Where do people get their food, in the postapocalyptic wasteland? Piracy and cannibalism are fun for a while, but now and then you want to eat something other than decades-old canned dog food or your dead neighbors. Fruits and veggies, f’rinstance. Plus, if you could grow green things, you could trade them for fuel and weapons.
So, growing things is desirable, but in the postapocalyptic desert moisture and nutrients are thin on the ground. There’s one place where you can get them both in convenient lots of 100-200 lbs, however: the bodies of your fellow beings.
Enter the Corpse Farmers, or Ravagetarians, surely the most efficient of desert raiders. Normal scavengers will kill you and take your stuff. Cannibals will kill you, take your stuff, and eat you. Ravagetarians will kill you, take your stuff, eat the choice cuts, and use the rest of your mortal remains as mulch for their mobile gardens. But they don’t have to kill all the time – most of the other factions leave dead bodies in the wasteland on a regular basis. A good gang war or multivehicle road battle is practically a harvest.
The plants that survived the apocalypse are just as thrifty and adaptable as the humanoids. Seeds will germinate in the moisture of a decaying body. Roots thread their way along ribs and through vertebrae, drawing vital nutrients from the bones. Sure, it smells ghastly, but no-one ever went into farming to get away from unpleasant odors.
Being a mobile faction, Corpse Farmers have a particular problem keeping their plants out of the wind during high-speed road battles. Motorcyclists grow gardens in their sidecars, those with cars and pickups use trunks and beds. As vehicles get to be van-sized or larger, space is no longer a problem. The apex of Ravagetarian technology are the grotesque ‘produce trucks’, which neatly combine covered greenhouses above and flesh-rendering cauldrons below.
Skulls are highly prized among Corpse Farmers as planters – especially human skulls. They hold dirt more securely than a regular flowerpot, and they’re easier to come by.
So keep an eye out for a tell-tale hint of green during your next desert chase. If the people in those vehicles don’t take your intestines for fertilizer, they might trade you some carrots. Just make sure you wash them before you eat – you know all too well where that food has been.
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Inspired by Maximum Road, and the seed lady in the new Mad Max movie.