“En, it’s still too cold at this time of year. To be honest, I have to keep a fire lit twelve hours a day to keep the room warm enough for them to grow. However, once spring begins it won’t be necessary to burn so much wood anymore. I was only experimenting a bit with this batch.” Hearing Madam Qin’s sigh, Su Tang immediately understood and explained.
Madam Wen and Madam Tong examined the small green buds carefully. Indeed, once the weather warmed up a bit in spring there wouldn’t be a need to burn so much firewood anymore. From looking at it, it seemed that it wouldn’t take much effort to raise these seedlings, and even the two of them could do it at home. And five seedlings were worth a copper coin. That didn’t sound like much, but if the two of them put in a bit of effort and produced ten thousand seedlings, wouldn’t that be a whole two taels of silver?
Thinking to this point, they looked back at their husbands and their eyes changed slightly. Su Fuhua and Su Fu’an didn’t do many calculations usually and didn’t really think about the money at home, but their wives were different. In Sujia Village, how many people worked hard all year long in the fields but barely had anything to show for it? Most people couldn’t even earn a few extra copper coins, much less extra teals of silver. When all the expenses were accounted for, there was basically nothing left at the end of each year.
Thus, for an opportunity to earn a whole extra tael of silver or even more, there was no kind of work that they wouldn’t be willing to do. Su Yongshun and Madam Qin also realized just how profitable this business could be, and they looked at Su Tang doubtfully, “Is it really a copper coin for five seedlings?”
“Yes, it is. The exact number of plots of farmland hasn’t been decided yet so I’m not sure how many seedlings we will need in total, but the price will certainly remain the same. We’ll have to see how much each plot of land requires, but I estimate that it won’t be less than 50,000 seedlings in total.”
As a matter of fact, there was no complicated process behind raising seedlings. Basically, you can just had to pay a bit of attention to them and they would be fine. Of course, the most important factor was that the work would be done within a couple of months, and it wouldn’t delay spring plowing at all. In short, as long as they worked hard, it would be easy for them to earn an extra tael or two of silver, or maybe even more.
Who wouldn’t be willing to do such a good thing? Su Yongshun and Madam Qin immediately understood that this was an opportunity that Su Tang was passing to them, and they were moved when they heard that she needed so many seedlings in total. “Tang girl, thanks for thinking about us after you found this job. Of course, we are certainly willing to do it. However, we’ve never done this kind of work before, so we’re not sure if we will be able to do it.”
Su Tang led them to sit back down in the main room and said, “Don’t worry, there’s no hurry. I’ll give you the seeds here to start with. Also, no need to be so modest. Even I, who have never worked a field in my life, was able to raise these seedlings. For my big brother who has always been growing crops, how could you not be able to do this well?”
When Su Yongshun and Madam Qin heard Su Tang’s praise, they smiled sheepishly. In fact, when it came to farming, Su Yongshun really didn’t have to be modest.
“However, brother, sister-in-law, in addition to you guys we will probably need to pull several other families in as well. Of course, since it needs to be a little warmer before these things can be grown I didn’t plan to mention it so soon. I was going to bring it up when I talked to Brother Qiang when I went back to pay my respects to my father’s grave after the new year.”
“However, since I met Brother Shun and sister-in-law today, I went ahead and told you both first. It’s fine that you know about this, but don’t tell anyone else when you go back. Once I talk to Brother Qiang, he can help me decide how many families will come to work with us.”
“Of course, brother, sister-in-law, you both know what kind of life we were living in our old home. Although we were still members of the Su family, we were young and well…”
Because she was providing benefits for the family, Su Tang naturally wanted to use the opportunity to put in a good word for herself and establish her presence within the family. When she happened to meet Su Yongshun’s family today, she had decided to talk to them because of that and a couple of other considerations. On the one hand, there was the matter of raising seedlings that she wanted to discuss with them, and on the other hand, she could also see that they seemed to have something to say.
Su Yongshun and his family had all been very kind to her and her brother and, although she usually acted a bit cold and indifferent, she was good to those who were good to her. So now that she was bringing benefits to the Su family, while she was happy to pass those benefits to them first, she also wanted to fight to make her existence known and to earn status in the family so that she could have more of a say.
After all, in this era she knew that it would be impossible for her to separate herself from her family, thus, couldn’t she just become the one who controlled the family? That way, her fate would be in her own hands.
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