50% percent productive for whalers bay means an area 1km square.
- If 5% planting is too thick for fruit trees, 1% would have each family group over 500 hectares or a square 2.25 km a side.

- Olives and avocados pre-End.
- Garden supply store and several gardens had fruit and nut trees.

Traveling during the heat of the day to lessen your IR signature you crest the top of the ridge overlooking Whaler's bay. Even this late in the season you can still see fruit here and there in the branches. The narrow track has been marked by the passing of people and pigs.

Biological controls used to reduce pests, some species of wasps may be encouraged. Pheromone and scent traps would also be used to reduce pests.
- Olives and avocados would be important sources of fats and oils.
- Fruit, a range of varieties to ensure a long season. Early and late fruiting varieties for everything planted.
- Apples under the right conditions can be stored for a long time so they would be popular.
- Tree nuts and trees that produce nut like bodies would be valued for their shelf life. Macadamias, pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnut would all tolerate the climate.
- Lemons, extremely useful for chemically cooking fish and meat.
- Any local and native plants that are useful will be encouraged with the exception of species that exclude competition, beech and some pine varieties for example.
- Grafting techniques would be well utilized.

Due to low density planting the population would be fairly mobile. For plant care weekly visits would be desired. Moving over several season trails/circuits, ideally they would be arriving at an area in time to tend one crop and harvest another.
- Basket grown vegetables, with planting near trees the soil will be hard to cultivate, depleted to some extent by tree roots and in deep shade. Some species may do better if they are grown in hanging baskets. This also puts them out of reach of some animals. (Certain "Herbal" crops have been planted on platforms in trees for concealment near where I live).
- Stream and Wetland planting. Small dams would provide good environments for water loving plants, watercress, wild rice. Controlled flooding would also suit Japanese Millet as careful timing would reduce any weed competition.
- Cabbages would be suitable as well as many other leafy vegetables. Kimchi and similar storage/cooking techniques would be present.
- Turnips and potatoes are extremely useful, if they can be cooked. If not some kumara/sweet potatoes can be eaten raw. All these species do well in shade but still will need some direct light.
- Artichokes would be handy for late season nutrition
- Some hemp production for fiber.

Pigs and possibly smaller cattle might be kept in a semi-feral manner. Any natural area that could contain them would be improved on. Stone walls, ha ha's, water sources and semi-permanent traps (capture and kill) would be the extent of the infrastructure. Beneficial plantings would follow to provide food for the animals for as much of the year as possible.
- Japanese millet on margins would make some areas more attractive to wild fowl.
- Fish traps.
- Each family group would have companion animals, a tame pig or two as a food storage device, goats would add dairy products. They would be taken from the semi-feral populations and domesticated while young. Dogs may have the added benefit of being able to herd animals beyond the cover of the canopy, if so they would be useful.
- Some means of gathering salt would be needed if refrigeration does not exist. Capture ponds with air drying wicks for salt to crystallize on.

- Stored food, Apples, salted meat, nuts, Kimchi, pickled eggs, preserves, potted meat (maybe), dried fruit (poor quality), a few potato varieties.
- Oils, olive and avocado. large quantities in a good year.
- Hempen fiber
- Alcohol

- Netting
- Containers
- Possibly salt
- Tools

Skills present in the community

- Hiking
- Farming (orchards)
- Animal handling
- Cooking
- Area knowledge
- Traps
- Weaving/rope making
- Camouflage
- Missile weapon
- Climbing

This example merits a reexamination with a few of the assumptions changed, the results may be quite different.
Waiting for inspiration to strike......

Last edited by (E); 04-22-2016 at 01:11 AM. Reason: Cleaning up
(E) is online now   Reply With Quote