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Redvine Ranch
Redvine
Organizational Information
Owned By:Amber Flannon and the Flannon family
Manager:Francis Flannon
General Information
Location(s):California
Employees36
Historical Information
Founded:2210
Founded by:Quincy Flannon
Industry:Agriculture
Status:thriving
Once a family farm operating on a subsistence level, Redvine Ranch is now a growing food producer in the New California Republic, and are set on cornering the Tato market. Its success can be partially explained by their implementation of work-contracts for the employees, along with the NCR's various wars.

History

Redvine Ranch started it's existence as a house in a subdivision near Fresno, constructed in 2042. It would avoid destruction in the Great War and lie abandoned for over a century, rarely picked over by scavengers and stray dogs. The structure was once again claimed by main in 2210, becoming home to Quincy Flannon and his family. Recent immigrants from Shady Sands, the Flannon family was searching for a slice of land to call their own.

They began tilling the ground and planting what seeds they had, sowing mostly Maize and Tatos when not repairing the house and building a fence. Despite a meager first crop, the Flannons pressed on, and within five years the land around their farm produced enough food to sustain them. The excess they began to can, and after several attempts to get a good technique down, they had their first preserves in the Autumn of 2216. the family would grow and expand as time went on, composing of twelve souls by 2226, and their fields would increase as a result, though they still struggled to ensure plenty.

When a group of migrant workers approached the farmhouse one morning in 2227, Quincy thought he had found a solution, and quickly accepted the vagrants on as farmhands. With their help, the Flannons were able to dig more irrigation ditches, as well as start constructing a series of shacks for storage. That Autumn the harvest was bountiful, and everyone celebrated their good fortune. True to his word, Quincy gave the workers a share of the yield as well as some preserves, and was still left with enough to last the winter.

The next spring, the family had enough preserves left over to sell, and they spent the profit on building supplies to expand their farmstead. They would also post ads for farmhands in the hopes of a similar harvest. They would receive hands that summer, but they proved to be of a lower quality than the previous group; being prone to drinking, gambling, and grumbling. They would still manage to bring in the crop, and Flannon was good to his word and paid the group off.

after this however, they stopped accepting farmhands and returned to doing all the work themselves. Quincy would die in 2232, but his son Joshua would be of a similar view, and continued to turn down those who asked. This changed in 2250 when Joshua died of Dead Lung and his daughter, Amber, took control of the farm. Knowing the wider demand the likely existed in the NCR, Amber began talking to her relatives about expanding. While some were interested in more profits and less labor, they remembered their grandfather cursing farmhands strongly.

Amber was not easily dissuaded however, and she looked at the old storage sheds, and found the goods kept within were easily consolidated in a single location. The next time she went to market she would post several ads for workers, assuming her family would get over it. that idea would be more difficult than first expected, as her sister and nephews held the workers up at gunpoint when they arrived, assuming they were thieves. Amber would manage to calm the situation down and begrudgingly get her relatives to accept her idea, if only for a temporary basis.

That fall the harvest would be larger than in the last five years, and the Flannons quickly forgot any issues they had with the farmhands. The workers would sign on for the next two seasons, but most left in 2253 to look for higher wages. The Flannons were undeterred however and looked for new hands whenever they went to market, and would have ten hands working for them by that summer. While a few did tend to drink or gamble, they were mostly productive and the farm continued to grow.

Their prosperity would start to shudder in 2258 however, when three of their hands suddenly told the family they had to leave, and asked for their wages up to that point. Surprised but lacking any legitimate reason to deny them, Amber paid them from the family savings and they left. This would start a trend amongst their hands, some claiming to have sick relatives, some just unhappy with the work, and one wanted to become a prospector in Cascadia. After paying the workers off, Amber found that she had only 1/3 of her savings remaining, and they only had four weeks until harvest.

The Flannons and the trio of hands that remained would work longer hours over the next few days, but it became clear they needed help. After discussing it with a caravanner friend, Francis Flannon would bring the idea of work contracts before his relatives. Once he had explained the concept, the Flannons were more than eager to accept the idea, and two members were quickly sent to the printer's to make contracts and ads. While the offer of double the average pay, the stipulation that the workers had to remain around to sow and irrigate would dissuade all but five, all of whom knew the family from around Fresno.

That summer they would find more willing hands, and after resigning their current workers had enough to easily work their current field. Besides general impatiences and digging wells the labor demand wasn't high, and the harvest was easily brought in and canned. Their good spirits were somewhat dampened by a general decrease in Tato prices in the local region, though to try and capitalize on this, the Flannons switched exclusively to Maize. This would prove wise in the short-term, as prices rose comparative to Tatos, but a drought would devastate their farm in early 2264, and last for the next three years.

Rain would again fall, but by then the family's savings had been almost depleted, and they had exhausted all their Maize seeds. This caused them to plant almost all Tato, with some Mutfruit shrubs around the edges to control erosion. Having fortunately signed another batch of workers they year before, the Redvine Ranch would struggle back to life, and produce would again flow from its fields. They would have a stroke of good fortune in 2269 when they sold their entire crop to the NCR military at market price, making a comfortable profit and allowing them to easily pay off their workers and sign another batch.

As the NCR pushed it's influence east, north, and south, it was in constant need of food to feed its personnel. This would cause Amber to order the expansion of their fields and fences by fifteen percent, as well as the construction of another shed. Her plans proved beneficial, and the farm's prosperity returned. The Flannons would maintain the current size of the field and the irrigation ditches, which would grow more difficult as other farms and settlers arrived. By 2276 the farm had expanded from a seasonal operation to maintaining workers round the clock, for upkeep as well as labor.

As the military conscription increased, the Flannon clan found four of their members chosen, one to the Mojave, and three to Oregon, leaving the farmstead quiet for a time. Confident in the military's ability however, Amber saw her chance to expand their brand, and partnered with a small workshop closer to the city ruins to produce a great volume of canned Tatos. Most of the family would be on board, and six people were soon dedicated to transporting the goods to and from the farm. After a skirmish with raiders left three members dead, the Flannons purchased leather armor and hunting rifles, as well as began branding their crates. This would give them the appearance of a caravan company, and they found more willing to trade with them.

They would also secure a contract with the NCR military to regularly send its harvests to the front, the profits of which would fund the purchase of brahmin and ink, further adding to the look of professionals. Since then the Ranch has worked on cultivation of it's chosen crop, though their military contract would not be renewed in 2282. They would then start selling their excess at the various settlements around the ruins of Fresno, but rarely ventured farther into the wasteland. In August of that month they would be approached by a trio of caravanners who offered to transport and sell some of the crops farther to the south, for 20% of the total profit. Amber was initially skeptical of them, but after hearing several of her employees vouch for them, she inquired further.

They intended to take it along the Small Circle and sell it at every stop, knowing that food was always in demand. She warily agreed and allowed them to load one wagon, but kept the majority of the crop at the farm. This later amount she would see distributed among the local towns and merchants and leftovers canned, which would then be sold in the winter. The merchants returned in early spring and gave her almost two thousand caps, causing her to instantly agree to the same situation the next year. Since then the Redvine has worked to ensure their average yield stays constant, as well as looking for new markets.

Activites and Interests

The Flannon family strive for constant Tato yields and part of their management strategy is implementing work contracts for the farm hands, ensuring that they stay the entire season if they want their wages. They are also in the process of buying out two nearby smaller farms and adding them to the operation. Despite not having contracts with the NCR military renewed, Redvine has easily switched their produce to civilian markets with equal profit. Irrigation and water management is a constant concern for the Flannons and they are willing to look into alternative methods of gathering the substance. After one member of the family was killed in Oregon and another wounded in the Mojave, several of the Flannon family have started a food kitchen and work-shelter for returning veterans, to help them adjust to civilian life as much as to ensure a steady workforce.

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