kawuli (kawuli) wrote,

District Nine

So today I was harvesting maize (corn) by hand in 95-degree (35-sensible-degree) heat. For my job this counts as a good day, but only because I don't have to do it every day.

Harvesting maize does not require my full attention, so I started thinking about Hunger Games things,like you do when you're avoiding thinking about stressful things (oh, is that just me?). And because of harvesting maize, I was thinking about District 9.

I don't think many people actually think about District 9, just like not that many people think about, say, Nebraska, or South Dakota, or Manitoba on any given day, but I think it could actually be fascinating.

No really, hear me out.

Agriculture in the Great Plains is already super mechanized, there are tractors and combines that are the size of small houses and harvest thousands of acres in a day. Panem has a problem with low population, so I'm pretty sure they've got very good at producing a lot of food with a few people and some very sophisticated machines (this is where, earlier today, I wondered if Panem has sattellites generally and GPS in particular, which is relevant but not critical to this agro-tech ramble).

Which means that District 9 probably has a few scattered crop-production centers with something like 10 people responsible for growing hundreds of square miles/kilometers of row crops, probably with zones for various (rotations of) cereals/legume field crops and some seed-production and research areas (with visiting scientists/geneticists from 3). If those have North-South gradients (which is likely), the settlements might actually move as planting/harvest season shifts from south to north (this is a thing that happens now with custom combine crews). Maybe in the winter they all come to a central town to work. Central town probably looks more like Six than Eleven (where they produce horticultural crops that require a lot more manual labor). No really: equipment maintenance, grain mills, ethanol plants, lots of trains bringing grain from all the far flung outposts. There's probably fertilizer storage (hey, Rebellion, want some ammonium nitrate?). Nine is probably a huge consumer of (expensive, relatively scarce) diesel fuel, unless someone has invented a solar-powered combine (I doubt it).

What I'm saying is that this is actually a much more interesting district than "Grain" seems to indicate and someday I will maybe actually write something about it. But in the meantime, maybe someone else wants to think about a lonely combine driver in the wilds of Manitoba just waiting for harvest to be over so she can go hang out in the booming metropolis in Des Moines (or wherever) for the winter working in a tesserae packing plant or an ethanol refinery and talking to more than like 6 other people. Or not, and I'll just keep this here as a brain-dump for later.
Tags: absurd logistics of panem, d9, hunger games
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