Chapter 121.1 – Household Management
Xu Wei Ye had long expected that they would mention this issue, and he had already came up with an excuse.
The excuse was the same as the reason that he had originally given to Guan Su, and he had not spoken falsehood. There was not much extra land in Ali Xiang, because he had ordered the villagers of Ali Xiang to grow a variety of crops using most of the land. And a large part of the crops were planted a month and a half ago.
After making contact at the hexagonal pavilion, Guan Su and Shao Fei had already talked to An Zi Ran about this along the road.
Xu Wei Ye’s actions were intentional.
He knew that Guan Su was Fu Wu Tian’s subordinate, and he knew that they would not be willing to give up, so he had deliberately gotten the villagers to do this before Fu Wu Tian and An Zi Ran arrived. The purpose was to strike first and gain the upper hand*. In this way, even if An Zi Ran and Fu Wu Tian came, they could not order the villagers to dig up the crops in the fields.
[*T/N: strike first and gain the upper hand = Chinese idiom meaning it’s advantageous to make the first move]
Generally speaking, this was indeed the case, but on the way over, An Zi Ran looked at the crops planted in Ali Xiang and noted that the majority of them were rice.
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Ali Xiang also had soil that was suitable for rice cultivation, but not all of the soil was suitable. Due to the terrain, the area suitable for planting rice was very small. In comparison to Hong Province, the area suitable for rice cultivation in Ali Xiang should be one-twentieth of that of Hong Province.
Ali Xiang was located in arid and semi-arid areas. Irrigation depended entirely on the ground, regional river water, melted snow water from the mountains, and other such factors, so the main crops of Ali Xiang should be wheat and corn.
An Zi Ran had studied the topography and climate of Ali Xiang, so he knew this, but the results were very different from what he’d imagined. Ali Xiang has been dominated by rice for decades. It was no wonder that the villagers of Ali Xiang have not been able to become wealthy for decades. They used the wrong method, so it was difficult to be wealthy.
“Fu-wangye, Fu-wangfei, it’s not because I don’t want to, but there is really no extra land. You should have already seen it when you came here. The villagers have already planted the rice seedlings. If you want the villagers to dig up the rice seedlings then I have nothing to say.”
Xu Wei Ye had a regretful expression on his face, but his eyes were gloating. They dared to make him unhappy, so he would not let them be happy either. He was now really thankful that he had the foresight and took precautions in advance.
An Zi Ran said thoughtfully: “Mayor Xu, are you aware that they are many places in Ali Xiang that are not suitable for planting rice?”
“Oh? I’d like to hear the details.”
Xu Wei Ye did not take his words seriously. He has been the mayor for ten years, but he has never heard of this kind of argument. He thought that An Zi Ran was deliberately saying this.
“Rice likes mild and humid climates. It needs to be planted in a place with sufficient sunlight and suitable temperature. However, Ali Xiang is an arid and semi-arid zone. The water resources are not abundant, so it is not suitable for large-scale rice cultivation.”
Listening to An Zi Ran speak unhurriedly, Xu Wei Ye sneered in his heart.
He thought to himself, you’re just inventing crazy nonsense. I would like to see what kind of method you could cook up.
“What does Fu-wangfei think Ali Xiang is suitable for planting? It couldn’t be that weird crop you were planning to plant, could it?” Xu Wei Ye’s face revealed a sneer.
An Zi Ran gave him a deep look.
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“Cotton is just one of them. The climate in Ali Xiang is more suitable for the cultivation of drought-tolerant crops such as wheat and corn. If Mayor Xu does not believe it, we can find people to test it out.”
Xu Wei Ye put on a fake smile and said, “Fu-wangfei must be joking with me, right? The crops in the fields have already been planted. Even if I am willing, the villagers may not be willing.”
“How do you know if you don’t try it?”
Xu Wei Ye smiled hypocritically, “Since Fu-wangfei is confident, you can try it. If the villagers agree, I have nothing to say.”
An Zi Ran was waiting for him to say this sentence.
“Then, that’s settled.”
Xu Wei Ye had no regrets. He was confident that the villagers would never agree, because no one was willing to give up their rice bowl*. If there were no rice in the field, then there would be no harvest next year. What would they have to eat come next year? This kind of thing wasn’t something you could experiment with just because you said you wanted to try it. The crucial point was that they must have food to eat.
[*T/N: (figurative of speech) one cannot eat without a rice bowl]