A Meeting Between Servants
Three weeks have passed.
Recently, I’ve been eating with the servants. After all, my stepmother ordered me to. It seemed she wanted to treat me as one of them by surrounding my meals with servants. Naturally, it came as a blessing to me, and I had been giving ingredients to Dom to cook for all of us to eat together.
According to Giresse, these ingredients were considerably high quality, and I’ve been lavishly using salt and pepper. Honestly, it’s the first time since I reincarnated that I enjoyed the food.
“Grey-sama, it’s delicious,” Satella said as she happily bit into the meat. The other servants nodded vigorously.
“Yeah, if the meat is high-quality, just sprinkling salt and pepper on top makes it delectable.” I replied.
“Young master, the amount and quality of this meat is already on the level that a hunter would get. No, it’s even better!” Dom said as he drank the soup, unusually excited.
Recently, when Dom and I are free, we’ve been testing out various recipes.
“Well, my bow skills have gotten better.” I said.
“I wish I could let my parents eat this kind of food!” a servant said.
At his words, a shadow fell over everyone’s faces.
The Millard territory was poor. Reason being they didn’t practice animal husbandry and the produce they got was limited. Rye was their staple ingredient, and they made meals by adding wild plants and any meat they could find on the mountains.
Simply put, they were living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
“If you don’t have any agricultural systems set in place, your lifestyles probably won’t improve,” I said.
“Agricultural systems?” a servant asked.
“Ah, you can’t rely on the unexpected nature of hunting and gathering. In the first place, hunting meat relies on the hunter’s skill, and gathering wild plants relies on the gatherer to distinguish edible from inedible. That’s why you’ll never be able to know how much food you’ll get.”
“Then what would you propose instead, young master?” Sebastian asked. It was a rare act for someone so taciturn.
“Let me ask you this instead: why do you think this territory is poor?” I said.
“Isn’t it because the land is barren every third year we experience a severe dip in the amount of food we can gather?” a servant answered.
“Exactly. The climate is dry around here, so the ground’s retention rate of water is remarkably low,” I explained. “There’s no way you could grow crops here. And since you can’t grow crops, you have no feed for livestock. It’s truly a downward spiral.”
“But there’s nothing we can do about that…” another murmured.
“That’s not true. If the land is barren then make it fertile. First, you buy livestock. Then, you plant a pasture filled with clovers and other plants.”
“What are clovers?”
“Plants similar to soybeans, I mean soy. You can use soy if you want too. These types of plants have bacteria in their roots that absorb large amounts of nitrogen to synthesize protein, which helps the land. The plants are also filled with protein, so you can fatten up your livestock with them,” I explained.
Right now I’m talking about the Norfolk method of fertilizing the land.
Originally, a three-field system was used. Under this system, the land is separated into three parts. Firstly, legumes that fix nitrogen into the soil are grown. It would then(secondly) be filled with winter wheat or rye which depletes nitrogen. And lastly, it would be used as grazing land for livestock, which required the land to be left fallow.
The Norfolk method was more efficient by using a four-field system that didn’t require leaving an entire plot of land fallow. This was, in a way, revolutionary. I mean just look at Europe. When they used this method, their population began to explode.
Everyone was staring at me but Satella looked a bit bored.
That might have been a bit too difficult to understand. Originally, this knowledge came about after millions starved to death. There’s no way they could understand this. I should change topics.
“Grey-sama, please continue,” Sebastian said.
I nodded at Sebastian’s words which ignored what I had just thought, and I continued.
“The livestock’s excrement can be directly used as fertilizer. It would increase the yield, ripen the clovers, and the amount of livestock would increase.
Once one would have achieved all that, the rest is easy. You can cultivate rice, wheat, and other crops. Then, you prepare for winter by stocking up. Potatoes are optimal for this because they store for a long time and have a high yield in proportion to how much land is used.”
“Where did you learn this, Grey-sama?” Sebastian asked, his mouth agape.
“Uh, I just read a book I bought off of that merchant who rarely comes. I mean, I’ve been earning money off of my hunting you know.”
I merely came to recognize the usefulness of legumes. Unless you were some weirdo who loved destruction, anyone who knew this would try to implement it. Basically, the Norfolk method hasn’t been invented yet in this world. I think I spoke too much.
“I see…” Sebastian said, closing his mouth in deep thought.
I then changed the topic to food and said, “Let’s eat.”
 The author did a really bad job of explaining the Norfolk and Three-field method. My “translation” is more of me writing down what the methods actually are, instead of translating the author’s attempt. For more info, check out the following two pages (they’re short).