Chapter 113 - Failure
Chapter 113: Failure
One of the women held up the grapes and asked Qiao Mei, “Mei Mei, how are your grapes so sweet when my grapes aren’t even this big. and they’re so sour.”
Qiao Mei’s fruits went through energy exchange every day, so naturally they were sweeter than what others grew. Qiao Mei smiled and said, “There’s a lot of knowledge required in growing grapes. It’s not as simple as growing bean sprouts. There’s ambient temperature, the number of times to water it a day, the time to do the watering and the amount of water to use. You also need to know how to remove the weeds, when to water more and when to water less. There’s a lot of things to take note of.”
Everyone was stunned when they heard this as it sounded so believable and they were all in awe of Qiao Mei for knowing so much. Qiao Mei thought to herself that it was a good thing that she had taken a gardening course in her other life. She did not expect it to come in handy here where she could bombard these people with the information.
Everyone started discussing how to grow plump grapes, but Auntie Dong felt that the taste of these grapes was not much different from the ones she grew. So, everyone went to discuss it with Auntie Dong.
Occasionally, when Qiao Mei passed by Auntie Dong’s house, she would help to take care of the vegetables and fruits. She would also do some energy exchange at Auntie Wang’s house. As for the plants at Qiao Zhuang’s house, they were all thin and shriveled though Qiao Mei had only absorbed a little bit of energy from them. Anyway, Qiao Zhuang’s family was about to run out of food, so they could not be concerned about growing fruits.
The days passed quickly. Li Gui had not been idle during the days while the house was being constructed. She had been growing bean sprouts and selling them on the black market. Bean sprouts that would normally grow out in four to five days could grow out in two days here! Li Gui sighed and said, “The water in the village is really different!”
The rapid growth of the bean sprouts was also the result of Qiao Mei secretly taking care of them. Li Gui would go to the black market before dawn to sell them. However, business had not been too good of late. She did not know if it was because people from other villages had heard that there was money to be made from bean sprouts and so every family was growing their own. Once there was an oversupply of bean sprouts in the black market, one would not be able to sell much no matter how low the price was. Fortunately, Li Gui’s bean sprouts were of good quality and she could still sell quite a lot.
The day before yesterday, the supply and marketing cooperative had only collected 200 catties of bean sprouts from the village. They had found that most of the bean sprouts were not up to their standard and the amount of bean sprouts they collected had reduced by 10 times! Every household began to reduce the amount of beans they had. From the initial 10 catties, each household had at most two to three catties now, and some even had only one to two catties. Everyone went to the black market to sell the bean sprouts that were not up-to-mark, and Li Gui found it more and more difficult to sell her bean sprouts.
When Li Gui returned home, she looked at the bean sprouts she had grown and sighed to herself. She reached out to flip the bean sprouts and wondered how she would be able to sell them. Qiao Mei looked at Li Gui, already knowing what had happened recently. Currently, Qiao Mei did not go around taking special care of everyone’s bean sprouts as she did not want people from other villages to get jealous and cause trouble if their village sold too much.
“Sigh…” Li Gui looked at her bean sprouts worriedly.
Qiao Mei looked at the empty basket and the bean sprouts in the basin, and asked in confusion, “What’s wrong? Is business not good?”
Li Gui shook her head and said, “Mei Mei, there are so many people selling bean sprouts over there now. It’s not easy to sell my bean sprouts anymore.”
Qiao Mei thought that it was no big deal. She pulled Li Gui to the courtyard and said, “You see, there are so many vegetables here. If we can’t sell the bean sprouts, then we’ll sell the vegetables. I’m pregnant now and can’t go, why not help me sell them. I’ll bring Zhang Qin and Zhang Miao up the mountain to pick some vegetables tomorrow.”
Li Gui looked at the fresh vegetables like she had something new to look forward to. However, she changed her mind and said, “Let’s not sell these vegetables. Given that you’re pregnant now, let’s dry them to keep for the winter. Otherwise, you won’t have any vegetables during wintertime.”
“Look at the storeroom full of vegetables. I can’t even finish seven or eight of them. Don’t worry about it.” Qiao Mei had indeed kept a lot of dried vegetables in the storeroom. Even if they were about to rot, she could give them some energy to maintain them in their current condition. Furthermore, they had an endless supply of vegetables in the future, so there was no need to worry about food.
Li Gui thought about it and then agreed. After selling the remaining bean sprouts, she would think of another way out.
There were eight or nine days to go before the completion of the house. After the house was built, it had to be left empty for two days. Otherwise, it would not be sturdy enough and it would be a disaster if it collapsed later.
Qiao Mei weaved baskets at home with the two children, making small clay baskets so that it would be easier for the two children to carry them. Otherwise, they would not feel like picking vegetables when they reached the mountaintop after carrying a big heavy basket.