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Old 07-30-2018, 03:33 AM   #181
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default Re: [ATE] Farming example

Site Zeno
When dealing with radiation there are three options, clean the area, minimize the effect or go somewhere else. Site Zeno explores all three.

You walk slowly up the crumbling road encumbered by your suit. The hiss of the respirator soft in your ears as you see the earthen ramparts around the old bunker entrance. Oddly neat and even the four half buried plastic tunnels are stark in their newness compared to the rest of the abandoned world. The vibrant yellow of the fields nearby comes as a surprise as well.

-20 year lifespan bunker 1-2 hundred people, generic farming supplies, no internal farming beyond a basic algae system for improved oxygen endurance.
-Radiation is a threat, cobalt bombs, pessimistic assumptions about radiation used and so forth.
-Two main radiation vectors, environmental radiation and highly radioactive particulate matter, generically referred to as radiation from here on.
-The population avoids working outside unprotected.

-A bore providing clean water. Use is strictly limited due to fear of pulling radioactive material from the larger water table.
-Non-hybrid seed.
-A small TL 9 laboratory
-A large supply of miscellaneous equipment.

-More variety to farm, crop rotations are patchy, plant health and fertility will suffer in time.
-A root food crop like potatoes for the trenches and sugar beets for the wild fields would be the most desired.
-Specialized machinery for biofuel crops.
-Fresh power cells or alternately sulphur and lead for batteries, required for Geiger counters
-Fuel and energy sources, possibly even wood to allow ceramic production.
-Building material and glass or clear plastic.
-TL 9 manufacturing equipment suitable for aeroponic manufacture would greatly decrease water consumption and disease risk.
-Animals, the addition of animals to the system will both improve production and reliability greatly.

-Site Zeno has been farming outside for less than two years. As such it is not fully developed. It has also yet to encounter many problems.
-They started with some heavy machinery and general purpose tractors suitable for farm work and a limited amount of fuel
-Ceramics might be used once clean plastic and metal products become scarce.
-Seed lifespan has been an issue

The Trenches
The main crop system at Site Zeno is a collection of trench greenhouses constructed from clear flexible plastic that was initially intended for deployable airlocks and hazmat tents. Each of these trenches has had the soil removed to a depth some 200mm (8 inches) below the top level of the clay that lies beneath the topsoil. The clay is relatively waterproof and radioactive material is unlikely to have penetrated that far, unfortunately raw clay is an incredibly poor soil. To replace the soil that was discarded the bunker’s waste has been mixed with clay, waste from the algae system and aggregate to make a growing medium. In place of traditional crop rotation a percentage of the crops are grown hydroponically in the old storage barrels to rest the soil.
Peas, maize and brassica dominate the plants grown. The small range of plants available make plant diseases a high risk factor. Seeds for wheat and other plants that were initially planned for failed to remain viable in sufficient quantity for early crops. Though some viable specimens exist in small numbers. Climate control is marginally difficult due to filtration and running the trenches at slightly more than atmospheric pressure, while successful the system loses more water than desired. Four trenches each 100m long by 10m wide.

Wild fields

This is a low maintenance crop system that produces farmed products that are not for biological consumption. This system is still in its trial stages however. An initial Maize crop was tried as a possible biofuel. This was not successful due to the need to use machinery rather than human labour. The equipment present is general purpose and as such up to ten machinery actions are required per crop. This could change if they can acquire specialized machinery or cultivars that improve their efficiency. Currently Site Zeno is trialing canola, the seeds have a long viable life and the pest population is low. The bunker has surplus nitrogen with which to fertilize it with at least to begin with.
The goal for this system is most likely a four crop rotation with Sugar beet, maize, canola and sugar cane.

Distant orchards
Small patches of clean land will exist, they are more likely in rough terrain and will be by necessity high in the catchment of any water courses. If these can be found fencing and guarding or patrolling them would allow for crops or orchards. Currently the only option available to the residents is melons. Once rootstock can be developed other more traditional orchard trees could be planted. The decision to plant species with large fruiting bodies was made to make checking for radioactivity easier.

The lab
Trained personnel are likely in this situation in fact they would be required to ensure that the few examples of viable seed from plants with a short seed life exist at all. They would also have worked to ensure the soil formulation is correct for the trenches.

Skills present

Many others as this is approximately 20 years after the end.


Soil for maybe 3-4 hectares.
Trenches produce about 10000-12000 lbs per acre per annum at this stage.
Making Site Zeno about 5-10% self sufficient at this stage for food. They have maybe 2-3 years to get that to 100%.
Canola would have a net yield of between 470 litres per hectare (50 gallons per acre) on a good year and would run at a net loss of fuel in a bad year.

Not covered are plant selection and treatments that reduce the uptake of fallout.
more traditional GURPS units have been used more often here. This is because there is now a set of rules to estimate output designed with GURPS in mind
Waiting for inspiration to strike......
And spending too much time thinking about farming for RPGs
Contributor to Citadel at Nordvörn
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:02 AM   #182
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default Re: [ATE] Farming example

Farming in SPACE!
and habitats, bunkers and other closed systems.

Basic algae farm with cyanobacteria
- Produces oxygen from CO2, non-edible material produced.
- Approximately 0.9m3 per person at TL8. 8m3 at TL7. The large difference in this case is due to the switch from bulbs to LEDs.
- In cases where sunlight is the source of power for photosynthesis then 8m2 per person.
- Slightly smaller and more reliable than the non biological alternative. The biggest downside is it cannot be easily turned off for any length of time.
- Raw materials for paper and polymer manufacture could be possible but that consumes carbon from the system.
- Increasing the size by 50% allows for water recycling.
- Waste carbon needs to get converted back into CO2. Burning, digestion or Decomposition.
- In this and all the other systems listed add either machinery or volume to the system to factor in margins for excess consumption or over production.
- This does not include living space.
- Lifespan 1(+?) year at TL7, 3-7 years TL8

Advanced algae farm with Spirulina
- Produces oxygen and low energy high nutrient and protein food.
- Suitable for 10% of a person's diet and most or all of the protein. Very low on calories.
- Otherwise similar to the basic algae farm. Larger water requirement. 1m3 per person at TL8
- Per TL of increase above 8. Reduce space required by 20% or increase percentage of diet by 25% or reduce power requirements by 20%
- Otherwise similar to the system above.

Algae farm with starch crop(s)
- Produces oxygen and a majority of a person's diet.
- Suitable for approximately 80% of a person's diet. Lipids are the most obvious shortfall.
- More power required.
- Continual work required while gardening to produce a steady supply, 4 hours per person per day.
- Dwarf wheat, Spirulina and potatoes.
- 20m2 per person (solar) or 6m3 per person at TL 8.

Algae farm with a relatively complete diet of crops
- Produces oxygen and vegetable based food.
- Crops include, dwarf wheat (primary starch), Chufa (oil), peas, carrots, radishes (fast growing), beets (sugar), potatoes (variety and dietary completion), various greens (tomatoes, cucumber, brassica etc for variety and dietary completion)
- Approximately 95% complete at 38m2 or 15m3 at TL8.
- Approximately 99.9% complete at 60m2 or 27m3 at TL8. 77m3 at TL7
- Airflow required, possibly strong enough to mimic wind.
- A four fold increase in size for each 9 added after the decimal point for measuring efficiency.
- Pseudo hydroponic system.
- Salt required.
- With gravity aeroponics possible (see below)
- 5 hours per person per day labour.
- 6-9 year endurance at TL8
- Maybe $200,000 per person base cost
- Assumes plant issues to do with microgravity are minimal.

Algae farm with a complete diet of crops plus minimal animals
- Requires gravity
- Maybe 1-2% of the diet comes from animal sources.
- Added stability, increased efficiency.
- 50% or more of the vegetation produced above is inedible to humans. As a result waste build up can be an issue. This may also affect the makeup of the atmosphere, by reducing the CO2 too much.
- It also adds a means of balancing the system that doesn't require removing people from it.
- Maybe a 30% improvement in space efficiency for systems relying on solar energy (m2)
- 1% (maybe slightly higher 3%?) improvement on the volume required in the other cases. But a great decrease in the area required for waste as well as a decrease in the energy required for recycling.
- Similar or slightly lower energy cost to the pure vegetable system.
- Added requirement of maintaining live animals.
- Presuming insects/invertebrates and fish.
- 7-10 year endurance at TL8

Larger systems using more animals may have benefits in reducing toxins (or possibly trapping the toxins in the other animals)
Animals would add a useful buffer to the CO2 producing side of the equation.
A high temperature incinerator would possibly help waste build up.
Solar systems assume a high level of light, increase space as brightness is reduced.

TL 9

At TL 9 long lasting (or at least the means to easily manufacture replacement) parts makes a high endurance contained aeroponic system possible if there is gravity. This means a reduction of 25% in the space required as well as a reduction in the total water required of 90%. Resistance to disease is also dramatically improved. Such a system is also possible at TL8 but requires more material support. Other TL 9 improvements would reduce the required size by 33%.

TL 10

Working from the trend that exists in the historic improvement of food production a TL 10 system will be half the size of a TL 8 system or possibly smaller given miniaturization of supporting equipment.

Spacecraft are generally full of materials such as plastics that produce toxic compounds in small amounts. In a closed system this can rapidly become an issue.
In bunkers and the like unsealed concrete also absorbs oxygen out of the system.
Temperature regulation is critical to keep efficiency high in a small system.
Leaks and other issues would need to be factored in with stored resources or possibly gathering water and carbon.
Waiting for inspiration to strike......
And spending too much time thinking about farming for RPGs
Contributor to Citadel at Nordvörn

Last edited by (E); 08-06-2018 at 04:00 AM.
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Old 08-03-2018, 04:11 PM   #183
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default Re: [ATE] Farming example

Farming in SPACE!
The various experiments researched for generating the data above also demonstrated that there was a large psychological benefit provided by having and working with plants and animals when confined for long periods of time.
Waiting for inspiration to strike......
And spending too much time thinking about farming for RPGs
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Old 08-04-2018, 06:37 PM   #184
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default Re: [ATE] Farming example

Where to next?
Some ideas
-TL9 homestead
-Super grim global warming
-Empty city
-Exploring other angles in earlier examples. Failing systems, other restrictions like laws or absence of skills.
-Fantasy farming, elves, dwarves etc.
-Farming during the end? If so what End?

In regards to “GURPS: Subsistence Farming: extreme conditions”, the maths is in place, more research and coherence is required however. In other words I have a system that I can use. Now I need to make it accessible to everyone else.
Waiting for inspiration to strike......
And spending too much time thinking about farming for RPGs
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Old 08-05-2018, 04:40 AM   #185
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Kenai, Alaska
Default Re: [ATE] Farming example

Super grim global warming please.
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Old 08-05-2018, 01:41 PM   #186
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: 100 hurricane swamp
Default Re: [ATE] Farming example

I vote empty city. Temperate climate, dry, not desert.
Feel free to steal, borrow, fold, spindle, mutilate any rule, advantage, etc I come up with it.

Gurps Combat Club on RPoL. Come check it out, play in a tourney or two!
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:03 AM   #187
Luke Bunyip
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The Kingdom of Insignificance
Default Re: [ATE] Farming example

Originally Posted by (E) View Post
... Australian billabong plant life would be worth a look too.
The flooding of billabongs, ephemeral wetlands and the like, is generally episodic, not seasonal*. There are a number of reeds, rushes, and lilies** which produce a variety of starchy tubers, fibre for fishing nets etc, and edible fruit. Note, most of these species are water depth / soil saturation specific, so a body of water would generate a large variety and volume of vegetative resources, not to mention crustacea (yabbies), frogs, and snakes. This could allow for sufficient food excess to temporarily support a large number of people in the same place at the same time.

EDIT 2: D'oh. Also a large number of ducks, black swans, and water hens.

EDIT: Billabongs are like bayous; more likely to be found in shallow plains with a large catchment, rather than catchments which can drain relatively quickly. Given that, in drier years they are effectively soaks, so they can make good grazing for macrapods, as well as appropriate introduced domesticated/feral species. Also, they're full of snakes, spring to early autumn/fall. It wouldn't be Australia otherwise...


*Whilst large rainfall events generally occur during the appropriate wet season (either winter/spring, or late summer), this is not always the case. Some wet seasons are a green drought, and sometimes it floods when it should be dry.

** I'll work up some notes on appropriate genus vs food/resource.
Melior sonus verborum interpres velet utens Google.

Last edited by Luke Bunyip; 08-07-2018 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:35 AM   #188
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Meifumado
Default Re: [ATE] Farming example

Originally Posted by Luke Bunyip View Post
.. not to mention crustacea (yabbies), frogs, and snakes.
...and bunyips?
World Wikis:
Cyberpunk: Duopoly Nation
Fantasy: Dominion Cross
Space Opera: Behind the King's Eclipse
Steampunk: Colonial Steam
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:44 AM   #189
Luke Bunyip
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The Kingdom of Insignificance
Default Re: [ATE] Farming example

Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
Originally Posted by Luke Bunyip View Post
...not to mention crustacea (yabbies), frogs, and snakes.
...and bunyips?
Ahem. Well, um... yes. And possibly bunyips.

Something something downstream of runaway nuclear reactors, near CSIRO genetics labs something.
Melior sonus verborum interpres velet utens Google.
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Old 08-11-2018, 07:58 AM   #190
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default Re: [ATE] Farming example

The pyramid
(Formerly known as 23 Pyramid plaza)

Tower farming in an empty City
The city is a scarred and desolate place maybe one tower in twenty is still standing. The terrain is mostly hills and valleys made of rubble lightly covered in brown and dry weeds. Getting onto the track that leads to the pyramid you shoulder your weapons and mentally tally your salvage. Hopefully you have enough to splurge on some really good food, duck pie maybe, hot bannock with jam. Your mind snaps back to the present as you see a pair of scavengers join the track. Continuing towards the familiar profile of the Pyramid you get close enough to see the defenses and hear the activity from the monthly market. Enclosed within the huge walls of stacked pavement is the market, dozens of stalls selling all manner of food and produce, the smell of cooked food makes your mouth water. A water cannon and several heavily armed and armored guards ensure some measure of peace is maintained.

The tower itself is a super skyscraper over 1000 feet high with more than 150 floors shaped like an elongated pyramid with a handful of quadrotor landing platforms distributed along its sides. More recent additions include a number of wind turbines, cables running to other buildings, a chimney or two and a 10 meter high wall of stacked concrete slabs complete with muzzle loading cannons.


- Two or three generations after the end.
- The horticulturalists who founded these systems were from a gardening background. As a result the gardening adage “Fruits, greens, roots, beans” is the basis for the crop rotations.
- Any toxic effects of the End are relatively slight in the city or at least this part of the city.
- The current situation means defense is a critical element in any community.
- Very large TL 9 city in a drier more temperate climate.
- The tower was built shortly after a major catastrophe and was overbuilt somewhat. Due to its height and other factors the glass is about DR 10, the design makes the individual panes of glass interchangeable and many panes have been moved from the shadowed side of the building.
- Most crops originated as weeds or decorative plants.

The Tower
The crops in the tower itself are grown in the first 2-3 meters from the (south/north) facing windows on each floor of the tower. This is the area that gets enough sunlight to support crop growth. To make the system viable the residents have to pump and purify a considerable amount of water each day. This water is sourced from flooded basements and blocked storm drains, many of which have been enlarged and made more watertight since the end. Purification is handled by a combination of filtration and steam distillation. Split lengths of air conditioning conduit serve as parabolic reflectors to heat darkened pipes. The variability in the solar energy received means that maintaining the water system is a full time job for two people. Should it be required additional electrical power for steam distillation is generated by recycled electric car parts linked to several of the windmills. There would be a large amount of water storage distributed throughout the building to mitigate the unreliable nature of the power generation. This water storage serves an additional purpose by providing water with enough pressure and capacity to run several water cannons.
The urban environment has not been the best place to source seeds for crops. The residents have been forced to largely make do with plants that are either ornamental or considered weeds. These plants were put into a rotation by people with gardening experience who used the adage “Fruits, greens, roots, beans" as a basis. Currently the rotation is Millet, green weeds*, Chufa, Beans. Millet has high seed production and can be turned into flour. Most flour has a high energy to weight ratio and under the right conditions stores well, this makes for a potentially valuable commodity AtE. Chufa (a type of sedge) serves as an oil crop and has numerous other uses.
The largely enclosed and generally hot and humid environment inside the tower has led to problems with plant pests and pathogens which the towers residents manage with chemical cleaning, pyrethrins and the anti-fungal products incorporated in the buildings materials. This hasn’t been completely successful in the past and potatoes are no longer grown inside the tower.
*Covered in an earlier post

The Narrow fields
These are built on several sections of overpass that have been separated from the road network leaving large platforms atop concrete pillars that require uninvited guests to be very skilled climbers. Each section of overpass is now well covered in a compost rich soil to a depth of about a yard, the high plant matter content in the soil helps to offset the effects of drought but can cause a nitrogen deficiency. The edges of the narrow fields are planted with blackberry adding an extra layer to the defenses as well as a food source. Just inside this edge has been planted bamboo which is cover, a resource and a windbreak reducing the effects of wind. The rotations are slightly different here than in the tower, Sorghum fills “fruit” slot, the cultivar available is to tall for indoor conditions otherwise it would be used in the tower as it outperforms millet. The “greens” part of the rotation is again provided by carefully selected weeds. Chufa is too enduring a plant to use in a field rotation like the one here so Oxalis and Jerusalem artichokes are used in the “root” slot. Climbing beans fill the final slot.
Sweet potatoes were grown here but previous over cultivation led to issues with soil chemistry. Gravity fed water from the tower is used irrigate the fields when needed and while the water lasts. As the fields are in the open less filtration is required as pollutant build up isn't the critical issue it is in an enclosed environment.

Other systems, gardens and crops
The base of the tower has been surrounded in a heavy wall made of stacked concrete sourced largely from pavements. This has been backfilled with rubble and soil making another secure area to produce food. The added depth of soil gives it an advantage over the narrow fields. ¼ of this area gets full sunlight, another ½ gets partial light while the remaining ¼ is perpetually in shadow and is used for animals. Overall the area is visually more like a garden than a farm. Small plants dominate for security reasons.

- Pigeons, the communication device you can eat.
- Ducks, produce nitrogen rich waste which is further used for fertilizer and chemical production.
- Fish, while the species of fish are not ideal they do add reliability to the system and reduce the risks associated with a too simple cycle within the system (plant => animal => plant => animal) the material required was sourced mainly from water features.
- Insects, used to primarily process waste plant material into animal food.
- Flax, primarily for fiber though linseed oil is also produced in small quantities. The fibre is used primarily for plumbing related tasks.
- Capers, while not a major food resource they are likely to grow well here.
- Peanuts, another possible oil crop they require more soil depth than the tower can easily provide.
- Potatoes and sweet potatoes, for different reason these have been removed from the regular rotations (which the don't fit well into) but their value means they are still grown where possible.
- Pumpkins, a high likelihood of seed availability however they require a lot of nutrients and water.
- Lupins would serve as a nitrogen fixer if beans were unavailable.
- Chrysanthemums are grown for the insecticide that can be harvested, pyrethrin which is very useful for managing insect related pests.
- Oleander and several other ornamental plants which have some use as poisons.
- Mushrooms, the antifungal agents and high sulphur content in the buildings mean mushroom production is limited to a few “clean" spaces.
- Sulphur pits, some areas use bacterial action to liberate gaseous sulphur compounds from building materials.
- Large compost/soil recycling piles would be on every farmed floor of the tower.
- Water storage, several underground car parks have been made watertight these serve as cisterns for the tower. A single large car park could conceivably hold over 20,000 m3 of water which could last the tower a year. There are several sealed parking garages and basements alterations have been made to ensure that they collect large amounts of runoff.

The reliance on pumps has had a benefit, the level of machining needed to maintain the pumps has ensured that the group has maintained and honed the skills required to manufacture many firearms. Currently they can produce their own firearms up to about TL7 but are having difficulty with the metallurgy required for large magazines. Sniper rifles are common with long barreled versions being popular (Jezail/Kentucky long rifle style) partially due to the rarity of good scopes and also the armorer's own opinions. Shorter shotguns and pistols are also issued to the professional guards who expect to fight in close quarters.

Quest goals and ideas.
Plants for a “green” rotation. Brassicas suit the role.
Get me a (live) pig, the guards of the tower have managed to capture several sows, now they just need some enterprising people to capture a boar or two so they can expand their farming activities.

Waiting for inspiration to strike......
And spending too much time thinking about farming for RPGs
Contributor to Citadel at Nordvörn

Last edited by (E); 08-12-2018 at 04:13 AM.
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after the end, ate, climate, farming, livestock.

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