Finding a place to grow food in the city was becoming an emergent crisis. Overpopulation forced building housing on every square inch of land that wasn’t streets or sidewalks. The price of food, both at grocery stores and at farmers markets made it unaffordable to most. Growing one’s own became essential.
Bands of like-minded (and hungry) people decided to try a community gardening approach. Knowing that those-who-were-starving marauders would steal what was grown, so they needed to find a secure place to plant their crops. That’s when they found the abandoned factory on the outskirts of town.
It was a solid structure with plenty of light streaming in from above. Upon investigation they found a working well and a furnace that was repairable, as well as a power pole nearby for electricity. What they needed to get started was dirt or a hydroponic alternative. As most of the group was familiar with growing in soil, they chose it, but they also had an experimental hydroponic setup in a small corner.
Dirt was gathered from compost piles across the city. Everyone pitched in over the months until there was enough soil to get started. Ventilation fans were installed and the furnace was repaired.
Once word got out about their indoor farm, the marauders would come. They set up surveillance cameras and 3 volunteer guards for the night shift and 2 for the day shift. Armed.
They started slow, with the basic crops of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, beans, peas, carrots, spinach, swiss chard, pumpkin, and sunflowers. They set up a beehive for pollination. All ages worked, doing whatever chores they were best able to do. Children watched and learned.
At harvest time, they joined in a communal meal and thanked their Gods for leading them to this place.
Fandango is the host of Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge.