Chapter 171 – Swinging the Hoe

Lu Xia was surprised. Did she dig so deep?

She exerted more force and finally pried the whole root out.

Looking at it, she saw that the roots were spread out like an umbrella. They were indeed tightly and deeply anchored. No wonder everyone’s expressions were so serious; this was undoubtedly a physically demanding task!

Even for someone like Lu Xia, who had a strong physique, it wasn’t easy, let alone the other female educated youths.

Lu Xia observed that everyone found it quite strenuous.

Looking over at the male educated youths, the situation was slightly better, but they still couldn’t compare to the villagers.

She checked on Jiang Junmo and found that he was doing well. Although he initially lacked strength, he quickly grasped the technique and kept up with the others’ progress.

That relieved her.

She continued digging, trying a few more times until she gradually mastered the right strength and method. After a while, she became quite proficient, even quicker than some of the experienced female educated youths.

However, she still controlled her pace to match everyone else’s.

Despite that, by the time they finished working, Lu Xia still felt some pain in her shoulders.

Swinging the hoe all morning had tired her out.

For lunch, Jiang Junmo cooked. He was worried that she might be too tired, wanting her to rest more. However, Lu Xia felt fine. It was just that after not doing such laborious work for a long time, it was natural to feel tired. She would get used to it.

But seeing Jiang Junmo’s willingness to take care of her, she felt content.

After lunch, they lay down and rested for a while before returning to work.

Perhaps it was the first day back to work after the New Year, and everyone was relatively exhausted, especially in the afternoon. Many people could hardly continue, and it seemed that the village chief anticipated this, so they finished work a bit early.

That day, both Jiang Junmo and Lu Xia earned seven work points, which was already quite a lot. Lu Xia thought that if they both continued working like this, they might earn enough work points to sustain them for a year.

After finishing work, several female educated youths eagerly came to find her to go wild vegetable picking.

Lu Xia was surprised because it seemed that they had forgotten how tired they were just now. Nevertheless, she perked up and joined them. She also wanted to eat some fresh food.

Seeing this, Jiang Junmo was a bit worried, “How about we go tomorrow? Rest well today; we still have cabbage at home.”

Lu Xia shook her head, “I heard that many people from the village are going to pick wild vegetables today. They might all be gone tomorrow.”

Unable to persuade her, Jiang Junmo could only say, “Then let’s pick a little; we can’t eat too much.”

“I got it.”

Lu Xia followed the female educated youths to the field, feeling surprised as she had thought they were going to the mountains.

Sun Shengnan explained, “The wild vegetables in the mountains haven’t grown yet after the thaw, but some low-lying wild vegetables should be ready. There are popoding, shepherd’s purse, and oh, also jijicai, but that one has a strange taste, a bit like patchouli. If you like it, you can pick some.”

Lu Xia nodded, “Are they in the field? Why didn’t I see them today?”

“That’s because you weren’t paying attention. Many of them blend in with the soil color and look like weeds. I saw many people from the village secretly picking them while working, but they can’t be caught by the team leader, or it will affect their work points.”

Lu Xia said she understood.

Once they reached the field, Lu Xia followed behind Sun Shengnan. Since she didn’t recognize the plants, she needed to familiarize herself first.

Soon, Sun Shengnan spotted a few wild shepherd’s purse, “Look, this is it. It’s good to eat both raw and cooked.”


Chapter 172 – Picking Shepherd’s Purse, Popoding, and Jijicai


Lu Xia took a look and realized why she hadn’t noticed them earlier; they were brownish in color, blending in with the soil.

“Alright, I got it. I’ll go check somewhere else,” she said as everyone else had already gone their separate ways.

Sun Shengnan nodded, “Popoding is easy to recognize; it’s green with serrated leaves, you can spot it at a glance. Jijicai is purple and has a strong taste, so it’s also easy to identify.”

“Okay!” After understanding, Lu Xia walked in a different direction, parting ways with the group.

After a short while, she spotted a small patch of shepherd’s purse and was delighted. She quickly squatted down to dig them out.

A few steps ahead, she saw some green amidst the weeds. Curious, she went to take a look and saw leaves with serrated edges; it was popoding! She picked them quickly!

Before long, her basket was filled with quite a lot.

Seeing that she had collected enough for two people to eat, Lu Xia decided to stop. She was worried that if she stayed out late, Jiang Junmo would be concerned.

The only regret was that she couldn’t find jijicai.

Sun Shengnan admired her speed in gathering the wild vegetables. Having fewer people was better. In their educated youth spot, there were many people to feed, so they had to pick more. She allowed Lu Xia to go back first.

But upon hearing that she couldn’t find jijicai, Sun Shengnan showed her what she had picked. “There aren’t many of these in the fields. Let’s try looking by the river next time; they’re more abundant there.”

Curious, Lu Xia took it and smelled it. Immediately, she held her breath as the aroma was too strong. “Can you really eat this stuff?”

Seeing her reaction, Sun Shengnan laughed. “Of course, you’ll like it if you get used to it. But most people in the village use it to make a sauce; it has a delicious fragrance.”

Lu Xia found it a bit hard to accept, “I think I’ll pass. I probably won’t be able to eat it.”

Sun Shengnan didn’t insist; after all, some people couldn’t tolerate the strong smell.

After talking to Sun Shengnan, Lu Xia returned home. When she arrived, Jiang Junmo had already prepared dinner. Lu Xia found it bothersome to cook, so she simply washed the wild vegetables and decided to try stir-frying them as Sun Shengnan suggested.

She added some seasoning and served the vegetables.

After trying a couple of bites, Lu Xia found them not bad, except for a slightly bitter taste. They provided a fresh change for the two, who had been eating cabbage and sauerkraut for so long. So, they ended up eating a little more.

Seeing that Lu Xia enjoyed it, Jiang Junmo said, “Tomorrow, I’ll help you pick them. They can be considered medicinal herbs, good for your health.”

Lu Xia directly shook her head in response, “No need. I’m not tired, and apparently, they grow fast, and we can’t eat them for many days. Let’s go together when the wild vegetables on the mountain grow out.”


After dinner, before going to bed, Lu Xia used some spiritual spring water to make two bowls of malted milk.

She gave one bowl to Jiang Junmo. “These days have been busy, and the work is tiring. Let’s drink a bowl every morning before spring plowing. Otherwise, our bodies won’t be able to handle it. Your body has only recently improved; don’t overexert yourself.”

Jiang Junmo nodded in agreement. “Okay.”

Then he added, “We still have a lot of malted milk at home. Let’s have a bowl in the morning too.”

Lu Xia thought about the amount of malted milk at home. She hadn’t finished the ones she brought, and Jiang Junmo had a few cans of his own. Jiang’s family also sent quite a few from time to time; they were well stocked.

“Sure, then let’s drink it. Take good care of our bodies.”

After drinking the malted milk, they went to sleep. They were exhausted from the day’s work and quickly fell asleep.

Perhaps due to the spiritual spring water, they felt much lighter the next day and had less shoulder pain.

However, the two still maintained the same speed as the others while working the next day, not standing out, working steadily, and taking breaks like everyone else.

After finishing work in the evening, Lu Xia continued to pick wild vegetables with the female educated youths.

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