Solo Come into the Garden

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Come into the Garden

Postby Ashka on September 1st, 2018, 7:37 pm

2 Fall 518

Ashka surveyed the patch of land she planned to turn into a garden. She had intended to do this a while back, but then the earthquake had happened, and cleanup, and life had just rolled on without it. It was near the edge of the jungle, a bit along from her house and soaking pit, but still on her land. She dug the toe of her boot into the ground and the dirt shifted under the pressure, soft and loose for easy growing.

She fetched the planting material from the house, gathering up the tops of pineapples trimmed off when she prepared the main part for eating, spare peanuts foraged from the jungle, and short lengths of cassava stem. The tapioca boiled out of the cassava made a good plain substitute for rice when no traders came in to bring it for trade. It would be good to have some food easy to hand so that she could focus on longer or more complex weaving projects without having to interrupt herself with long searches for food. She also found the spade and brought that over to the garden patch as well. Even as loose as the soil was, she would need to do digging and piling soil into low mounds, and all of that would be easier with the spade.

She placed the planting material in three seperate piles out of her way but near enough to reach easily, then sent the tip of the spade into the soil and began to dig. She planned to make mounds to plant in. All three plants grew well that way - or so Tony had told her when she asked. He grew the Isuas fibres, one of the Syka specific plants, and Ashka meant to learn more about it from him when she had time.


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Ashka
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Come into the Garden

Postby Ashka on September 1st, 2018, 9:01 pm

A garden would buy her time to learn as well, Ashka hoped. If it didn't take too much time spent tending it. She sighed, levered up a shovel full of dirt and poured it off the shovel blade into a crude pile. She added a second shovel of dirt to the pile and then moved about a yard along and started another pile, and then another. When she had about ten piles done, she moved a yard deeper into the jungle instead of along the edge, and started a second line of mounded dirt. The digging was easy for the most part, but she wore her boots so that she could push the spade into the dirt without hurting her foot.

By the time she had three lines of mounds dug and piled, sweat had turned her shirt into a sodden mess and her arms and legs both ached with the effort. She dumped the spade near her piles of planting material and sat down for a moment to rest. She had learned better than to sprawl in the sand while she was damp skinned. It just made sand cling to her and turned stray bits of dirt into muddy streaks.

The other question was whether to mix up the plants or plant each of the rows as one type of plant. Rows as one type of plant would look nicer. Tidier in fact. But if she lost a row, then she would lose all of that kind of plant. She pulled a face. There was plenty more food and plants in the jungle. If she lost some here, then she lost some here. She didn't know enough to know wheher they would grow better mixed up and it would be harder to keep track of what was where if she did.



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Ashka
Spinning between two seas
 
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Come into the Garden

Postby Ashka on September 2nd, 2018, 11:47 am

Ashka started with the peanuts on the first row of mounds. She gathered up the nuts that she was going to plant, and slipped them into a pocket to free her hands. Then she knelt in front of the first pile of dirt and poked her finger into the dirt on the four corners to make small holes about a couple of inches deep. She fished out some of the peanuts, dropped a nut into each of the four holes, and shovelled the rest back into her pocket. Then she dug her fingers into the top of the dirt and scooped dirt over the planted peanuts, burying them. Some of the dirt escaped her and slid off the mound entirely. She pulled a weary face as her earlier work was partially undone, but moved onto the next pile to start again.

She tried to kneel, but knelt on a clump of painfully hard lumps and had to clear away several small stones and sticks before she had enough space to kneel comfortably. She jabbed her finger into the mound and the drier dirt slid back into the hole almost as soon as she took her finger away. She had to slow down and do the holes and nuts one at a time, holding her finger in place, then dropping the nut in as soon as she pulled her finger out. It did, however, mean that the tumbling soil filled in the hole on top of the nut for her.

She finished the second mound at last and straightened with a sigh and a grimace as her back protested the stooping. She didn't have time for that now, she had the rest of the garden to plant, and she plodded on along the row, making her holes and dropping in the nuts.



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Ashka
Spinning between two seas
 
Posts: 223
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Joined roleplay: April 20th, 2017, 2:31 pm
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Come into the Garden

Postby Ashka on September 2nd, 2018, 7:37 pm

The cassava was more difficult. First of all, the cassava stems were much longer than a peanut and needed to be buried horizontally rather than just dropped in a small hole. Second, since she was now working on the middle row, she had to move slowly and be careful about where she put her feet, or she was almost certainly going to trample on and flatten both the piles of dirt where she had just spent all that effort to plant peanuts, and the as yet unplanted third row where the pineapples would eventually go. They didn't fit in her pocket either.

Ashka solved the problem for the first mound by kneeling in the dirt beside it, outside the line of the garden rows. She put the bundle of stems beside and dipped the sides of her hands into the top of the pile of dirt. She shuffled them back and forth as she broke a groove deep in the mound. Soil slithered away from and through her fingers. Once the groove was long enough, she picked up one of the stems and laid in the hollow she had made. Then she cupped her hands and used them to scoop the soil up from the bottom of the pile to the top and poured it into the hollow groove to bury the stem that she was planting.

Then she picked up the rest of the cassava stems and picked her way slowly along the row, setting her feet down in the hollow between the rows. She didn't have room to kneel here, so she crouched and wobbled uncertainly as she shaped the groove. She kept having to put one hand or the other down to steady herself, but she finally got it done and straightened again with relief. Relief that vanished when she realised she had another eight to go.


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Ashka
Spinning between two seas
 
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Come into the Garden

Postby Ashka on September 2nd, 2018, 8:37 pm

She took another break once she had finished the cassava, stretched out on the ground until her legs and back stopped complaining for the moment. She was sure that they would start up again as soon as she made a start on the last row, but at least she would be able to kneel this time instead of having to crouch. She dragged herself back to her feet and brushed off the worst of the sand. Then she gathered up her armful of pineapple tops and trudged off to the far side of the garden and the final row. Soonest planted, soonest finished, after all, she thought, and sighed. Sometimes she wanted to let go of being the responsible one, the one who planned everything ahead of time and thought and worked and struggled... Sometimes she just wanted to play like Chaya and let the responsibility land on someone else's shoulders. But it wasn't going to happen. What they - she - had was what she had to cope with and that was it.

She sighed again, dropped the armful of spiky tops beside her, and knelt by the first mound. It had gotten partly trodden on, despite her attempts to be careful, and she used her cupped hands to scoop the dirt back into a pile. Once that was done, she nestled the first of the pineapple tops into the top of the mound and let go. It promptly fell over. Ashka closed her eyes for a moment in resignation and despair. Nothing was ever easy, was it?

She straightened the top and patted the soil down around it to give it more support. This time when she let go, it stayed put. She sighed with relief and shuffled sideways to the next mound to do it again. Above her, the first drops of rain began to patter down on the upper leaves of the trees.


Common, Pavi, Fratava
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User avatar
Ashka
Spinning between two seas
 
Posts: 223
Words: 115500
Joined roleplay: April 20th, 2017, 2:31 pm
Race: Human, Mixed
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Medals: 3
Featured Character (1) Mizahar Grader (1)
Overlored (1)

Come into the Garden

Postby K'irr Darkwater on September 4th, 2018, 10:28 am

Ashka
Observation - 3XP
Organisation - 4XP
Planning - 2XP
Gardening - 5XP
Mathematics - 1XP
Endurance - 3XP
Body Building - 2XP
Logic - 2XP
Acrobatics - 1XP


☉ Gardening: Soft, loose soil is best for growing plants
☉ Organisation: Gathering necessary materials for planting
☉ Self-Sustainability: Tapioca from cassava makes a good rice substitute
☉ Planning: Plotting out plants and sections for a garden
☉ Gardening: Start with digging out mounds of dirt for planting
☉ Tony: Grows isuas fibres - a Syka-specific plant
☉ Self-Sustainability: Growing own food means more time to learn and craft
☉ Gardening: Shovelling techniques
☉ Mathematics: Counting out a grid for a garden
☉ Planning: Deciding the best way to plant a garden - each plant together or mixed up
☉ Logic: You can always forage if a crop is lost
☉ Gardening: Keeping each row a single plant is tidier and easier to manage
☉ Gardening: Planting peanuts four at a time, making inch deep holes with fingers
☉ Gardening: Clearing the plot of sticks, stones and other debris
☉ Gardening: Take it slow and remember to concentrate
☉ Endurance: Pushing through aches and ignoring the body's protests
☉ Gardening: Creating grooves to plant cassava stems
☉ Gardening: Being mindful of crop spacing and where you put your feet
☉ Acrobatics: Balancing in a crouched position
☉ Body Building: Stretching out sore, tired muscles
☉ Logic: Soonest planted, soonest finished
☉ The heavy, exhausting weight of being the responsible one
☉ Gardening: Planting pineapple tops
☉ Gardening: Dirty, exhausting work


Comments
Thanks for allowing me to grade this wonderful thread! Simple yet perfectly explained and written! Enjoy the extra complimentary skills and lores and congrats on completing the weekend skill challenge :) Do let me know if you have any questions or concerns about your grade and if you'd like anything altered/changed.

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K'irr Darkwater
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