Soft Soil Amongst The Metal
—A collection of notes posthumously assembled into a small narrative and published to target non-pori into moving to Parallelium to farm.
Aut: Broz ‘Iamaas
Dt: 548 A.T.
29 Tauvas, 514 A.T.
The pori were generally confused about the idea of private ownership of land, but I didn’t let that stop me from buying this plot. Two weeks ago I traveled here from The Hilt and though that was a journey in and of itself, it took a few days of searching outside the city to find suitable land. It’s soft just like back home. In a way, the city reminds me a lot of back home, but just a bit different. Culturally, it’s a large difference but Ageipacie’s buildings offer a glimpse of home for me. If home was a lot more dense and built without regard to aesthetics.
But I digress. The land here—specifically the plot I purchased—is wonderful. Not quite as flat as the city since expansion has not yet come this way. Like the rest of the land away from the city there are some small rolling peaks and valleys, but this land and a small portion away from the city—I bought as much as I could— are quite possibly perfect. I would go as so far to say there are no blemishes on this land. In the few days I have spent walking around the entirety of my new homestead I have hardly found a rock large enough that it could not fit between my palm and finger pads.
I have mentioned it once already, but the soil itself is marvelously soft. From my perusal of the land just beyond Ageipacie I can tell all land in Parallelium and certainly not all land around this city is this way, but I am still processing how the pori could neglect to take advantage of such a natural blessing. It is a boon I will not hesitate to take advantage of.
14 Veauvas, 514 A.T.
I moved here in Tauvas at the beginning of the cooling season, to give myself the most time to acclimate to the land, figure out what to plant and harvest, establish contacts, and prepare the land. Thankfully, it would appear that even in Veauvas as the cold season approaches the soil has not hardened at all. An extremely thin layer of hardened and packed soil exists across all of my land but beneath seems to be nearly a meter of some of the softest soil I have ever touched.
I returned from a trip today, traveling via shuttlecraft several kilometers away to procure some supplies for fencing I will make throughout this season. However, I write for something that I was both leaving and returning to Ageipacie; the port is nearly opposite the city as my land. Through the viewports of the shuttlecraft as it took off and landed I spotted a small group of aganeihat milling around in the grasslands near the city. It appeared to me as if the creatures were digging with both their hooves and mouths into the dirt, but for what cause?
It is well known across many cultures—at least I have confirmed this knowledge with an avoc before—that animal excrement can make for good fertilizer and over a generations lead to better soil. I do not think that excrement alone can make for such a good soil. Is it perhaps the aganeihat’s practices in search of food or something else that tills the soil better than any turth invention? And how does the soft soil go so deep if the aganeihat dig so shallow? I will set out between the completion of my fencing and the start of sowing to seek answers.
34 Pwuvas, 516 A.T.
I have failed to attract the aganeihat to my land. Several seasons ago I wished to find out whether it was the aganeihat’s practices of digging that made the soil so soft. I am nearly certain of this now, more than a year later. I am still uncertain as to why exactly they dig and rummage through the soil the way they do, but the combination of their digging with hooves first then mouths with the excrement they leave behind is the cause of what amounts to great soil.
A couple of months ago I spotted a small herd in the distance as I was making repairs to the fencing around the land. I followed, but was careful to maintain what I thought was a good distance. I haven’t spoken to any pori about my theories or anything to do with the aganeihat really, but I don’t think those horns would be good for my body. I don’t even know how aggressively they would respond to close contact, but I’d rather not risk my life to figure out why the soil is so good. Sometimes one must be grateful.
I digress yet again. After an hour of observation as the herd slowly moved along, I believe that I observed a herd coming across new land. That is, land that the herd had previously not grazed on. I think there are a few “stages” of their grazing, for lack of a better term and for my own scientific knowledge on the subjects I intend to describe.
- The first stage is that of untouched land—rocks of all sizes can be found—either volcanic or omneugenic in nature. There are continents all around Parallelium that were crafted by the pori though again my knowledge on the subject is sparse. These untouched lands are what drew me to Parallelium in the first place, and have most of the geographic variety of the space from what I have seen, as pori tend to flatten land for their cities.
- The second stage is what I have witnessed most recently. A thin layer—not even half a meter—of soil is rich, soft, and recently stirred by the aganeihat. Perhaps another species assists in this process though I have not seen it myself. The aganeihat seem to be searching for rocks, as I have seen less of them available and certainly smaller when found than what I described as untouched land, which exists in many places.
- There is likely another stage, if not multiple between what I know to be land that aganeihat have “recently discovered”, and what I believe to be the final stage. However, I have no explanation for how or why these stages develop.
- The final stage—at which I believe the land I purchased to be—is that of the deep soft soil. There are almost no rocks, certainly none larger than my palm pad. So far, after a year of sowing and harvesting—the main season and a shorter rotation before the cooling season—this soil has maintained its quality. I do not know how long this superior soil quality will last, and so I have over the past cold season tried to attract the aganeihat to my land to keep the soil in such good condition. But I have so far failed.
3 Ouovas, 519 A.T.
I cannot figure out the puzzle of attracting aganeihats. I have used profit from harvests to have rocks of all kinds moved to my land, and even this last harvest I sacrificed a small section of crops so that the rocks could be seen from a distance even while the crops grow. I have removed fencing in the section adjacent to where I first observed the aganeihat digging in the new land, but in the last cold season they did not return to this area, so I will have to reestablish the fencing.
I have not observed—as I continue to venture off my land for days at a time in between the times in which I do not leave my property—that certain kinds, shapes, colours, or sizes of rock to be more effective in attracting the aganeihat. They do not seem to gravitate towards any rock that I can discern from my vantage points, and as further evidence I have not seen any aganeihat congregate around any point in the ground or any rock.
I have tried dedicating a small section of my property to growing various fruits and vegetables of Parallelium to no avail. Some of Parallelium’s other fauna have come to these—only the vegetables have entirely been tested, as not all of the fruit plants have matured—and I have had to chase them off. My experiment thus far—that is to find something to attract the aganeihat for the express purpose of having them dig through my soil—has failed.
However, the soil through several harvest seasons now has maintained the same qualities. In another experiment only conducted one harvest at a time is reserving a small section of each crop to only lightly till. My theory is that the aganeihats’ work on the soil requires less tilling each time I sow crops, to the point that I am lightly tilling small sections of each crop I plant, and so far the results of these crops show that they produce the same as the rest of the section.
However, as many generations of turth farming has shown, regular tilling and crop rotation is essential to keep the soil healthy. I do not wish to wear out the boon the aganeihat have unknowingly provided me so I am hesitant if not loathe to stop tilling entirely or only lightly till an entire harvest in order to save a few days work.
37 Esiuvas, 522 A.T.
It has now been four years now of trying to attract the aganeihat herd or herds to my land in the cold season, and four years of failing to do so. Fruits, vegetables, and rocks have all failed. In the meantime I have successfully tested varying levels of effort in regards to tilling the fields in certain sections for each crop and found that there is no difference between crops planted in soil that is tilled by myself and soil that is not, and no difference between crops from these soils and crops of varying levels of tillage.
I do not know how long this soft soil will last, whether it be for years, decades, or generations after the aganeihats dug into it. I can make no scientific determination, as I do not know how long it had been since aganeihats last grazed and dug through this land before I purchased it. However, I am lucky to have found this land, and will spread word amongst those I know back home that such soil can be found across Parallelium if one is able to convince the local pori that land can be purchased and owned by private omneuttians.