RERC Chapter 58 Selling Vegetables

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Xu Zhao, Mother and Father Xu quickly walked forward. They reached out their hand to push aside the soil and saw many young and green sprouts. As if they were still uneasy, they pushed aside more soil to see more healthy and bright sprouts. The three finally dared confirm that these vegetables were alive.

That was right. They sprouted.

They sprouted!

Xu Zhao breathed out a long breath of relief.

Mother and Father Xu were very excited. They really sprouted. The vegetables really sprouted!

“Uncle Xu, did they sprout?” Da Zhuang’s father asked.

Father Xu happily said, “They sprouted. They sprouted! They sprouted even in this cold! They’re going to grow!”

Hearing this, Da Zhuang’s father happily looked at Xu Zhao and praised Xu Zhao a few times.

Xu Zhao was also very happy and suddenly thought of something. He quickly said a sentence to Da Zhuang’s father and strode out of the greenhouse. Taking large steps, he quickly ran to Uncle Zhang’s house to borrow Uncle Zhang’s phone. Dialing the number, it rang a few times before a cool voice came from the other side. “Hello? This is Cui Dingchen. Who is this?”

“Youngest uncle, it’s me,” Xu Zhao said with a smile.

The voice on the other side instantly did a complete 360. The deep voice was laced with joy. “Xu Zhao.”

Xu Zhao didn’t notice the slight change and happily said, “Mn. Youngest uncle, the greenhouse vegetables sprouted!”

“They sprouted today?” Cui Dingchen asked.

The joy on Xu Zhao’s face hadn’t retreated yet as he said, “Mn.”

Cui Dingchen’s voice had some ease in it as he said, “Congratulations!”

Xu Zhao laughed and said, “Thank you, Youngest uncle. The books you brought me were very helpful. Thank you. The vegetables that grow faster, Chinese cabbage, spinach, cilantro, Chinese chives, I’ll bring them to Uncle Cui’s place when they grow. You’ll be able to eat them when you come back.”

“Mn. In fact, you can directly bring them to my house,” Cui Dingchen said.

Xu Zhao just remembered that Cui Dingchen had his own house in the county town, but he had never visited before and didn’t know what it was like either. But this wasn’t the main problem. Cui Dingchen had helped him out a lot, so even if he had to deliver it to his (CDC) house in the city, he was willing. And so, Xu Zhao immediately agreed and said a few more sentences to Cui Dingchen.

As he was speaking, Xu Fan hugged his toy car and entered. He stood in front of Xu Zhao, his small meaty hand grabbed Xu Zhao’s pants as he said, “Daddy, I also want to talk on the phone.”

Xu Zhao glanced at Xu Fan and said something to Cui Dingchen before handing the receiver to Xu Fan. Xu Fan grasped the receiver and copied the adults by saying “Hello, this is Xu Sanwa. Who is this?” Hearing this, Cui Dingchen thickened his skin and said, “It’s your Second Grandpa Cui.”

Xu Fan immediately returned the receiver to Xu Zhao.

“What’s wrong?” Xu Zhao asked with doubt.

“It’s not Daddy,” Xu Fan answered.

Xu Zhao made a helpless expression. This child’s thoughts were really hard to understand. He was clearly right next to Xu Fan, but Xu Fan still thought that it was him on the phone. What kind of thinking was that? Xu Zhao could only accept the receiver and said a few more sentences to Cui Dingchen.

After hanging up the phone, Xu Zhao pulled Xu Fan from Uncle Zhang’s house, and when they returned home, Da Zhuang and Da Zhuang’s father were still there.

Everyone here were farmers so they were a bit knowledgeable about crops and knew that vegetables sprouting was a good thing. However, they couldn’t lower their guards because there might be pests or droughts or other things.

However, all these things could be solved. Father Xu and Da Zhuang’s father were experts on this, and even Mother Xu was one as well. Therefore, Xu Zhao wasn’t worried. Watching the sprouts slowly grow day by day was a very happy matter.

The only thing Xu Zhao was unhappy about was that he was poor. He had invested a lot of money on the greenhouse. And although he had the income from Fan’s Little Shop, Father Xu still needed to take medicine, so they really had no money on their hands.

Xu Fan hadn’t eaten meat in several days. The chickens and ducks they received from splitting the house were all male, so they couldn’t lay any eggs. After eating one of the roosters, Mother Xu sold the rest of them, so the family didn’t have any more meat to eat.

Fortunately, there were vegetables. The cycles of each vegetable were different. Things such as string beans, cucumbers, garlic shoots, and edamame had a longer ripening time, and they needed about two months inside the greenhouse. But Chinese cabbage, cilantro, spinach and Chinese chives were different. The cycles were short and as soon as it slightly grew out, it could be eaten.

Moreover, Xu Zhao hadn’t used sprouts but directly planted seeds. The benefits of sprouts were that they were more cost efficient, but they were too troublesome, especially since there were so many different types of vegetables.

Therefore, Xu Zhao directly used seeds. Although the seeds cost a bit more, once the sprouts grew, it was necessary to pull out the extra sprouts. However, the sprouts they pulled out could be eaten as vegetables.

And so recently, Xu Zhao and Da Zhuang’s family ate vegetables from the greenhouse. Although they weren’t in season, they hadn’t used fertilizer or pesticides. It was all pure and natural. Therefore, the flavors of each dish were very authentic.

Xu Fan wasn’t picky and thought they were all delicious.

Xu Zhao liked people like Xu Fan who knew how to endure hardships and were sturdy. Each day passed like this. He would read books during the day and observe the situation of the various vegetables and record it down, then add commercial fertilizer to water the plants. At night, he would use the grass curtain to cover the greenhouse to keep it warm inside, then continue jotting down the situation of the various vegetables.

And each day passed just like that. The weather also got a lot colder. Xu Fan had already started wearing thermal underwear and looked very chubby. However, it didn’t affect his daily lively activities. He and Da Zhuang were still active boys as they had been in the past.

It was just that the weather was dry and cold now, causing Xu Fan’s small face to be flushed. At first, Xu Zhao had thought his face was flushed from his usual excitement from playing happily. But when giving him a bath at night, he (XF) said it hurt. It was then that Xu Zhao realized that Xu Fan’s little face was cracked.

It was cracked.

After realizing this, Mother Xu quickly brought out the clam oil from last year. She got a finger sized amount and put it on Xu Fan’s small face, making Xu Fan’s small face very shiny. However, Xu Fan thought he was very beautiful. He grasped his glossy face in his hands, using the light from the kerosene lamp to light up the broken mirror, he said, “Ah, I look so good. So, so good.”

What kind of taste was this! He looks like a monkey’s butt, yet he said it looks good! Xu Zhao didn’t know where it looked good. He thought it was greasy instead.

But Mother Xu cheered him on and said, “That’s right. Our Sanwa is the best looking! The very best looking!”

However, calm oil really was very effective. The next day, Xu Fan’s little face was alleviated from pain. Xu Zhao also used a bit, but it really was too oily. Way too oily. And he couldn’t handle it, so he could only wash it off.

Afterward, Xu Zhao went inside the greenhouse, and with Da Zhuang’s father and Mother Xu, picked a bunch of Chinese cabbage, spinach, and Chinese chives. They simply shook off the dirt, bundled them together and placed it in the bamboo basket, then tied it behind Xu Zhao’s bicycle so that Xu Zhao could bring them to the county town to sell.

Mother and Father Xu and Da Zhuang stayed at home to weed. Da Zhuang’s mother took Da Zhuang to visit relatives. Xu Zhao was worried that Xu Fan would run around or get bullied by Xu Dawa and Xu Erwa, so he borrowed Da Zhuang’s Lei Feng hat1 Lei Feng hat is the hat that Lei Feng was known for. It’s basically a black trapper hat with a red star on it. and had Xu Fan wear it, planning to also bring him to the county town.

The trapper hat made Xu Fan’s small face rounder, and he looked like a little heroic soldier. However, Xu Fan was obsessed with beauty, and he especially ran inside the room to find the mirror to look at.

Xu Zhao pushed the bicycle inside the courtyard and called out, “Xu Fan.”

“Daddy, I’m looking at the mirror,” Xu Fan replied from inside.

“Have you looked enough?” Xu Zhao asked.

“Not yet.”

Not yet—

Xu Zhao’s temple throbbed three times, and he said, “If you don’t come out now, I’m leaving.”

As soon as the words fell, Xu Fan ran his short legs out. He hadn’t ridden on a bicycle in a long time, but he hadn’t forgotten the process. He ran in front of Xu Zhao, his back facing Xu Zhao as he lifted his small arms so that Xu Zhao could lift him onto the front handlebars. “Daddy, I’m wearing a hat,” he then said.

“Mn, you’re wearing a hat,” Xu Zhao answered.

“A Lei Heng hat.”

“Lei Feng hat.”

“Lei Heng.”

“Feng!”

“Feng!”

“Right.”

Xu Zhao lifted his long legs to get on the bicycle and directly biked out of the courtyard. When the father and son were traveling inside the village, the villagers all saw the vegetables strapped to the back of Xu Zhao’s bicycle. It was tender and green and a whole basket full. Everyone was shocked:

“Is there still such tender spinach right now? Isn’t spinach already out of season?”

“Did Xu Zhao really grow vegetables in his greenhouse?”

“Wow, there’s also Chinese cabbage and cilantro. Xu Zhao really is amazing.”

“That was too fast. It feels like it’s only been a few days and the vegetables are already grown.”

“I heard that it was kept warm so the vegetables grew faster.”

“…”

Amongst the surprised voices of the villagers, Xu Zhao took Xu Fan to the large dirt road. Once on the large dirt road, Xu Fan was ecstatic. He hadn’t been able to fly in a long time and he happily exclaimed and shouted, “Daddy, we’re going to the county town!”

Xu Zhao smiled and said, “That’s right!”

“Daddy, I’m wearing a Lei Feng hat to the county town.”

“It’s not Lei Heng, it’s Lei Feng. Comrade Lei Feng was a selfless soldier dedicated to the People’s Liberation Army.”

“Soldier!”

“That’s right.”

As Xu Zhao rode the bicycle, he tried to instill comrade Lei Feng’s spirit into Xu Fan, telling Xu Fan to learn from Lei Feng. When he finished speaking, they had just arrived at the county town. Xu Zhao didn’t directly go to sell the vegetables, instead he rode the bicycle to the Cui residence.

As soon as the people of the Cui family saw Xu Fan. they rushed up.

“Oh, Sanwa.”

“Sanwa is here.”

“Ah, Sanwa is wearing a hat today.”

Cui Qingfeng and Mother and Father Cui very enthusiastically welcomed Xu Fan.

Xu Fan touched his hat and said, “This is Da Zhuang’s hat. I look good wearing it, better than Da Zhuang.” What Xu Fan meant was that he looked better than Da Zhuang wearing the Lei Feng hat.

What a superficial friendship. Xu Zhao was speechless.

Mother Cui smiled kindly and couldn’t help but pick up Xu Fan. “Yep, you look good. Very good. Sanwa, why haven’t you come to the county town recently?”

“I’m growing vegetables at home,” Xu Fan replied.

“Oh, Sanwa can also grow vegetables? What kind of vegetables?”

“I-I-I can’t. My daddy can. My daddy grew all sorts of vegetables. They’re delicious!”

Mother Cui laughed and said, “So why are you in the county town today?”

Xu Fan lifted the Lei Feng hat that was about to fall and said, “I’m here to sell vegetables!”

“Oh, Sanwa changed professions and is going to sell vegetables now, huh? Where are the vegetables?”

Xu Fan’s small meaty hand pointed to the back of the bicycle. Wasn’t that the bamboo basket full of vegetables?

Mother Cui was stunned.

Father Cui was also shocked.

“Xu Zhao, did you really grow this?” Cui Qingfeng asked in surprise.

Xu Zhao nodded and said, “I did.”

This was amazing!

The Cui family all looked at Xu Zhao with admiration.

“I’m going to try selling them first. I don’t know if I’ll be able to sell them,” Xu Zhao said with a bit of embarrassment.

“You definitely will be able to!” The Cui family said in unison.


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