A New Scientific Field
When the Rilanga
and the Ran-E-Zu
retreated to the Ralenlos mountains, several larger government-controlled shelters stored seeds for various grains, vegetables and fruits. However, the shelters offered little room for raising these crops, and the mountain regions barely held any fertile soil.
Therefore, one of the top priorities after the war was to find ways around these limitations. Sakal-Te reached out to her surviving professional contacts, and approached the newly-formed Rilsu government with a proposal for a multi-disciplinary research initiative focusing on that issue. Additional scientists from the Rilanga side were recruited into this group, which was then placed under the leadership of both Sakal-Te and a similarly renowned Rilanga biochemist.
The initiative was given the Rile
name "Ub Lenliz Lu Kegmilut
", literally "Plantlife Restoration Group". Its research brought together existing disciplines such as botany, mycology, geology, chemistry and microbiology. The overarching scientific field would later be known as "restoration ecology".
After developing more efficient approaches to hydroponic gardening, Ub Lenliz Lu Kegmilut
was also involved in the first expeditions to the oasis regions north of the Zugnur Sea. Unfortunately, the samples that they collected of the recovering plant life turned out to be highly contaminated and many mutations had become toxic to animals and people.
While her Rilanga counterpart sought ways to purify the existing plant life or counteract its toxicity, Te-Sakal (having adopted the Rilsu naming scheme) decided to focus on making the non-contaminated soil usable. Only the land high up in the Ralenlos mountains was found to be safe for cultivating edible plants. That left the problem of getting crops to grow in shallow ground that lacked the necessary nutrients.
Inspired by her earlier specialization, Te-Sakal decided to focus on fungi for finding a solution. She supervised several smaller teams which examined how various fungi coped with the barren environment, which mushroom species were most efficient for food production and how the soil was transformed by the fungi growing through it. Te-Sakal herself spent countless late nights analyzing the results of planting various crops in the same spot as the most promising species from the aforementioned research.
In the autumn of 9 VZR
, she publicly presented several samples of different crops that had been coaxed into symbiosis with matching fungi. Vegetables, fruits and mushrooms had flourished, proving that her team's research was ready to be applied on a larger scale.
The First Harvest
During the following spring, larger amounts of the coveted seeds were planted in several regions which had been placed under strict protection for years. Ub Lenliz Lu Kegmilut
contributed fungal spores which had been multiplied in their laboratories, and meticulously prepared the soil with the appropriate symbiosis partners for the crops in question. The growth process was closely observed and documented throughout the year, with Te-Sakal personally keeping an eye on the spore solutions distributed over each patch of land.
The autumn of 10 VZR
saw the first large-scale harvest after the Final War. After a decade of relying on canned, dried and powdered foods, the Rilsu were finally able to enjoy notable amounts of fresh grain, vegetables, fruits, nuts and other produce. This gave rise to the tradition of Kongebla Haghaku
, the Fresh Food Feast
which is still celebrated today.