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!!!!!!!! Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum

 
Karl Treen
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Location: Providence, RI, USA
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The Food Forest decks have been available since last September, and I'm mailing out packages almost every day now!  More ideas are in the pipeline but, as a one-man shop, I need to leverage every tool available to create and test new instructions.  Currently there are several that have been tested or that are still in testing mode.  I could definitely use feedback on those that are still being tested.  Beyond that, there are so many possibilities for these decks that a team of developers and testers could literally create hundreds of uses for them.  But I don't have a team.  So this forum is to provide space for folks (including me) to brainstorm new ways of playing, and teaching, with Food Forest.  I'll use this forum to announce new instructions as they are developed, and you can use it to describe ways that you use your own decks, or to brainstorm ideas that you think might be worth developing.

If you don't yet know about FF, you can learn more here: About Food Forest

So far I haven't created any rules that use the classification found near the bottom of the outer circle of each element.  This classification describes the element as either "root/tuber", "fungus", "groundcover", "herbaceous", "shrub", "climber", "understory", "canopy", "structure", "animal", "insect", "natural disaster", or nothing.  (See the Blueberry example below.  Its classification is "shrub")  As you can see, many of these classifications refer to where the element falls in the layers of a food forest.  It has long been my belief that these classifications might be used as "suits", if you will.  I have been meaning to build rules around this concept, but have not yet gotten around to it.

One idea that has floated around, half formed, in my mind is as follows: each player would be dealt several plants or other items, and there would be several dealt face up in the center.  Perhaps these would be dealt in rounds, with some going to each player and some to the center (I don't know how many for each).  Each player would add things to the central collection according to rules I haven't yet figured out.  The goal would be to build a multi-story "straight", if you will, using the classifications and Permaculture zones (labeled "pz" - see image below), but possibly with other requirements (like one element shouldn't shade other elements, or that the classifications have to exist with one logically following the last (root, then fungus, then groundcover, etc. ) 



Maybe there would need to be some requirement for input and output matches, etc.  The objective could either be competitive, with one player taking the central "trick" under certain conditions, or it could be cooperative, with the objective being to create a food forest with a certain number of completed guilds.  Now remember, I haven't even tried this out, but I think it could be a lot of fun to play if we got the rules finalized.  There might even be two versions, one competitive and one cooperative.

The idea of a common pool of elements goes back to a brief flirtation I had with Texas Holdem several years back.  Maybe just starting with Texas Holdem rules, using the layers to build straights, and the inputs and outputs to create pairs, someone could invent something even better, and less complex, than my idea above.

You can find completed instructions, and some undergoing testing, here: Instructions for Food Forest

Beyond all this, do you have ideas of your own?  Have you found new ways of using the decks with different age groups?  Have you invented your own ways to play?  I use them in the classroom with elementary school kids where we play Picklet (found on the instructions page above) .  I am eager to hear how others are using them.  With such a creative group of people, there are probably some really interesting ideas just waiting to be tapped.

And remember, Paul Wheaton has his own permaculture playing cards which are very cool, indeed.  You can see Paul's cards here: Permaculture Playing Cards
 
Devin Lavign
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Location: Pac Northwest
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Interesting I had been looking at the zero reply category and came across this. Looks like a fun way to incorporate permaculture ideas into recreational fun times with others.

I had picked up the permie playing cards when I saw them, so just placed an order for these.
 
Karl Treen
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Location: Providence, RI, USA
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Thanks Devin! 

I'll get that into the mail Thursday morning.  I am assuming you are having it shipped to a different name, since the order I received at about this time isn't under your name but looks like the right section of the country... 

This deck contains a lot of plants that should grow well in your zone.  I am hoping, eventually, to expand with more cards for tropical and dry climates, too.

Once you have the cards, please don't be a stranger to this forum.  We would love to have your ideas!

Cheers,
Karl
 
Regan Dixon
Posts: 80
Location: Zone 4b at 1000m, post glacial soil...British Columbia
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This looks brilliant.

I see variations like Community Garden, where the object is to work collaboratively to build that community food forest, and everybody wins when it gets done--
versus Homesteaders, where the winner gets their own food forest growing first.  In Homesteaders, you can barter with your neighbour for the cards you need.  Obviously your neighbour wants to barter for their own benefit, too.  Demerits for unconnected cards (add their value like Scrabble tiles?)
Desert Island, the premise being to pack minimal supplies to take to an island retreat:  players take turns shopping at the seedy Saturday seed exchange (drawing cards from the deck), trying to get a complete suite without duplication, returning extra seed packets until they have everything they need.
One could do a Square-Foot Gardening version, which can be a solitaire or for a group, where you have to fit your whole interconnected garden within a certain grid, like 2 cards by 8 cards for example, if that would actually work.
Maybe a Dominoes version, kind of a solitaire, where the object is to create the longest chain of connections possible, ideally 52 cards snaking across your table.
Feedback Loops, where everyone takes turn drawing from the deck...if you make a match, you draw again until you don't make a match; then it's the other person's turn.

Do you want feedback on your existing instruction document?

On another note, has anyone tackled the idea of Permaculture Tarot, or should I let well enough alone? 

 
Devin Lavign
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Karl Treen wrote:Thanks Devin! 

I'll get that into the mail Thursday morning.  I am assuming you are having it shipped to a different name, since the order I received at about this time isn't under your name but looks like the right section of the country... 

This deck contains a lot of plants that should grow well in your zone.  I am hoping, eventually, to expand with more cards for tropical and dry climates, too.

Once you have the cards, please don't be a stranger to this forum.  We would love to have your ideas!

Cheers,
Karl


Yep shipped under a different name. And I will share ideas and impression on this forum when I get the cards. BTW my brother is a huge gamer. 1/3 of his basement is various types of RP games, board games, and card games. So I will also share the cards with him and get his impressions and ideas to share here. He might have some great insights.
 
Karl Treen
Posts: 49
Location: Providence, RI, USA
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Regan/Devin - Thank you!

First Regan, what a ton of awesome ideas!  I am going to have to get back to you with full feedback because tonight is just too busy to do your post justice but, wow, wow, wow!

Devin, that would be really helpful!  I know that hundreds of people are using this game out there in the world, and I know that they are really creative folks.  But without a crystal ball, it's impossible to see (and pass along) all of the cool ideas they are having.  I would love to hear any ideas you come up with!  This deck is so open-ended that, as Regan has so aptly pointed out, there are a ton of possibilities.  We've only tested the tip of the ice berg!  And I picked up more printer cartridges tonight so I'll get your stuff in the mail tomorrow! 

Thanks again!
K-
 
Devin Lavign
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Just got my cards, so will be taking some time then will give my input after I have some experience with them.
 
Karl Treen
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Location: Providence, RI, USA
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Excellent!  Thanks Devin!
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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