Due to the high demand from consumers for organic rice, this farmer is trying a new method, yukkuri farming.
He bring 10 Nitori koyukkuri to his farm. He bought them from the pet shop when they're baby and teach them a lot of things until they grow big enough to be released to the farm.
Nitori is one of the rare types, so they cost quite some money. But they're chosen for reasons.
Nitori are smart, so they quickly got used to humans and can absorb things taught to them. Secondly, non-aquatic yukkuri would die in wet environment like the rice plantation so they can't be used.
The Nitori are taught that they can eat the grasses and bugs. These Nitori are silver badge class, so they can identify between rice and wild grass.
They must do poo poo in the toilet (a bucket planted to a side of the farm). Their poo poo can't be directly used as fertilizer and the Nitori won't like swimming in mud water mixed with their shit, so this is the best way. These can also be composted and used for fertilizer in next season, reducing the cost.
After they retire, they can take it easy.
On June, the farmer released the little Nitori into his farm and they swim happily between the rice, stirring the mud water. They also eat the wild grass and bugs that attack the rice plant.
The farm is secured with fence and the top is covered by nets to ward off birds. This is truly an easy place for the Nitori.
The farmer also gave them a small house to stay in the night and to hide in case of danger.
When the wild grass and bugs are not enough, he gave them damaged crops and cucumber, which the Nitori accepted happily.
Since Nitori are predators, he also feed them with wild yukkuri.
Like today, he found a wild Marisa who's looking for food in the forest for her family. He took Marisa's hat and guide it to his place. Once there, he put the hat on water and then Marisa on top of it. He realized this is an aquatic Marisa because the fabric of the hat is more oily than normal Marisa to make it waterproof.
Thinking she's safe, Marisa swim away to the middle of the plantation and got attacked by the Nitori, begging for her life until the predators ate all of her, leaving the hat that's disposed into the poo poo bucket.
Another time, a Remirya got caught by the net and fall down to the mud where she's instead eaten by the Nitori she want to prey.
On September, finally the field turns golden coloured. Both the farmer and Nitori are happy to see the rice they raised are ready to be harvested.
Nitori farming is not cheap. The Nitori themselves are not cheap. Food in particular, because they don't just eat pests and wild yukkuri.
Now, they can retire and take it easy... in the Factory.
The Nitori who used to be less than 10 cm in size has now grown to more than 20 cm. The rice are planted with 30 cm space between them, but this is still too cramped for the yukkuri.
They won't be able to swim between the rice plants anymore so they can't be used for the next season. The farmer also has no intention on raising them as pets.
Pet shop won't buy juveniles because nobody want to buy these yukkuri between child and adult, so the choice is between releasing them or send them to the Factory.
The later is the more logical choice. Nitori are rare types, and individuals raised in easyness of natural environment like this plantation can be used as good seedling for making babies, so they made more money.
In addition, it's said that youkan made from Nitori's paste are very tasty.
The Nitori will now live the rest of their life giving birth and becoming desserts.
Next season, the farmer will prepare another batch of yukkuri Nitori for his farm.