Brainstorm: Repurposed Missile Silo – Farming

2 03 2010

On 25 February I brainstormed about living in a repurposed missile silo.

This is a continuation of that brainstorming process, with a focus on where food would come from if the silo were cut off from any outside contact.
Instead of a generic bubble dome on top of to missile silo structure, it seems it would be useful to have a geodesic greenhouse for growing grains and vegetables.

Possible crops:
wheat
tomatoes
peppers
beans
corn
potatoes
broccoli
garlic
carrots

Making tortillas and other flat breads would probably be more useful than trying to make breads, and even pastas that would need yeast, eggs, etc. that might be difficult to get in a closed system (sans raising chickens for the eggs).

It seems as though it would be difficult/impossible to have salt unless it was previously hoarded or unless they somehow had access to salt water.  Having access to salt water from a repurposed missile silo seems unlikely.

Growing peppers and spices (which could work easily even in the silo as opposed to the greenhouse) seems like it would be a worthy endeavor regarding seasoning food, especially with an absence of salt.

What would be a good way to preserve food other than salting it?  Dehydration seems like one good option; possibly canning in reusable jars as well.

Something else to think about:  I think a life in a repurposed missile silo would be most interesting if the silo were secluded.  In what situations would the silo be forcibly secluded, but the greenhouse would still work?  What would it be like if outside life were relatively normal, but a family (or a few families) lived in this silo.  What would kids at school think?  Would the parents work at home as scientists/researchers?

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13 responses

2 03 2010
Tim

I often thought that I would utilize the “Three Sisters” method for a large silo. Optimally, you would probably want multiple silos. My thinking is you stagger the growth so there is less worry about long term storage. Being that it’s a green house, you would hopefully be able to grow food year around. You start one silo with beans, maize, and squash, get it up to speed. A few weeks, months, or whatever you start number two and so on. At this point you have a fairly sustainable, nearly nutritionally complete harvest that is viable over the long term.

http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/three_sisters_corn_beans_squash_three_sisters_soup_three_sisters_stew/

2 03 2010
astranoir

Hmm, good point about the “3 Sisters.” What do you mean regarding using multiple silos? Storage, a different greenhouse for each silo?

2 03 2010
Tim

Depends, most areas for sale that I’ve seen tend to have multiple silos for multiple missiles. Assuming this, I would use each silo as it’s own greenhouse. This would allow me to stagger their growth. For example, I plant in silo 1 in January, tend for it over the next 4 months, harvest when ready. A couple of months (or weeks, I’m unaware of how long it takes for your typical food store to become mature) before silo 1 is ready for harvest, I plant silo 2. As silo 2 is growing I’m living off silo 1, when silo 1 runs out you move on to living off silo 2 and re-plant silo 1. Lather, rinse, repeat. A lot of this depends on the growth cycle of the plants you are using. Hopefully that makes sense. 😀

2 03 2010
astranoir

Definitely makes sense. Another question, though: would these groups of silos be able to access one another underground, or would one have to go above-ground to gain access to the other silos (hmm, greenhouse tunnels)? Just considering in terms of how I could develop this in a story. And thanks for all your input! 🙂

2 03 2010
Tim

Not sure but you can poke around the ones for sale.

http://www.missilebases.com/

2 03 2010
astranoir

Haha, awesome. Again, thanks.

2 03 2010
Tim

No problem. I always have random things floating around in my head. You know where to find me if you ever want to bounce stuff off me.

3 03 2010
Jeffool

“In what situations would the silo be forcibly secluded, but the greenhouse would still work?”

The zombie apocalypse. 😀

4 03 2010
astranoir

That would be amusing. I would like something that hasn’t been so . . . overused lately. I like zombies and all, but it would be nice to have a more unique threat.

5 03 2010
Jeffool

“Then why bother going with a nebulous threat at all,” I say. Mankind ascends to the skies en masse, leaving nature to reclaim the planet. Nature, and a few people.

And while I admit zombies are very… “Prevalent,” in today’s media, I insist they’re still rarely done right. I hate it when they’re the focus, rather than the characters. :\

5 03 2010
astranoir

Jeffool :

“Then why bother going with a nebulous threat at all,” I say. Mankind ascends to the skies en masse, leaving nature to reclaim the planet. Nature, and a few people.

And while I admit zombies are very… “Prevalent,” in today’s media, I insist they’re still rarely done right. I hate it when they’re the focus, rather than the characters. :\

Well, perhaps it is not a threat. Maybe people send their elderly to spend their end years in repurposed missile silos now, or maybe some kids ran away from home and are hiding there like the Boxcar Children. I see your point about zombies, though.

6 03 2010
Brainstorm: Repurposed Missile Silo – Poll « Demon Grocer

[…] Repurposed Missile Silo – Poll On 25 February and 2 March, I brainstormed about living in a repurposed missile silo.  I am now attempting to branch out and […]

17 03 2010
They Don’t Fight Crime « Demon Grocer

[…] the three child characters from the “Hideaway” excerpt of my repurposed missile silo brainstorms.  I’m not prepared to present and discuss everything I’ve written today, partially […]

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