Yeah, I know, another checkylist. But I was having a brief crisis of oh-crap-too-many-storylines-what-do-I-do-next?!? So I figured, rather than use up pictures, I would do more checkylist.
This section will cover farming — just plant-based farming, not ranching/livestock raising. That will come later. 🙂
a) Who owns the land that food is grown/raised upon?
i) Is it owned by individuals for the most part?
I think “individuals” best fits the land ownership model I’m going for: i.e., the lords own most of the farming land of Albion.
(1) If so,
(2) Are these individuals the people who work the land?
No, they do not. Although most peasants do have gardens/farms of their own, and some, like Grady, sell their surplus. But most of the big farming is done by the lords, hiring other people to do the work.
(3) Are these individuals who pay other people to work the land?
Yes. The lords pay one or more of their indentured peasants to work the land for them, generally one person per family (person with that last name).
(a) Is this regulated?
In a way? There are fair wages set; that is, I have Pescado’s Relevant Wages mod in and everybody is “Fairly Paid” in game terms. They just don’t make a whole lot of money because they get paid by badges and not by skill points and badges. I’m going to say that the wages are hourly wages, so even though the lords aren’t limited by law as to how much they can work their employees, they have to pay more the more hours they work. Also, lords aren’t allowed to beat or in other ways physically abuse their employees.
(i) If so,
- Who regulates them?
I would say the Crown, although the Crown doesn’t do inspections or anything like that. Instead, Arthur is open to hearing complaints, and if he hears complaints he will investigate them.
Albion’s bureaucracy isn’t well-developed enough to have a separate “department of labor” or what-have-you to handle these complaints. So it pretty much falls onto the king’s shoulders.
- Are these regulations fair?
Eh … I don’t really think so. I mean, they’re better than nothing, but they would have a way to go before they got to “fair.”
Well, there’s no workplace safety regulations, no mandated health care, no cap on how many hours a person can work, no guarantee that the employer compensate the employee for on-the-job injuries … the list goes on and on. Oh, and those guaranteed wages set? They’re a wage maximum as well as a wage minimum. More skilled employees make more, but a lord can’t just decide to pay everyone more because he wants to.
- If not, why has this system not been changed?
Because back in Glasonland (and in Reme especially, where most agricultural labor is done by slaves) things are so, so much worse. There, the lords are pretty much free to do what they want short of killing the peasants. So the fact that they’re getting paid fairly for their work and that the King isn’t about to let abuses slide is a godsend to most of the local peasants.
ii) Is it owned by corporations?
Nope, see above.
iii) Is it owned by the government?
There is some land owned by the Crown; I imagine the food produced there will go straight to the Royal kitchens, the army and other civil servants. (Well, right now it goes straight into Arthur’s inventory, but, you know, eventually it’ll go to the army.) It’s worked by gypsies as a thank-you to Arthur for letting them stay in the kingdom without government harassment. Right now, that means Ash.
(1) If so,
(a) What do the people who work the land get out of working the land?
A fair wage, the same as any peasant working his or her lord’s land.
(b) Is it regulated?
Oh, that’s a toughie. Arthur follows the same rules he lays down for his lords, but, you know, he wouldn’t have to if he didn’t want to. So I’m going to say no, because rules don’t have much teeth if there’s no way to go above Arthur’s head and enforce them … and there isn’t.
(i) If not, why not?
Well, Arthur is the head of government and head of state. There’s nobody over his head. He follows the rules he lays down for his nobles because of his sense of fair play, but there’s nobody around to enforce the rules on him. Oh, and he (or any of his heirs) could probably get away with mistreating the gypsies or paying them less, because if the nobles complained he could point out that they’re freaks and they’re lucky he’s letting them stay in the kingdom. And if the gypsies complained, well, no one would care.
Note, though, that I do not intend to make Arthur or Tommy act like a complete and utter ass in that way anytime soon.
b) How advanced is agricultural technology?
Not very, by our standards. We’re talking mostly hand tools and basic ploughs here. (I’m going to say that the huge-agricultural-breakthrough plough has been invented and is in use by this point.)
i) How is it powered?
Sim muscle power, and oxen-power for the ploughs. This, obviously, is only in story terms, in game terms it’s 100% Sim power.
ii) How was it developed?
Er … very, very slowly, over a great deal of time, with people coming up with more inventions as they needed them.
(1) By whom was it developed?
A great deal of people. Mostly peasants, though. Nobles and wealthy merchants don’t dabble in ways to increase agricultural production. It’s horribly uncouth. And another witches and wizards on the Path of Light might help and produce breakthroughs, usually they’re too busy running from torch-carrying mobs to stay in one place and produce farming technology. Though this could change as time goes on.
iii) Is it comparable to other types of technology?
Yes, it’s quite comparable to other types of technology.
(1) What types of technology is it better than? Worse than? On par with?
Er … ack, I’m not a very good judge of this kind of thing. Maybe it’s lagging a bit behind military technology, because Sims are based on people and people are always looking for the Next Big Thing to blow each other up with. Other than that, I’d say it’s a bit ahead of everything else, if only because you need efficient farming methods in order to free labor up to come up with other labor-saving devices. I mean, food comes first.
iv) Is it advancing?
(1) Is its advance comparable with other types of technology?
It’s quite comparable, though the Church might back advances in farming technology more readily than they’d back advances in other technology. I mean, seriously, how are they going to be against something that helps them in their self-imposed mission of feeding the hungry and otherwise tending to the unfortunate?
v) How much R&D is involved with agricultural technology?
No formal R&D, though of course Sims tinker with tools on a regular basis, trying to make things easier on themselves.
(1) How much money is spent (on average) with developing new technologies for agriculture?
Not a lot! There’s certainly no grants or government or corporation money out there to support R&D for agriculture. It’s mainly what poorer people can afford to invest in their own ideas.
(2) Is the technology adequate?
(a) Does it provide enough food to support the population?
Yes, I would say it does. Pretty much everybody in Albion can get enough to eat without breaking the bank.
(b) Does it provide food at a surplus?
I think there is a small surplus. It’s not that big because, well, Albion is a small country. There’s only so much food you can grow on the square footage they’ve got.
vi) How much R&D is involved in creating new agricultural products?
Again, not a whole hell of a lot, for reasons I’ve explained above.
(1) How much money is spent (on average) developing new agricultural products?
Once again, not a whole hell of a lot.
vii) How advanced are methods of seeding?
Not particularly. We’re at the “turn over the soil, throw them on the ground, cover up with soil, water” stage of agricultural development.
(1) Are the seeds just regular seeds or are they super involved hybrid seeds?
Just regular seeds.
(2) Is there any R&D done with seeds?
Nothing fancy. Maybe some attempts at crossbreeding to improve plant hardiness and stuff, but that’s done the old-fashioned way.
(3) How much money is spent (on average) with advancing and cross breeding plants?
Again, not much money. The people with money aren’t interested in developing new plants and seeds.
viii) How advanced are the methods of harvesting?
Harvesting is pretty much done by hand. I don’t necessarily mean that every stalk of wheat is picked by hand (they have simple tools, like scythes and such) but there certainly aren’t any John Deere tractors riding around!
(1) How much R&D is involved in harvesting?
Like all of the above, not much.
(2) How much money is spent (on average) with advancing harvesting?
Once again … not much.
ix) How advanced are methods of fertilizing?
(1) Are there chemical based fertilizers?
I’m going to say no. Yes, the game has the “bag” fertilizers, but I’m trying to wean my Sims from using those by filling the composters to the brim. (Slowly, it’s working. Slowly.) I’m just going to say that the bag fertilizers are animal leavings, and leave it at that.
(2) Is there compost based fertilizers?
Yes, yes there are.
(3) Are there both?
(4) If so, is one preferred over the other?
Compost fertilizer is preferred.
Well, if the bag fertilizer is manure, basically, I’m going to say that in the environment of Albion, compost just works better, and is also less likely to spread disease.
(5) How much R&D is involved in developing new types of fertilization (for plants)?
Not a whole heck of a lot.
(6) How much money is spent (on average) developing fertilization (for plants)?
Not very much.
x) Are there pesticides used?
Yes, yes there are.
(1) Are they chemical based?
No, but there is a “magic” pesticide sold by the gypsies. However, using it can have very deleterious effects …
(2) Are they natural based?
I’m going to say yes, since they’re ladybug houses and ladybugs are natural.
(3) Are they animal/insect based?
Yes, the number one pesticide in Albion is the ladybug house. They’re able to trap and, um, keep ladybugs for use in killing other insects. And for the most part, it works!
(4) How advanced is pesticide use?
Other than the stroke of genius that is the ladybug house, not particularly.
(5) How much R&D is involved in pesticides?
Not a lot.
(6) How much money is spent on average with advancing pesticides?
Again, not a lot.