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Wednesday
Jan192011

Space Farmer of the Year 2012 (1982)

The 1982 Kids' Whole Future Catalog is just bursting at the seams with amazing advancements from the world of yestermorrow. From space hotels and universal language translators to factories in space and schools in the sky, this catalog fed the imaginations of countless rugrats in the 1980s. Today we have an excerpt from the catalog that imagines an interview with a space farmer of the year 2012.

 

Interview with a Space Farmer

Island One, January 16, 2012

On a recent tour through the Colonies of the United Universe, we stopped at Island One and talked with a farmer there:

Q: At lunch today, the waiter told us that all the food on the menu was produced here on Island One. Do you import any food from Earth?

A: No, it's too expensive. We raise every bit of food for all 10,000 of our citizens right her on this farm.

Q: You must have a very large area under cultivation?

A: Not really. We can grow all the food necessary to support one person in an area just 6 1/2 ft. long and 6 1/2 ft. wide. The entire farm takes up just 100 acres.

Q: How can you raise so much food in such a small space? 

A: Well, for one thing, we raise most of our crops - hydroponically - in water instead of soil. That saves a lot of space because we can grow plants on tall vertical frames. Also, our farm produces food continuously - one crop after another, all year-round. It's always summer here, and we don't have any cloudy days or storms to contend with.

Q: Do you raise any animals? 

A: Yes, they help us recycle leftovers. We raise our cows and goats almost entirely on corn stalks, cucumber vines and other crop wastes. Our chickens eat table scraps. Rabbits are our main sources of meat. They take up less space than hogs or cows and they need only half as much feed to produce a pound of meat. We also raise fish in those ponds over there.

Q: Where do you get the. water for the fish ponds?  

A: All the water in the colony is used over and over again. Water for drinking and cooking comes from the farm's dehumidifiers, which pull moisture out of the air. Waste water is purified in a solar furnace and then piped back to the farm. 

Q: Have you had any crop failures? 

A: Not so far. When we started the farm, we inspected the shipments of plants and seeds from Earth very carefully to make sure they didn't contain any weeds or insects. Now our farm is pretty much pest-free. 

Q: Do you miss your farm back on Earth? 

A: Not a bit! I've even learned to like rabbitburgers! 


 

The following page has an assessment of what was on the Gemini and Skylab menus, comparing them to the swanky Island One menu of the future. You could even send away for a package of freeze dried ice cream for $1.20, postpaid of course.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

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Reader Comments (4)

Perfect for growing space weed!

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

No one capable of reading technical reports and having an ounce of common sense should have predicted in 1982 that his was (only) 30 years in the future. Perhaps some "pedagogical license" to get children interested in space exploration? If so it is a perfect example of how built-in disappointment is counterproductive.

btw: Presumably somewhere else in the catalog they explain how they get the earth-like gravity for the farmer and the tractor alongside the hydroponic cells?

January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlfred

Freeze-dried ice cream makes the entire investment in the space program worth it. Seriously.

January 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterA. Peon

Alfred (#2) - presumably this is one of the O'Neil colonies so popular in the 1970s and early 1980s, a cylinder spinning on its long axis so that its inside surface has the sensation of gravity.

January 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWutzke

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