Topic: Agriculture: Quern, Hay and Silos  (Read 532 times)


« on: January 19, 2024, 12:13:44 PM »
Hi all!

In the BAC mod there's a Quern-grinder, which sounds like a good idea and fits quite well with the technology of the time the game evolves on.
I have found this video (in spanish, but subtitles in 19 languages) which shows the harvesting of ancient wheat (Triticum dicoccum, the "original" wheat), its processing in a stone quern to remove the coating and again to make flour, and also the use of fine hay, mostly to produce artisan goods:
It doesn't show but mentions that one of the ways of harvest (pulling the whole plant) gives hay able to be used for roofing.
In the end, the video shows a tiny version of a silo, made with clay, hay and a stone.

So my suggestion is to bring in several grain-harvesting options:
 - 3 ways of harvesting: full plant by pulling, plant with sharp tool or pinching.
        · Full plant would give long hay, that could replace the boards when making roof and floor, at least part of them (the roof ones).
        · Plant with sharp tool would give hay, usefull to make small baskets or as filler for mattresses or other stuff.
        · Pinching would give only the grain, could be in exchange easier to process later (no need to thresh).
  - Processing the harvest to take apart grain from hay.
        · Threshing floor would be a new type of floor, or structure, maybe a 3x3 shape. One could walk in cercles or use an animal for that (the biggest animals taking less time to do it).
        · Once threshed in the floor, should be winded: thrown into the air in a day with little wind to put away small hays and dirt from coated grain, leaving the grain ready to process.
        · Or by hand, hitting the harvest against a stone placed inside a basket.
  - Processing the grain to flour.
        (The wheat in the video is an old one, of "dressed" type. This means the coat that covers it won't go easily. Other cereals may not need this de-coating phase.)
        · Build a quern (BAC uses 2 stones and a LONG process to make each stone wheel, 2 wheels to make a quern; add a branch to make a handle, and some bark to make a
            soft layer in between the stone wheels. This layer would be necessary to de-coat the grain, and can be removed later to turn de-coated grain into flour.
        · Or, a simpler but less productive way would be to use mortar and pestle to decoat first, and to crash down to (coarse) flour later. This method should require less resources
            (maybe just a stone for the mortar and branch for pestle) but would allow to process way less grain in the same amount of time and effort.
  - Preserving the grain with silos
         · Using clay and hay or long hay, then stones on top and some dirt, the video shows how to make a silo to preserve the still coated grain. Needs a shovel and some water to
           make clay, both exist already in vanilla game, plus the hay and stones. One could maybe choose to make different sizes (tiny like in the video, up to something maybe dinning-
           table size like for lots and lots of grain)

This would require:
  - Divide harvesting into 3 different ways of doing it.
  - New type of floor: threshing floor.
  - When threshing, consider if standing in threshing floor. If so, threshing should be more efficient then in normal floor, and if having animals leashed, use the size of the bigger one to
      set the speed at which threshing happens.
  - Wind the harvest could be done by hand, or add a new item: winding fork, to make it with less effort.
  - Add hay and long hay items (could be simplified to just hay and be usable for roofing and artisan goods).
  - Add a quern, and a quern soft layer (made from bark) items, and a way to produce them.
  - Add mortar and pestle item, and a way to produce it (or maybe could be traded only in agrarian communities)
  - Add an action in Agriculture menu to process the grain in quern/mortar. If the grain is coated, would give de-coated grain, in de-coated grain is processed, give flour.
  - Add a new building 'Silo', requiring: shovel, container with water, hay / long hay, stones (all but the shovel would increase with size of silo).

This would give some realism and depth to harvesting, imho.