Originally posted by enlightened_smurf
Once you have control of the roof, you can grow some plants so you can have a continuous supply of food.
I hate to be a bubble-burster, but there's a few minor problems with this strategy:
1.) Where are you going to get the seeds/sprouts/etc. to plant?
2.) Where's your topsoil going to come from?
3.) Can your roof handle the weight of a garden?
4.) Gardens not only take time, they take water, and sometimes STILL die.
5.) It may not produce enough food to appease your helpers.
The first two can be addressed, I suppose, via a trip to the local plant nursery, however, from experience I can say you are looking at at least 3
bags per every 9 square feet of area you are trying to cover with soil. As these bags usually range from 40 to 80 lbs, and you are unlikely to have
electricity in the event of Situation X, you're talking about carrying all that from the nursery to the roof of your building.
The third problem may have no solution. I suppose you could support the ceiling from the floor below with some heavy timbers, but again therein lies
the problem of finding the timbers and knowing where to place them. Most roofs are not made to accomodate the SEVERAL TONS worth of dirt, water, and
veg that make up a modest garden. Meaning, once you got everything just the way you want it, it may just collapse one day and kill several people
along with it.
The fourth problem is one of care. Do you know anything about gardening? Soil? Watering conditions? Since high-pressure water systems are definitely
not going to be in function during Situation X, how are you going to get water up to them in sufficient quantities? Gravity is working against you in
every single aspect. Sometimes, given all these conditions at nominal status, the plants STILL die because of weak genetics or disease or pest
infestation or something. However, for almost all food, you are looking at months, if not years, to produce anything edible in any respectable
quantity, which brings us to the next problem:
Quantity will not match the degree of help you will require. Since it's s Situation X, one must assume that your abilities will be limited to
strictly mundane and primitive conditions (simple tools, no farm tractors, etc). Thus, transporting all the stuff, keeping your garden maintained,
etc, will all require the assistance of many people to help you. Now consider the amount of available roof space. Your garden will not produce enough
food to accommodate all those people. Depending on what you plant, you are probably looking at an area of 500-1,000 square feet of garden space
required, per person, per month. So at best, you're looking at barely feeding yourself in optimal conditions for a normal apartment, to 3 or 4 people
in a large apartment building.
Now, finally, consider building density in your area, and the fact that there will almost certainly NOT be a functioning fire departmnt. At some
point, a building WILL catch fire, regardless of arson or not. Normally we hardly ever notice these things unless there's a fire truck in our lane,
or we live close enough to a freeway to hear the trucks go roaring by. This is because the smoothly running efforts of these brave men and women are
constantly putting out fires. Without them, most every building in the city will be gutted and collapse in a matter of hours. An apartment building
becomes a deathtrap in this scenario, especially when it's a downtown apartment complex, where tumbling buildings can crash into it, flaming
buildings can spread fire to it, and all those barricades and defense measures you've put in place to protect that garden from outsiders have now
locked you in a structure that will burn and collapse.