Crops on a Colony World

The most recent part of the A to Z Challenge has had me thinking about vegetable, fruit, and grain crops. If you were setting up a colony on another planet, what crops would you want to have so you had fresh food as quickly as possible? I’m not a gardener, and I could rely on internet sources, but is like advice from people who actual like gardening or farming. What food crops are ready quickly?

The Farmer

We’re on to the letter F now in the A to Z Challenge.  I seem to have a theme going with life sciences related jobs, don’t I? That’ll eventually change.  It’s just that these jobs seem appropriate with the way the story is going.  Again, no sketch this time.  I may do one sometime today and add it on to this post later, though.  It’s the story that’s important, not the sketches.

The Farmer


New Athens

Seventh day, fourth month, first year after colonisation, Ariadne Era (4/07/01 AE)

Anka Belinski brushed her hands through the corn stalks on either side of her. At two metres tall, they had grown as expected if she had been living on Earth. She smiled. Ready for harvest.

At the top of the hill, she observed the field. It wasn’t large. It wasn’t meant to feed the population of New Athens. As an agricultural researcher, she was responsible for making sure the food crops were healthy and ready for human consumption. But she imagined herself as a farmer. In a way, she was a farmer. A farm doctor. She wished for her life to be simpler. She loved her research, but she wanted to grow vegetables and crops for the people. She wanted to be just a farmer, no laboratories. That day would come, she thought.

Anka’s assistant, a young man in his mid-twenties with prematurely greying hair, jogged up the hill with a tablet in his hand.

“Caleb,” she called to him. “I think we’re ready.”

“Yes, doctor. I’ll have the team get set up for some samples. Do you really think this batch will be viable?” he said.

“It looks normal. The ears of corn are full of yellow kernels, and there appear to be no native parasites.”

“I think everyone is going to be happy to be able to eat fresh vegetables. All we have right now is alfalfa, radishes, and some green leafy vegetables. And those carrots are looking strange.”

“Well, if everything can get sorted out, thanks to the all year growing season, we should have a full menu of vegetables and fruit by the end of the year. I hope.”

“You’re very confident doctor.” Caleb smiled.

“You’re lucky you’re working with me rather than Doctor Said.”

“Of course, doctor. I’ll be sure to watch what I say.”

“You’re learning. You’ll make a good scientist someday,” said Anka, laughing.