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It’s Dangerous to Farm Alone

It’s Dangerous to Farm Alone

At the start of the famous video game, Legend of Zelda, a helpful old man says “It’s dangerous to go alone, take this.”

Surprisingly, the protagonist is then given a limited selection of technologies to use, so that they can then proceed, alone, on their adventure. I suppose the whole point of a video game is to push the limits of your character. If you mess up the worst outcome is waste a life.

Over the last several years I often wondered about the dynamics of the system I was building around me. Dairying animals in particular are a big commitment that need daily milking, with rare exceptions. Many times I had to grit my teeth and keep squeezing with an injured hand for days at a time. Fair is fair, I would say, since the girls would have to do the same if they had a scratch on their teat. Often I had to drag a sore leg around the paddocks for a few hours to move a fence. Only once did I have to skip milking when I was in the middle of a proper bout of flu.

Cropping is a little more relaxed in its timing, though without irrigation the window for sowing can pass from too wet or cold to too dry in a matter of days during some seasons. Harvest windows can be as long as fortnight for staple crops to a single morning for fruit (though the season itself usually lasts a week or more). All types of harvests have been missed at times and ended up either rotting on the ground or inside bellies smaller than mine.

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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