231-207 Harvesting

 When we get back from the dungeon, we take a few days off.

 That's the pattern we've been following lately, but as usual, there's nothing to do and we're bored. So...

"If there's nothing to do, why don't we do some harvesting?

 Natsuki suggested, and we nodded without any particular objection.

"So, what are we harvesting?

 We were divided into two groups: me and Natsuki, and the other five of us. This grouping didn't have much meaning, we were simply divided into goo and par.

 Haruka and the others, who had more people, were in charge of harvesting the rape blossoms that had already produced seeds.

 Despite the shortage of time to enjoy the flowers, the fertilizer is still useful.

 On the other hand, if you don't adjust the amount of fertilizer for ornamental flowers, the flowers will soon fall off.

We are citrus. We're citrus fruits. We're almost ready to harvest.
...... Oh, that's the one I had a hard time transplanting because it was full of spines.

 After I transplanted the tea tree, I brought back some trees from the forest and planted them in my garden if they looked useful.

 One of them is the citrus tree that Natsuki is pointing to now.
 One of them is the citrus tree that Natsuki is pointing at right now, a rather troublesome tree with long thorns.

 Fortunately, the thorns don't pierce the tree, thanks to the defensive power of the tree's level up, but it was a bit annoying during the work.

I guess the fruit came out okay.

 Perhaps it was a good thing that I had fertilized the plant well, because after replanting it, it did not show any signs of weakening, but still produced flowers and a lot of fruits.

 The fruit is about one size smaller than a yuzu, about halfway between a kumquat and a yuzu.

 The color is a little more yellow than the orange of a tangerine.

 The skin is quite thick when you hold it.

It doesn't look very satisfying, but there are a lot of ......
"I have some peeled here, would you like to try some?

 I'm not sure what to do with it.

I took a bite. Sooty! It's so nasty! And there are seeds!

 It's so sour that it hurts.
 Probably more sour than a whole lemon.

 On top of that, there were so many seeds in one bunch that when I chewed it without thinking, it hit my teeth.

I was surprised, too. I was surprised too.

 Natsuki laughed harmoniously, but a little mischievously.

"You're taking me with you!

I'm not a road warrior. I want to have an experience with the person I love. It's such a pretty girl's heart.

You're lying!

 Her smile is cute and she sounds like a girl, but what she does is a girl. But what I do is a maiden.

 I'm sure that you took her along because you yourself fainted from the sourness.

"This can be used as a substitute for lemon juice or sudachi (citrus fruit), but it's not edible, is it?

"That's a little harsh. If you use sugar, you can make jam out of it. ......

It's expensive.

 As I recall, the amount of sugar used for jam is more than the amount of fruit.

 Considering the sourness of this citrus fruit, I think the amount of sugar should be more than 50%, and if you use unrefined brown sugar, which you can buy around here, it will have too strong a taste for jam.

 Above all, sugar is too expensive to make jam easily.

 It would be cheaper and tastier to make jam from 100% sweet fruit, even if the fruit is a bit expensive.

Well, let's harvest the fruit first. They'll just rot and fall off if we leave them alone.

"Right. You won't get hurt, but be careful not to get a hole in your clothes, okay? There are spikes.

Okay. I'll roll up my arms.

 Normally, I would wear thick long sleeves for protection, but the reality is that my own skin is stronger than my clothes.

 If I wore leather clothes, I would be fine, but I would rather put up with a little stinging than wear something like that in the heat.

 So we split up and started to pick citrus fruits.


"Hmm, we got a lot of citrus, didn't we?

 The amount of citrus in the basket must have been more than 10 kilograms.
 The amount of citrus in the basket was probably more than 10 kilos. Normally, I would be worried about the citrus spoiling, but that can be solved with the magic bag.

 The question is how to consume them.

 If it's good enough to eat, you can share it with your friends, but unfortunately, it's not that kind of fruit.

It has very little pulp. ......

 If you break down the fruit, you will find that the ratio of skin, pulp, and seeds is about 3:2:1.

 This may be due to the lack of breeding, but it is a bit disappointing.

 This is in contrast to dindol, which also grows wild, but can be made into a dried fruit without any waste.

I think it's more appropriate to use it like a regular citron. ......

With so many seeds, it's kind of a shame to throw them away, isn't it?

But what's the use of seeds?

Some plants have their seeds roasted and eaten. Sunflowers, pumpkins, etc. Nuts are basically seeds.

"......, isn't that right?

 If you think about it, most nuts are eaten for their seed pods.

But there are quite a few species that are poisonous.


No, citrus should be fine. I'm sure you can get oil out of them. But even if you squeeze it efficiently, you'll only get about 10% of the weight, so it's not very practical.

Collecting the seeds is also a hassle.

 For oil, there are rape blossoms that Haruka and her friends are harvesting right now, and there are also soybeans, sesame seeds, sunflowers, and other plants that may or may not be available in this area that are convenient and familiar for pressing oil.

 As long as you don't have a desire to have oil pressed from this seed, its merits as a material for pressing oil are small.

In the end, it can only be used as a garnish for grilled fish or in pots and pans. Can you consume ......?

"Let's share it with Ms. Aella. I'm sure she'll make good use of it.

That's good. If we serve it in the store, she can consume it.

 However, I should probably refrain from applying fertilizer to the tree unless Aella specifically requests it.

 It would be nice if we could plant a dindle anyway, but that's impossible.

 It's almost impossible to grow them from seedlings, let alone transplant them, but we won't be able to harvest them properly until we're old.

 And above all, it would be too much trouble for the neighbors.

 Even if you don't think about sunshine rights for such a huge tree, if you grow it in the city, you will be complained about.

 Let's just hope that the other trees we have planted will produce something tasty.

 After harvesting the citrus, we went to harvest the rape blossoms.

 We had scattered the seeds randomly in the open space of the garden, so when they were in bloom, we had beautiful rape blossoms all over the place, but on the other hand, the area to be harvested was quite large.

 Thanks to the fertilizer. But on the other hand, the area to harvest is quite large.

 Nevertheless, if we, who are becoming less and less normal these days, worked diligently, we could finish the harvest in a few hours, and a lot of rape blossoms were piled up in the garden.

Thanks for your hard work.
"Ah. I'm really tired.

 Toya, who was supposed to be physically strong, was exercising his hips, as if the middle-waisted harvesting work was hard on his back.

 I'm sure he's got the strength to do it, but the midsection work is still hard on his hips.

...... "Toya, stop that.

 Well, it seems I wasn't the only one.
 I'm sure you'll be able to understand why.

"Oh, sorry, that's easier.

 He then smiles and moves his recovered hips again to emphasize...

 And then... Spaang!

I told you to stop that!

 The movement was interrupted by Yuki's tsukkomi, who came from behind.

 I'm not sure what you're talking about.

 I'm not sure what to make of that.

I'm not sure what to say. What's that?

 I'm sure you've heard of it.

"Yuki, what's wrong with that?
"This? I can't make harisen, so I made a substitute.

 No, that's not the point.

 I asked him why he decided to make it, but his reply was simply, "Because I was bored.

 ...... Well, I suppose it has its uses. Like now.

I'm not sure what to say. (Did I do something wrong?)
"Oh. The way you moved your hips was indecent. Mosaic required.
That's it?

 Toya coyly asked, and I coyly but crisply answered.

 It might be acceptable if it was only for a man, but it was a little unacceptable in front of a woman and a child of that age.

Haruka, can you help me too? I'm a little tired.
"Okay, I'll call them all.

 In the event you're not sure what you're looking for, there are a number of things you can do.

 This is probably a very extravagant use of light magic for a normal adventurer, but for us, it's an everyday thing.

Well, next is drying. Let's do it quickly!

 I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do that.

 I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do this, but I'm sure I'll be able to.

 This tool is also made by Haruka and Yuki, and is shaped like a cotton candy machine stretched vertically.

 Insert a stalk of rape blossoms into the center of the tool, pull it out, and the sheath will come off with a bang.

 The pods are then crushed into small pieces, and the seeds are separated from the pods and transferred to a centrifuge-like colander, where the seeds go into the colander and the powdered pods go out.

 The last part of the process is like a winnowing machine, where the wind blows away the remaining debris so that only the seeds remain.

It's an amazing tool!

 Mitya shouted happily as she dug her hands into the coarse seeds and stirred them.

"Wow, wow. ......

 Mary also stuck a stalk of rape blossom into her magic tool and peered into it with a curious look on her face.

"Yeah, it looks good. "Yeah, it's good, isn't it?

It's a little ...... hard to get the sheath dust to fly around, but it's good enough compared to manual labor.

I could put a dust collector on it, but I don't think it would be worth it, considering how often I use it.

There's a lot of variation in the grinding and separation of the sheaths depending on how dry they are. Should we integrate the drying function?

Hmmm, so the colander separation is not really necessary? Oh, but some seeds and pods are still stuck to the colander, so it's better to have it.

 While the younger generation is genuinely happy, the creators seem to be a little frustrated.

It's not like we're selling it as a product, right? We're not selling this as a product, are we?

"Yeah, well, we're not farmers.

 It was a bit of a white stare that was directed at our realistic words.

We're not farmers." "...... Well, yeah, but... It's kind of a hobby in itself.
"But since it's a hobby, don't you want to make something that's good enough?

 I see. I understand.
 As soon as you say "hobby," rationality and economy run away barefoot.

"Oh, no, if it's a hobby, you can do whatever you want. Yeah.
"Yeah, yeah. We just thought it would be too much trouble for you.

 We don't mean to say that it's a waste of money.

 In fact, even if it is the same hobby, I am grateful that it is not something as unproductive as 'blowing up in a gacha'.

"Sis Natsuki, the box is full!
"Okay, okay. Let's exchange them.

 While we were discussing this, we didn't stop our work, and we filled up a box the size of a 50-liter container box.

 We continued to replace the boxes, and by the time the third box was almost full, we had finished the entire process.

The third box was almost full. "That's a lot of material, ......, and it weighs more than 50 kilos. Can we just put it in the mill?

 Toya asks Haruka, lifting the container and shaking the seeds roughly.

Well, ......, it's 'purified' in a way. You usually roast them, right?
Yes. Yes. It's hard to get the oil out if it's not roasted.
So that's where I come in?

 Is this the time for me to show off my skills in heating the tea leaves?

Well, yes. Let's start with one batch, about five liters.

 Yuki divided the rapeseed into a large pot, and I heated it with Heat.

 The good thing about this magic is that it heats the object, so it heats evenly. You don't even have to stir it.

 Occasionally, Natsuki takes the seeds and crushes them with her fingers to check their condition.

 When Natsuki gives his approval, he stops the heating and transfers the seeds to the oil press.

Then switch on the machine and the pressure will be very high. Hey, click it!
What the hell is that call?

 "What's with the voice?" I had to pause to comment on Yuki's strange voice. The oil press started quietly, crushing the rapeseed and squeezing out a yellowish, slightly cloudy liquid.

Oh, it's coming out. ......

 The amount was about a liter.

 When the oil was almost gone, the compression stopped, and with a gurgling sound, a disc-shaped object rolled down from under the oil press.

 Haruka picked it up and tapped it.

This is the oil cake. But ...... is a little too much?
It's tickly, isn't it? It's okay, I guess.
Okay. It doesn't seem to have an unusually high level of impurities.

 I don't understand it, but it's okay. The disks are thrown into the compost bin, and the oil extraction continues.
 In the end, we pressed about 20 liters of oil.

We can use it as rapeseed oil if we leave it for a while to settle and remove the impurities.

"Now we can finally eat proper tempura.

"Ah. It's true that you can't fry vegetable tempura in lard.

 I don't mind frying pork cutlets in lard, but when I use lard for vegetable tempura or fish tempura, the smell is a little too strong.

 However, if you buy vegetable oil, it's not so easy.

 You can get rapeseed oil itself, just like you can get rapeseed seeds, but it is basically for lighting, not for eating.

 It is not edible. It is not likely to contain anything strange, but I am concerned about its hygiene.

 I'm sure there's some kind of "purification" or "sterilization" magic that can help, but it's a matter of mood, so I can't really control it.

"Tempura? Is it good?
"Yes. We like it, don't we?

 We like shrimp tempura, kakiage, eggplant, etc. .......
 I like kisses, but no sea fish.

I'm looking forward to it!

But it's going to take a while before we can actually use it as oil. Mitya, can you wait?

I can wait! I want to eat something delicious!

Wow, I'm interested too!

 I'm interested too!" Mitya jumped up and down, and Mary also raised her hand in assertion.

 I'm interested!

I see. Well then, please look forward to it. --I'd like to find some ingredients that are suitable for tempura.

 I was also wondering if there was anything else I could do to help her.

    I'm not sure what to do.

 The sedimentation and separation took longer than expected, and it was more than two weeks after the harvest that we saw the finished rapeseed oil.

 But the tempura that Natsuki and his friends made for us was very tasty, and Mary and Mitya were very happy to eat it for the first time.

 As a commoner, I've never had tempura before, but I wondered if tempura at a tempura restaurant would be like this.

 Incidentally, the citrus fruits I harvested also played an active role in the dish. ...... Well, they were only a supporting role. It is just a side note.