Chapter 10 – Commencement of Land Reclamation
The moon appeared.
The sky full of stars, illuminated lightly the dark night. Cries of birds and insects were heard.
Once people finished their meals, there was no spare time to admire the sky. Everyone had to go to bed early, and rise with the morning sun.
However, for Eiji’s household it wasn’t the time to sleep yet. Having finished the meal, he still had something to do.
Inside the dark room, Tanya’s nose breathing could be heard.
It felt as though she couldn’t endure leaking it.
On top of the mattress made from the straw and woven mat were two people.
Eiji extended his hand toward Tanya’s back in her sitting position.
He could feel the soft sensation of her young skin, together with the dampness of her sweat.
Eiji stared at her dimly lit face.
– nnnnh…aah…Eiji-san, please be more gentle.
– Is that so? But here it feels quite hard isn’t it? look.
While she was bending shoulders, Tanya gave out a seductive sigh.
Her face’s muscles became loose due to the pleasure.
You could notice her drool leaking out her mouth. It was clear that she felt greatly relaxed.
Eiji sensed the warmth in his hand coming from her body as its blood flow increased.
– If you hold onto them like that, it will be no good.
– How can you say that, after becoming like this…? Hey, be more honest with yourself.
– So g-g…good.
– Yes, you did good.
As Eiji smiled, he took away his hand from her s-h-o-u-d-e-r m-u-s-c-l-e-s on which he grabbed.
Once her stiff muscles became loose, she became limp.
Getting a message after an exhausting day was part of their daily routine.
Was it because Tanya’s not yet used to it? Her reactions were sensual, which was fun for Eiji, and it seemed like this kind of practice created an unintentional flow of words following after.
Tanya fell flat on her face while feeling her power drained. Technically, it was supposed to be Eiji’s turn, but it seemed unlikely for it to happen.
Seeing how his wife began to fall asleep, he smiled gently, and put a blanket on her.
It was hard soil. The same thought came across Eiji’s mind once he stood in front of the wheat field.
There were a lot of dried lumps of soil on the surface. What’s more, you could see numerous weeds, sand, and small stones.
Even if you were to dig it out, there would be lots of thick stems and rocks, which was similar to the situation back in Tanya’s backyard field.
As long there are stones and trees’ stems, the vegetables won’t have enough space to sprout, and eventually, become thin.
Small stones are also important for the soil, as they improve the drainage of the water; however, if they are too many, the ability to maintain water falls, causing the soil to dry quickly.
The panorama of the field, which expanded before his eyes, was very different from the one which Eiji heard of and imagined.
While listening to villagers’ stories, Eiji could recall the same problem arising. First it was because their house areas were broad, making their fields different from each other.
Because of that, methods of land reclamation were sporadic for each household as well. Therefore, there were no particulars regarding depth, size, and shape.
On the other hand, because harvesting and plowing is part of all the village’s field work procedures, methods of doing them were different as well. As a result, the quality of the soil falls.
On top of that, there were complaints about the difficulty of moving too.
Furthermore, in order to let the soil rest, villages tend to set out livestock for pasturage. However, this is far from efficient.
In addition to making farming tools, Eiji had to listen to farmers’ requests, which gave him an additional headache.
As he took some hard soil in hand, a voice coming from Mike was heard.
– Hey, what are you doing there?
– I’m thinking about reclaiming a field to make a new one. I plan to start from the one in front of tribal chief’s house until the edges of the lands which I plan to adjoin.
Lastly, Eiji planned to carry out a four crop rotation system, but with the one the farmers are using at the moment, a two crop rotation one, it will make livestock and labor greatly insufficient.
Using a four crop rotation system, you have to divide a field into 4 quarters,
and rotate with them in order, such as a field in which you want to grow wheat, and another one for beans.
Because some of the fields are are already in use, it would be better to arrange their soil.
And then, you should attach them with the newly made field.
As they will start to yield more and more crops by themselves, it would be fine to add them one by one, however, Eiji thought that it would be best to create some adjoining lands, and rearrange the environment.
There are around 60 people that make a living from farming. Eiji wanted to divide them between 3 teams, each with 20 people. He intended to make them observe their own fields for 2 days, in which the first day would include rotation of the reclaimed land, just like what Eiji and others were doing now.
Even though he possesses the knowledge, Eiji is still new, therefore, his power to convince is still low. Mike who came just at the right moment was the rescue.
– Well, move move! Those people who don’t understand how to use it, ask Eiji.
– I know this is a hoe, but how do you use it?
– Apart from the different shape, you use it just like your usual hoe. You use it to dig in deep parts, and remove the weeds and tree stems.
The special feature of the shimada hoe is its sharp form, similar to a pointed shovel. It can break through hard soil, together with tree stems, and is commonly used in the Hokkaido region.
– Well, first, let’s do some mowing.
– Let’s brace ourselves and do it!
Two farmers named Bernard and Giorgio took scythes and went to the appointed land,
Before starting to mow the grass, they had scythes specially prepared for this purpose. The grass was left growing for many long years, to the extend it reached their chest level. Once mowed, the grass is put into one place, so as to later make it into compost. While Bernard and Giorgio were mowing, their raised voices could be heard.
– Wow, this is so light!
– This one is incredible!
Without realizing it, both of them gave out voices of admiration. Eiji’s face became less tense. This was a great evaluation for Eiji. Assuming the villagers understand that their labor becomes much more pleasurable, their dissatisfaction will disappear as well. Mike, while checking whether or not they’re dissatisfied, sent a smile toward Eiji.
– Looks like there’s no reason for us to worry.
– It’s also thanks to Mike-san skilfully giving them the instructions.
– Well, I’ve been hanging out for a long time with them. I’m leaving now for some hunting, if there’s anything you need, just tell John.
– Understood. Take care.
– Yeah, this evening, if it goes well, I’ll treat you some food.
Mike left. While watching his back, Eiji put more spirit into it. There’s no way for him to relentlessly watch over the job. Probably, there will be a need to mow a lot more grass.
– I’d like to have you dig till this tree’s pole. While clearing out large stones and stems, leave out the small stones.
During the process, trees which are present have to be cut down, and lots of stems have to be removed; therefore, a single day might not be enough.
However, if repeated steadily every day, it will cover vast amounts of lands. In order to minimalize the anxiety of hunger every year, this was vital.
If the land reclamation becomes successful, there will be no need to do it next year.
Once the lumps of earth turn into sand, it will become much softer when mixed with compost. As a result, both the number of tools and livestock will increase, and the labor force will improve as well.
Seeing the prospects of bright future and the harsh reality, Eiji braces himself, believing that this is just the beginning.
Translator and reference notes:
: Named after the city in middle of south-west in Japan. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shimada,_Shizuoka
: You can see the pictures here: http://yasai-oen.jp/SHOP/705734/863185/list.html From left to right are,respectively, hira-guwa, dou-guwa, bicchuu-guwa. (the picture with rectangular, rectangular with some rounds, and trident). hira-guwa is used for making ridges on a clay, doug-guwa – for digging on a soft soil, Bicchuu-guwa – for digging on clay. Well, this much should be enough