The Green Lotus Peasant GirlChapters List
Chapter 113: Outsiders
Listening to the voices slowly fade away, Li Qinghe looked at Zhou Chengkang in the cellar and asked, "Has your mother been too lonely lately?" She even brought her niece over to raise her.
Zhou Chengkang shook his head and laughed, "It's going to be alright, if anyone intends to prevent us from living a good life, she will drive them out first."
After listening to his words, Li Qinghe thought about it for a bit. Recalling Mrs. Zhou's reaction just now, she said, "Did I speak too impolitely with mom?"
Zhou Chengkang, covered in dust, came out of the cellar, reached out, and hugged her, "I'm very happy to see that you care about me so much."
Li Qinghe raised her eyebrows, "All the land in this house is in my name. You dare to hug me while being this dirty?"
"Right." Zhou Chengkang nodded his head in agreement, "I dare not misbehave, what are madam's orders?"
Li Qinghe pulled him to the front yard, "Come and eat now. You ate too early in the morning."
In the blink of an eye, it was June. The weather gradually turned hotter. Wu Li came again during this period and took some medicinal herbs from her. Later, Li Qinghe came to know that when Wu Li was on his way back, someone stopped his carriage at the entrance of the village and tried to sell medicinal herbs to Wu Li. After examining the herbs, Wu Li told the person that the herbs were in small quantity and they were not even rare herbs, so he refused to buy.
In fact, the surrounding mountains had many rare medicinal herbs. Li Qinghe and Zhou Chengkang had gone to look for the medicines a lot of times and found many herbs that were easy to grow. They both studied pharmacology and knew more about the herbs than most of the villagers. They even picked up some plants which seemed like ordinary weeds to the villagers.
Wu Li didn't accept the herbs from them, so the villager took those herbs to the town to sell them. Surprisingly, the price was not bad. Medicinal materials themselves were more expensive than food, but there were not many of them.
Then, after June, more and more people went to the mountains. Some people even borough back some large bark that could be used as medicinal material. They moved the trees directly into their houses. And for the trunks that couldn’t be sold, were used by them as firewood.
The surrounding forest was trampled over by everyone in this manner, and some doctors in the town who gathered their own medicine, stopped coming to the village.
When the villagers saw this, they reacted quickly, and many daughters-in-law went to their natal family's village and climbed the mountains to pick some herbs. As a result, the entire mountain of Luoyue Town was quickly plundered. Fortunately, Wu Li didn't accept their medicinal materials, and all the medicinal materials collected from the surrounding area were sold to the town in the end. Otherwise, the ordinary medicinal materials needed by the town doctors could only be purchased in the country.
Li Qinghe and Zhou Chengkang didn't go to the mountains to collect herbs, but to pull out weeds or cut firewood. They had already collected all the seeds for the medical materials they wanted.
In the middle of June when the sun was at its peak, they went to town again and picked up Dr. Huang's grandson. The two began practicing calligraphy again.
After they purchased more land, the two didn't want to go to the autumn harvest by themselves. There was so much work to be done and the two would be very exhausted. In the worst-case scenario, they would use the money earned from selling fish to pay the worker's wages.
When it was time for the autumn harvest, other families were either busy with the harvest or were preparing for the harvest. It looked like this year the harvest would be good, so the atmosphere in the village was quite happy. In fact, many people were now eyeing Li Qinghe's land. They wanted to help her after they finished their work so that they could earn a lot of money every year.
The most important thing was that she paid their wages on time and not like the Yang family, who took months to pay. This time, when the Yang family was digging the pond, it was Mrs. Xu who found people to hire, or else no one was willing to work for the Yang family, even if the wages were high.
The period of the autumn harvest was very busy, regardless of day or night. By the time the work in the fields was over and the grains were stored in the warehouse, it was already mid-August.
The two of them did not go hunting this time, because after the autumn season, they collected a lot of medical herb seeds, and Wu Li also sent them some. Moreover, for planting medicinal herbs, they didn't need to worry about autumn or spring like growing food. As long as the plants didn't die, it was alright.
Therefore, even after the autumn harvest was over, their family still needed a few people to help.
Li Fu had been helping with the work after the autumn harvest. As for Zhao Dashan, since Liu Lanhua was pregnant, he couldn't do much work. He would instead just come to help Li Qinghe take care of the house and eat meals there. He would not take any wages from them.
Li Qinghe simply refused this arrangement.
A few days after the autumn harvest was over, Li Qinghe paid him the wages. After much insistence, the couple took the money, but a few days later, they made some clothes for Xiyu and sent them over.
Looking at the clothes, Li Qinghe's heart felt a little tense. Sometimes, the relationship between two people and their attitude towards us can only be determined over time. Take Zhao Wanwan for example: after Li Fu took the meal money from them, the number of times Zhao Wanwan came back to Li's house could be counted on one hand. And she almost had no relationship with her at all.
Back in June, she heard that Hu Yanxi closed his private classes and went to the capital to take an exam.
The reason why he charged such a high salary was to pay the exam fee.
Li Qinghe knew about this because she heard from Li Qingmiao that her cousin's nephew was now studying at home and needed his tutoring.
Li Qinghe and Zhou Chengkang also stayed at home to practice calligraphy. Many people in the village went to the mountains to collect medicinal herbs. It was not easy even to hunt in the mountains because of the crowd. Even the rabbits and pheasants were driven to the deeper forest because of the crowd.
It wasn't that they dared not to go, but because there was no need to take risks.
After the medicinal seeds were planted in the forest, the two of them did not go out. The medicinal seeds brought this time basically took up more than half of the dozens of acres of uncultivated forest. The main reason was that the forest land was different from the field. Some places had rocky surfaces and were not suitable for plantation, so they couldn’t plant there.
The autumn afternoon sun was just right, and the two moved the table and chairs under the eaves to practice calligraphy.
It was not two but three people. Xiyu was also practicing calligraphy with them. He seemed to be doing well, but he lacked the strength to hold the brush.
The atmosphere was warm, and Li Qinghe glanced at the father and son from time to time, and couldn't help but chuckle.
"What are you laughing at? This requires serious dedication." Zhou Chengkang swept a quick glance at Xiyu on the side, signaling her to set a good example in front of their son.
Practicing calligraphy was indeed a very boring thing. It really takes quite a bit of patience, persistence, and a particularly determined person to persevere. He obviously didn't want to practice anymore, and he got distracted a few times, but now he was trying to preach to others.
Li Qinghe laughed loudly, "I have to go to the kitchen to cook, what do you want to eat?"
"Noodles," Xiyu said immediately.
The kid couldn't bear to practice anymore and said, "Mom, I want to help you with it."
Zhou Chengkang put down his pen and preached solemnly, "You will help us more by practicing calligraphy. I'll go help your mother in your stead."
Xiyu responded quickly, "Why don't you help me practice my words, and I'll go help mother instead of you?"
The older Xiyu got, the harder it was to fool him.
The three laughed and went to the kitchen to make noodles. It was not easy to make noodles and it took them half an hour before the noodles were ready. They brought a small table from the kitchen and placed it in the yard. The three of them sat there and ate the noodles. There was no fresh meat at home, so Li Qinghe cut a piece of tofu and fired it. It also tasted very delicious.
When she was about to wash the dishes after eating, there was a knock on the backyard door.
Usually, the ones who come through the door in the backyard are either the Yang family or Yu Yan.
Li Qinghe went to open the door. If it was the Yang family, they would not be allowed to enter the courtyard.
Behind the door was Yu Yan, still holding snacks in her hand, "We just came back from the town, and bought some snacks. I came to deliver some of them here for you."
Li Qinghe turned sideways, intending to invite her in.
Yu Yan, however, did not immediately enter the house, but looked in the direction of the Yang family, "When I was in the town earlier today, I heard that someone from our village bought some land of the deserted forest."
This was quite surprising.
One tael of silver per mu was not cheap. One could buy hundreds of catties of grains from that money. If they bought it just to chop firewood, then it was utterly foolish. It was also not practical to clean up the forest land. If they wanted to clean, then they would have to dig deeper to remove the old roots that were deep inside the land. Even after this, it may not be necessary that the land would be cleared enough and new saplings will grow by the next spring. If they wanted to buy a bamboo forest, it really won't help them at all.
Unless ...... it was to grow herbs as she did.
The investment in planting medicinal herbs was not a small amount. Not to mention the silver needed to buy the barren forest, the wages required to pay the workers to level the land and plant the herbs, and then to buy herb seeds was not small at all. Curiously, she asked, "Whose family is it?"
Yu Yan reached out and pointed to the Yang family, "He bought the opposite ......" She pointed to a forest behind the village, which was a bit steep, "They bought ten acres over there. They said they were going to grow medicinal herbs there. Their family is really thick-skinned, and they have to copy everything from your family."
Li Qinghe looked at the opposite mountain and was speechless for a long time. It was not that the mountain was not good, but it can only be a wasteland. The forest she bought had many big trees and there were many dead leaves. The dead leaves would rot and turn into black soil. In such soil, after planting the seeds, the plants would grow quickly.
The opposite mountain was full of small trees, with thorns inside, and a thin layer of soil. As for planting herbs…it would not be enough. Of course, unless they choose the correct medical herbs as per the habitat, then they could grow them.
"Do you want to buy it?" Li Qinghe asked with a smile.
Yu Yan waved her hand, "I don't want it. Although I live in the village, I don't plan to farm. But this place is clean, and the people here are also good, so you don't need to worry about planning..."
Li Qinghe didn't want to talk about the Yang family and didn't want to bother to think about where their family got the silver from. She pulled her in, "Let's go inside."
"Not going." Yu Yan smiled and whispered, "I'm going home, the father and son refused to eat in town and had to come back to eat the buns I made. I have to go back."
Seeing her leave happily, Li Qinghe turned around and entered the house again.
It was not a secret in the village that the Yang family bought the land. After two or three days, most of the people knew that the Yang family also planned to grow medicinal materials like Li Qinghe did.
It was just that the couple knew more about it. No one in the village will help the Yang family with work, and no one would even think about buying waste forests like them.
Originally, growing the fish was pretty much the same drama. At least it could be seen as that they had made money in the past few years. That deserted forest...someone secretly helped Li Qinghe by doing some calculations. Not counting a dozen teals required to buy the land, just the silver spent on hiring people to level the land and planting the seeds, and buying the seeds, was huge. It wasn't an amount one could spend easily even if they had silver. This thing was simply not something that an ordinary farmer's family can afford to do.
Besides, who would know that they can make money for sure?
If it was not for the Yang family who bought the land, people would have still looked forward to it. After all, if one can earn money by planting on ten acres of land for a few days, no one would refuse. But since it was the Yang family, they were afraid that they would not get any money!
As a result, the Yang family did not want to hire people in the village. Xu Changjie went out and found a dozen strong laborers from nowhere. All of them were men. It was said that they were not paid wages. They only provided meals for them and let them live at night in the house by the fish pond they made earlier.
More than a dozen people were living in a small room. It was so crowded that others could only look at them and sigh when they heard about it. No one knew what they had gone through to accept this work. Some of the men even had scars on their faces. They didn't even want to get paid, instead they just wanted to eat. On top of that, they also heard that the Yang family only made sweet potato porridge for them for every meal, which was the simplest and cheapest meal. The workers would start to work before dawn and only come back after the moon shone in the night-time.
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