“Now, back to the main subject. What do you think must be done to improve this soil?”
He put his hand on the hard ground that was filled with small rocks. He moved his fingers as if massaging sore shoulder muscles as he questioned Adelia.
If she had been listening to him properly, she would know the answer.
“We should plow the fields to soften the ground, and then mix in some bitter soil to neutralize the acidity…?”
“Yes. Though, that is not everything.”
Qudels was quite satisfied with the answer he got from Adelia. And then he stood up slowly.
His bangs were so long that they nearly covered his eyes as the gentle afternoon wind caused them to sway.
Where had this man acquired such knowledge?
Adelia looked into his eyes as if doing so would help her learn his secret. However, the lenses just reflected the light, and she could see nothing.
“However, it will take much work in order to plow the fields. As for white soil that is bitter… We will have to bring in some limestone, which will not be cheap.”
And…limestone was not produced anywhere near here.
No, it only existed far away. And things that were necessary were always expensive.
“However, you want to avoid that, yes?”
This project was costing a lot of money already. Slaves were brought in as laborers and food had to be brought in for the villagers as well.
They were doing much more than any lord would have done.
There did not seem to be much use in spoiling the villagers anymore than they already were.
…In a way, the financial situation seemed too convenient. It had been bothering Adelia from the beginning.
She didn’t know where the money was coming from, but as the one who was in charge of handling it, she wanted to avoid spending more than they needed.
It was too good to be true, and there would surely be a price to pay later on.
She had no idea if Qudels was aware of her fears on the matter, however, he now pressed the red seed into her hand.
“And that is where the hemp comes in. These plants have very thin roots that stretch out and soften the ground. Also, you can burn them and make ashes. When mixed in with the soil, it is able to neutralize the acidity.”
By doing this, they could change the soil so that it would be more suited for the growing of wheat. Furthermore, the leftover nutrients could be returned to the earth.
It was a method that would not result in any waste, and this knowledge had been passed down by farmers for many years.