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SCAP Agriculture

Page history last edited by Section8 11 years, 1 month ago

 

Cauldron Almanac of Agriculture

  

Introduction

 

While it was the rich copper and malachite deposits that first brought human and gnome settlers to the Cauldron area, they would not have long survived had they been unable to harvest some food supplies from the native environment.  This is a very basic look at the agricultural history and products that have become such an intricate part of the culture and economy of this unique city and area.

  

Fruits of the Land

The environs of Cauldron offer a unique growing environment suitable for many staple and exotic fruits and vegetables.  All were found hear growing naturally when Surabar and his settlers first arrived some six hundred years ago, and have helped to feed each succeeding generation of Cauldronites.

 

RICE – The staple food source for the entire region it is found on the table of commoner and noble alike nearly everyday.  Cultivated in the low-lands to the west of Cauldron the wetlands near Kingfisher Hollow are famous for its large, healthy plantations.  Grown in large enough quantities to enable export, the rice is harvested and packed into 50lb sacks, then loaded onto carts pulled by water buffalo for transportation to Cauldron where it is warehoused, and auctioned for transportation to Sasserine and on to the rest of Oerth.  Small sub-markets also exist for rice wine, vinegar, and paper. 

The use of water buffalos as beasts of burdens over mules and oxen has been common since the arrival of humans to the area.  They are easily domesticated strong animals that are easier to maintain than mules or oxen.  A common saying amongst the locals when referring to the movement of something from one location to another is “It is being buffaloed.” They are not however, for the long overland voyages to Sasserine.  Mules, small elephants, and oxen are preferred for these journeys. A water buffalo trained as a beast of burden costs the same as an ox.

 

SUGAR CANE – While few growing zones exist for this sweet plant within the protective radius of Cauldron, the few that do produce a quality yield and exist near Hollowsky.  On these plantations the cane is cut and bundled into 50lb bushels, most is stored and auctioned on location, or processed into the sweet grains that Cauldronites enjoy in their morning teas.  Those bushels auctioned are most frequently bought by local rum distilleries to produce Cauldrons favorite alcoholic beverage.  Besides being ingested straight, the rum is also mixed with the juices of several native fruits most notably pineapple, coconut milk and limes.

   

TEA – Before the ambiance of Kafé became a fad amongst the merchant and noble class of Cauldron, there was, is and always will be Cauldrons favorite beverage tea.  Grown on the fertile slopes of the hills between the mountains and Amedio Jungle on large plantations and exported as far away as Grayhawk, Cauldron tea is third following copper and malachite as the leading export. The leaves are harvested, and sacked in 100lb sacks before being buffaloed to Cauldron for auction or consumption.

 Twenty years ago, when the kafé plant was introduced it caused several minor problems.  First amongst them was competition between local tea plantations and the new kafé plantations over space.  Both plants thrive in the same altitudes.  This led to a short war known as the kafé war were the leading kafé plantations came to blows over land with the established tea growers.  Captain Skellerang and the City Watch were commendated by the Lord Mayor for handling of this delicate matter. 

It is not with in the scope of this text to detail all the many tea houses, each with their unique blends in Cauldron.  But it will suffice to say that it would be a very enjoyable task to frequent each one and sample this exquisite beverage.  Tea in Cauldron is served either hot or cold, sweetened or not. 

The reading of tea leaves is the most common for of divination amongst he soothsayers and oracles of the Cauldron area.

 

KAFE – The bloody introduction of kafé into the Cauldron economy has already been touched upon.  Grown in the same foot hills as tea, cauldron kafé is grown mainly on the eastern foothills between the city and Redgorge. The kafé has a distinct earthy flavor, with a deep almost black color and wonderful spicy aroma. 

The largest of the kafé plantations is the ‘Caldera Plantation’.  Here the kafé is grown, harvested, pulped of their seeds, cleaned and sun roasted.  Once roasted it is packaged in 10lb sacks and sent up to cauldron by buffalo where it is warehoused and auctioned.  Kafé auctions occur every Thursday.  

The Caldera plantation produces one premium kafé with a much more intense flavor and heartier aroma. Known as ‘Caldera Gold’ these beans are roasted in a special under ground roaster heated by a lava flow.  Caldera Gold is sold exclusively at the Cusp of Sunrise, and is available only on the black market or as a gift from the Caldera Plantation.

In Cauldron Kafé has caught on only amongst scholars, merchants, and younger nobles; the rest of the population can being unwilling to give up their love of tea, or unable to afford the more expensive kafé.

The most popular kafé house in Cauldron is ‘Java’s” which has also become a kind of slang for the drink.  Located on Magma Ave, near the Bluecrater Academy.  It is a popular hangout for students, young nobles and merchants.  The proprietor Java Rickhill is a gnome with a nose for good kafé.

  

 EXOTIC FRUITS – The Amedio Jungle is ripe with fruits of all colors and tastes.  Amongst those four deserve mention as being important to Cauldrons economy and culture.  The first is the banana.  Harvested on plantations near the Lucky Monkey this succulent yellow fruit is harvested while still green, and then buffaloed to Cauldron where it is auctioned by weight and transported to Sasserine.  The average price for a banana in the streets of Cauldron is 1/5th of a copper piece. 

 A cousin to the Banana, the plantain is harvested along side the banana in the jungles near the Lucky Monkey.  While not widely known outside of the region, it provides a low price for export.  It does figure heavily in the local culture and is eaten with nearly every meal in Cauldron. 

The third exotic fruit popular with Cauldronites, and heavily sought after by merchants for export is the pineapple.  This juicy, sweet fruit is grown exclusively in the Hollowsky area were several large plantations jealously guard their plants to insure they are not stolen for cultivation else where.  Thievery of a plant, if caught by plantation guards is a painful and bloody death.  A decade in the Cauldron dungeon for those lucky enough to be captured by one of the Captains patrols. 

The pineapples are harvested green, crated a score to crate, buffaloed to Cauldron and auctioned.  Pineapples are considered a delicacy even in Cauldron with some families saving all year for one.  They are traditionally eaten during the summer festival when, before the plantations they were harvested.  A single pineapple can run as high as 2sp.

The final fruit on the list is the coconut.  This common fruit is harvested throughout the lowland regions.  Harvesters go into the jungle with weaved baskets and machetes climb the palms, harvest the fruits, and then carry them to market.  A dangerous business in deed.  A single coconut sells for about the same as a banana or plantain.  The only Sub-markets for the coconut is coconut oil (the only vegetable oil easily available in Cauldron.),  In the labor intensive warehouse districts of Cauldron vendors selling coconut water (water with chunks of coconut in it) are quite common.  The tasty drink is very refreshing. 

  

Meats, Poultry, and Fish

 

WATER BUFFALO - One of the most serious problems facing the early settlers to the Cauldron area was the lack of an easily obtainable red meat.  Hunting alone simply wasn’t going sustain the growing population of Cauldron with its red meat need.  The only readily available source was the water buffalo, and it still remains the number one source of red meat for the populace today.  Several ranches maintain a steady business of supplying the city with its need for red meat.  None is exported, although dried and salted buffalo is a profitable business as these meats supply the outgoing caravans for their overland journey to Sasserine.   

 

HOGS – Less commonly consumed than the water buffalo, the hog is none the less available to locals.  Brought here by the original settlers, they are now raised by local buthers and on farms and plantations outside the city as well.  None are exported, but like water buffalo, salted pork is marketable to traders and travelers.   

 

POULTRY – Like the hog, chickens and ducks were brought by the early settlers and are now raised by butchers for there meat and eggs. 

 

FISH – Cauldron’s lake provided its earliest inhabitants with their only obtainable meat source, save the hogs, chickens, and oxen that traveled with them.  While the cities clerics help maintain the cleanliness of the water, no where else is the statement “!@#$ rolls down hill”, more true than in Cauldron.  The trout and fresh water muscles that provided much of the early diet for Cauldronites have diminished over the past 500 years.  In the past quarter century, regulation and improved management have done much to balance.

Kingfisher Hollow sets on the shores of a large, fertile fresh water lake, Fed from the springs and creeks of the Cauldron Mountains the lake is teaming with Tilapia, fresh water prawns, and other edible fish.  The local fish mongers can be seen plying their nets for the first few hours of the morning.  The fish are transferred from the net to barrels of water, and then onto carts, which move the live fish to Cauldron’s market.  Late day catches are salted or pickled in Kingfisher for later transportation.  It takes fourteen to sixteen hours for the catch to arrive in Cauldron. 

 

Cauldron Agriculture Markets 

 

The majority of Cauldrons fruit and meat markets are outside the city walls.  This places the burden of city import taxes on the buyer and not the cellar.  City ordinance disallows the construction of any permanent buildings with 500 yards of a city gate, which due to the geographical nature of the caldera would be difficult anyways.  The fish markets lies outside the north gate, the western gate is home to pineapple and sugar cane markets, while the eastern entrance takes care of the brisk banana and plantain market.  Each morning these markets turn into miniature towns complete with all manner of vendors, beggars and thieves and of course a city tax man in his red robe and high hat to insure that the Lord Mayor gets his percentage.  Some consider him a thief as well.  The less perishable foods like rice, sugar, tea, and kafé, and several of their sub-products are stored inside warehouses and auctioned there.  

 

 

Price Guide

 

Item Avg Wholesale Cost Market Cost Special
Rice 20 gp/50 lb sack 5 sp/lb  
Rice Wine 10gp/bottle    
Rice Vinegar 30gp/10gal barrel 5gp/gallon  
Rice Paper 1gp/sheet    
Sugar 35gp/50lb barrel 1gp/lb  
Sugar Rum 8gp/10gal barrel 1gp/gallon 2sp/mug
Tea 125gp/10lb sack 15gp/lb 1cp/cup
Kafé 500gp/10lb sack 55gp/lb 1gp/cup
Bananas/Plantain 10gp/10lb 3gp/lb 1cp/item
Pineapples 150gp/lb 10gp/item  
Coconuts 7gp/10lbs 1gp/item  
Coconut Oil 5gp/gallon 5sp/pint  

 

For meat/poultry/fish use the prices from the PHB or Arms and Equipment Guide.

 

 

 

 

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