We had a lot of food stocked up here, enough canned goods and preserved foods to see us through the winter and spring. Not all of it is gone, but the majority is. If we were relying solely on the stores, we'd go hungry before any kind of harvest would be possible. Of course, that's ignoring flour and grain, rice and pastas. We've made a lot of pasta. It keeps forever and is easy to make. The soldiers ignored the huge reserves of it, choosing instead to eat what was easy. It's good they did, because with what we have left along with hunting for game and slaughtering some of the animals out on the farms, we'll manage. Not to mention that while we were gone, some of the more clever farmers went out when they could and hunted for chickens. They've got a good number of them out there.
We've got decent amounts of whole wheat, whole dent and table corn, and groats (the stuff that get smooshed into oats). That's awesome, because those things all last for...ever, really. We can make them into other foods, and though our flour will run out long before it can go bad, it's good to know we've got options.
It's going to be tight, though. We should be okay until we can get some returns on the planting we're just starting. It helps that a lot of people have already started some food plants in their homes. I'm hoping that we can get enough yield of staple crops this year to ensure that we don't have to worry about coming up short next year.
So, that's my morning. I'm trying to catch up with months of being away, gathering reports about how much of what things we have. I'm going to be heading out in a little bit to see the adjacent farms, find out what we can expect from them in on average. I hate to put the burden on the farmers, but they're the best at what we need--making food. It helps that most of them seem OK with this arrangement, but it feels a little weird expecting them to work so hard to feed others.
I'm working on the food situation while also trying to get an idea of how our construction supplies look, how much water we have (it looks good, lots of rain in the last few days) and a hundred other tiny things that need managing. I'm not complaining, by any means--I love being back here doing my job, despite the horrible consequences we're having to deal with. It's just that I've spent the last few months trying to stay alive, then learning new skills as I went on to North Jackson. It's overwhelming to have to get back into the mindset that my job requires.
Especially difficult given that every time I look up from my computer, I see the perfect stacks of books and supplies in my office that remind me that a man who gave us up to the bad guys also took pains to safeguard the very place I'm working. It's a distraction that I can't afford right now. That's part of why I'm heading to the farms.
Oh, and the zombies started showing up again yesterday. Not a ton of them, but enough that we have to post a lot of extra guards at the gap in the north wall. No firearms--bullets are more valuable than gold at this point, so we're not using guns. An extra twenty people with bows are keeping an eye on the undead drifting by the north wall. An unexpected consequence of driving them off with ammonia seems to be a reluctance to gather too closely to that area. Which makes guarding the gap easier.
Unfortunately, it means that the zombies are now wandering more on the farms. Which is another reason I need to head out there...
Enough shop talk. I'll update everyone on what's going on with Will tomorrow. I need to get out and focus on figuring out just how threatened we are in our weakened state, and come up with solutions. Not alone, though. For the first time in months, we're all together again. My friends, my family, the people I love.
Any amount of stress and worry is worth it for that.