In the last post, we went a bit “metal,” talking about the metal trade in the Aliens & Asteroids universe. Next up is food.
Yes, you read that right – food. Not that exciting? Think again!
Food… in… Spaaaaace!
In the early days of space exploration, food very quickly became an important factor. When you look at anything beyond a few hours in space, food actually becomes just as mission critical as air and water. Keeping your explorers alert and well fueled is as important as keeping their spacecraft ready for anything. And when you start looking at things like time & distance, physical storage requirements, and nutrition, the costs rise exponentially.
Though we may have achieved momentary hits like Tang or freeze-dried pineapple fruitcake, the manufacturing and processing costs rose dramatically the more we sent manned missions into orbit and beyond. It became more cost effective to simply bring farms into space with the explorers.
Scientists and farmers worked out more and more efficient ways to not only grow food on long journeys through space, but freeze and freeze dry it for delivery when those crops were at their highest yields and ready for harvest. Many farmers became “space farmers” and moved their entire operations onto huge ships equipped with water, grow lights, and robotic workers for weeding, harvesting, and processing. As a result, these floating farms were able to deliver anything they could grow to facilities, stations, and ships across Dominion space.
A few of these ships have even become destinations themselves, offering tours and even restaurants serving farm-to-table meals – a luxury most workers in space rarely get to experience.
Though farming, even in space, is a pretty safe occupation, sometimes the farmers run into issues. Perhaps they tried a new technique to increase yields through genetic manipulation or a new type of radiation and managed to grow plants more interested in eating THEM than they were in eating the plants. Or perhaps they tried alien seeds to increase their yields or try something fresh and new. Well, in the cases where things get out of hand, the DSF is there to get them out of trouble again.
The DSF and DDF also help with piracy cases. Pirates get hungry too, you know. Criminals are not among these operations’ usual clientele and sometimes try to get a taste without paying. There have been a few cases where entire ships have gone missing along with their crews.
So don’t underestimate the possibilities of a floating farm in your campaign — you never know what might crop up!