Chapter 19 – Selecting Crops
Zhao Hai led everyone back to their homes while Maylin and others were following as well. Zhao Hai let Maylin sit down when in the living room, but Meg stood behind him without a sound. She didn’t lower her head this time. Instead, she kept staring at the view of Zhao Hai’s back.
Zhao Hai had now calmed down. Even though Meg had jolted him and it made him remember about her rear view, he still had too many things to do, so he didn’t simply hurry up and engage in romance with Meg. The future of the whole of Buda family rested on his shoulders. He must first think of the survival issues more than 100 people had to face.
Maylin had gotten used to Zhao Hai’s method of approach by now, so she didn’t object. She sat down and looked at Zhao Hai excitedly, “What are we going to do next, young master?” By now, she was starting to seek Zhao Hai’s opinion unconsciously.
Zhao Hai thought for a bit and said, “Head outside after a while, granny Maylin, and pick some people who are best in planting things. Let them plant things on those 10 acres, and ask them what’s most suitable for this season. Oh right, do we have seeds?”
Maylin nodded, “Yes, we have many seeds right now, but most of the seeds are grains and ordinary vegetables, which are most suited for planting on mountains. The soil outside is so good, it would be a waste to plant those things.”
Zhao Hai nodded at Maylin, “Granny Maylin, when we make fire to cook while the current weather is somewhat cold, what do the slaves use to keep themselves warm?”
Maylin had a hard expression on her face, “Young master, back then we only thought about buying essential things, like magic stoves used to make meals and keeping warm in our original manor. But right now we have too little magic crystals to spare, so we can’t use magic stoves to keep warm and make meals. Right now we use dead trees and dried leaves on the mountain to do so.”
Zhao Hai nodded. It was evident that while ones in the noble level like Maylin and others were readying everything as much as they could, they didn’t know about an old Chinese saying: ‘7 starting matters: timber, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar, tea.’
These seven matters are closely related to people’s lives, especially ‘timber, rice, oil, salt’, which were must-haves. One could tell the importance of timber when it was at the first place.
Because they’re always in a higher position, they didn’t know a lot about such things. Maylin and others brought a lot of supplies, but they didn’t prepare the most simple and important essential in life, timber, sufficiently.
Actually, the main reason was due to Black Wastelands being too deprived, to the point that even grasses looked half-dying. This was something Maylin and others didn’t expect.
The population on Ark Continent was large, but the area size was even larger. Timber wasn’t something precious at all. Crop barks, trees and branches in the woods to name a few. Wealthy people could use coal, while nobles normally used magic crystal powered magic stoves. There was absolutely no one who worried about timber. Even the poorest person wouldn’t fret over burning timber.
But in Black Wastelands, burning timber had become as precious as jewelry. There were only short trees and dried grass here. Other than those, there was nothing that could be used, so Maylin and others found out that although they prepared enough, they didn’t prepare the least notable thing on the continent. Black Wastelands lacked just this thing.
Maylin saw how Zhao Hai went speechless, and simply asked, “Young master, what do you want to plant on the soil?”
Zhao Hai was also thinking about this matter. Right now, the seeds in his possession were all suitable for planting outside. Wheat and farm grass could be planted. There was Napa cabbage as well, but the season didn’t match, so it couldn’t be planted. Yet wheat and farm grass weren’t at the right season as well, and farm grass was out of the question as there was no use for it now. Wheat was good, but it wouldn’t produce a lot of timber. Most importantly, wheat’s yield wouldn’t be high as well, so Zhao Hai didn’t want to plant it. Now it wasn’t the time for him to change the flavor of life. He had to solve Buda family’s problem first.
So now, Zhao Hai only had one choice left: corn!
Corn was good, and it was also a crop that Zhao Hai was most familiar with. That isn’t to say that Zhao Hai had planted it before by himself. It was just that near the city he lived at in the past, there were a lot of farming villages that planted corns. Corns don’t just have high yields. Most importantly, they’re also the primary crop for producing timber. Right now there are still many places in the northern villages that relied on corn stalks to act as firewood in winter.
But right now he only had 2 acres’ worth of corn seeds, while the improved soil was 10 acres. Not even enough.
Zhao Hai calculated what he had on hand with a frown. 200 gold coins in the space (could not be taken out of it), 6 sacks of farm grass seeds (each sack could plant 6 acres), 2 sacks Napa cabbage seeds (each sack could plant 2 acres), 2 sacks of wheat seeds (each could plant 2 acres), 2 sacks of corn seeds (each sack could plant 2 acres), a batch of radishes in storage that could sell for 500 gold coins in the space, but the gold coins couldn’t be taken out of it for use.
Right now, he could only open up 2 acres of soil in the space. Those 2 acres needed 200 gold coins. If he opened that, he would have no quarter.
Maylin watched how Zhao Hai was frowning. She didn’t know what he was thinking and she said nothing as well. She knew that rushing him would be useless. She was hoping that this ever miraculous young master in recent days would make another miracle.
Meg was also looking at Zhao Hai absentmindedly. She noticed that when Zhao Hai was thinking, he was especially charming. That deep sensation mesmerized her a lot.
Zhao Hai calculated the things on hand carefully, and he finally settled on a plan. He turned to Maylin and said, “Granny Maylin, find some people to clean up the mine caves in a while. Finish it up a little sooner. I will change another 10 acres of soil tomorrow, and then I’ll tell you what to plant. I’ll go and rest first.” He stood up to walk to his room after that.
Maylin didn’t know what Zhao Hai had in mind, but she chose to believe in him. He was performing really well recently, and he got a power she couldn’t understand. She believed that Zhao Hai would have a way.
Blockhead and Rockhead followed Zhao Hai to his room while Meg didn’t do so. She wanted to follow Maylin to organize the slaves in the cleanup. Maylin alone wouldn’t be enough.
Zhao Hai returned to his room in the fastest speed possible and let the twins guard the door. He slipped into the space in an instant.
The space was still the same. The soil and water had levelled up, but he couldn’t tell it with his eyes. Zhao Hai looked at the space carefully and noticed that there were no changes to the soil and water. They didn’t decrease from modifying the black soil. He breathed a sigh of relief.
Changing the soil outside of the space had a lot of benefits to him as well. If the space disappeared one day, he wouldn’t starve when he had a big stretch of soil outside.
But right now he was accumulating. The space’s existence was an immense help to him. If the space had any changes because of the black soil operation, then he would really lose it.
He looked at the radishes. They were about to mature soon. Zhao Hai spoke in a low voice, “Sell the radishes in storage.”
The notification asked, <Confirm the selling of items in storage?> Zhao Hai replied, “Confirm.” Then the notification came again, <Items in storage, sold. Obtained 500 gold coins, which had been put into the coin pouch. Your storage no longer has any products. Please plant hard.>
Zhao Hai didn’t have a choice. He originally wanted to leave the radishes there as they matured and wait to see if they could produce seeds. But it seemed that this experiment was too early. What he needed now were gold coins and things useful to him. The experiment would have to wait.
Now Zhao Hai’s personal fortune changed. 700 gold coins, and the seeds which he had.
After calculating what he had on hand, Zhao Hai said, “Open soil.”
The notification came again, <Opening new soil requires level 3, 200 gold coins. Conditions had been met. Do you want to open now?>
Zhao Hai replied, “Yes.” With his voice, a wave washed over the space. The fog surrounding the soil had a brief flash. After that, a little stretch of empty soil appeared next to the original 10 acres.
Zhao Hai saw that the 2 acres of new soil weren’t so different from the starting soil. Zhao Hai immediately said, “Plant corn on the soil.”
The seed sacks, shovel and water bucket cooperated together to plant corn on the 2 acres of soil. This was Zhao Hai’s plan.
Zhao Hai knew about corns. Unlike radishes, which are edible tube roots, corns are edible seeds. When corns mature, it means that corn seeds also matured. Even if radishes left their seeds, corns could do so as well. Now that he opened up 2 acres of soil, it was right for planting corn. When these corns matured, he would get both the seeds and stalks that could be used as firewood.
Planting an acre of corns required about 3 kilos of seeds, and an acre of corns would yield about a ton. In other words, he planted 2 acres of corns, which could yield at least 4000 kilos of corns. If these corns could be used as seeds, then he could at least plant up to more than 600 acres of soil. This was definitely a bargain.
Zhao Hai now hoped that the corns in the space would not be the same as the ones on Earth, that the seeds planted on their own would be inferior to the seeds bought. If the corns in space could really be used as seeds, then it would solve his greatest issue yet. He could then plant radishes in space and turn them into money. Plant corn outside and get stalks to burn with food to spare. This would establish a foundation for his future.