Selling Goji Berries
Li Yu carried a bag of goji berries and wore a cloth hat made by Li Mei to town.
After Li Yu left, Li Mei told Liu Changmin that Li Yu wanted to lend them money to repair his house.
When Liu Changmin heard this, he thought of his two sisters-in-law. The two of them were still quietly watching him as he packed his things. There were also a few nieces and nephews who looked like they couldnt wait for him to leave.
Liu Changmin said gratefully to Li Mei, “Ah Mei, your family is still the most affectionate. Tell Xiaoyu that her uncle wont be ungrateful.”
“Dont you dare.” Li Meis heart ached as she tugged at him. “You havent had your lunch, have you! Ill make you a bowl of noodles. You can eat before you go.”
Liu Changmin sighed when he saw Li Meis white face. “Did you guys eat white noodles No wonder you and the two children have gained weight. Zhaodi and Laidi have also grown taller.”
Li Mei smiled as she kneaded the dough. “You dont know this, but Yuer say that its better to eat well. Only when your body is better will you have the strength to work. They also say that money is earned, not saved by not eating. I dont know where this child got this twisted logic from, but its true. Ever since I got enough oil, Ive become stronger. I dont think its so easy to tire.”
Li Yu had already arrived at the Ji Shi Hall with the goji berries on her back. When she entered the shop, she saw that the shopkeeper was there. When Shopkeeper Yang of the Ji Shi Hall saw Li Yu carrying the goji berries on her back, he smiled. “Miss, what herbs are you selling this time”
Li Yu put down the backpack and replied with a smile, “Uncle Shopkeeper, the goji berries I told you about last time have been dried. I brought some back for you to take a look.”
Li Yu untied the oilcloth bag and Shopkeeper Yang bent down to grab a handful and placed it in his palm. He saw that the even color of the goji berries Li Yu had brought was dark red. Shopkeeper Yang tasted two sweet ones and there was a hint of bitterness in his throat.
Shopkeeper Yang smiled and nodded in praise. “Not bad. Its already not bad to be able to pick goji berries of this quality here. The sunning is also good. Miss, how many more do you have at home”
Li Yu smiled and replied, “About four to five stones!”
Shopkeeper Yang thought for a moment. “Young lady, Ill give you 50 copper coins a catty. If not, youll have to go to another house to take a look.”
Li Yu looked at Shopkeeper Yang and smiled. “Sure, I dont have an ox cart at home. Can you send someone to bring an oil sack over”
“Okay, Ill have the guys pull it over to your place. Lets get this place weighed first.”
Shopkeeper Yang asked the waiter to weigh it. The bag that Li Yu carried was exactly 50 kilograms. Shopkeeper Yang looked at Li Yu and smiled. “I didnt expect Miss Xiaoyu to be so strong!”
Li Yu took the silver. “Im naturally strong. Uncle Shopkeeper, can you wait for me to go to the provision store to buy something before coming”
Shopkeeper Yang looked at Li Yu and nodded readily. “Alright, go ahead!”
Li Yu went to Zhou Jis grocery store. When the clerk saw Li Yu, it greeted her politely, “Miss, youre here! What are you planning to buy today”
“Brother, I want to ask how much your family can sell to me if I want to buy salt for food”
The clerk looked at Li Yu with a troubled expression. “A household can buy at most 10 kilograms. You have to look for the town mayor to approve the extra.”
Li Yu stuffed the copper coins into the clerks hand and lowered his voice. “Is there no other way I want to buy a stone of salt. Please help me think of a way!”
The clerk took the copper coin and lowered his voice. “Miss, youre a regular customer. Its not impossible to sell it to you. Its just that a bucket of it costs two coins. If it works, Ill get it for you.”
Li Yu thought to herself, 20 copper coins per kilogram is only 22 copper coins per catty. One stone is only 20 copper coins per catty. She agreed readily. “Alright, give me two more stones if you have extra. I want to make some spicy sauce to sell.”
The clerk nodded and went to the inner hall. Soon, he came out and said with a smile, “Miss, there are two stones here. I know youre strong, so please come in and move it.”
Li Yu followed him to the door and saw two packets of salt in oilcloth bags at the door. Li Yu took the backpack and placed the salt inside to pay. She smiled and said to the clerk, “Brother, thank you.”
The clerk whispered to Li Yu, “Miss, let me tell you that these salts are accumulated in the shop. You cant tell others that you bought them at my shop. We wont admit it even if you tell on us.”
After Li Yu bought the salt, it was time to start preparing the things needed to make bean paste and pickled vegetables. She smiled and said to the clerk, “Dont worry, Ill keep my mouth shut. I still have to buy a scale. Some canola oil, pepper, star anise, fragrant leaves, and cinnamon, and some peanuts. Ill buy them at your shop.”
The clerk thought for a moment. “How about this Ill give you another two copper coins a pound for each.”
When Li Yu heard this, she bought another 50 catties of vegetable seed oil and a can of sorghum wine. She also bought a few catties of large ingredients, and 10 catties of peanuts and sesame seeds.
The clerk helped Li Yu deliver the oil drums and big materials to the Ji Shi Hall. Manager Yang asked Ah Gen to drive the mule cart to West Mountain Village with Li Yu. They boarded the mortuary wagon pulled by the big green mule and arrived home in less than half an hour.
Li Yu invited Ah Gen into the courtyard. Li Mei brought over a bowl of sugar water and handed it to Ah Gen with a smile. She said politely, “Little brother, sorry to trouble you to make a trip.”
Ah Gen took the sugar water. “Thank you, Auntie. Youre too kind.”
Ah Gen checked the quality of the goji berries in Li Yus house and took out the oil cloth bags. He packed the goji berry bags together with Li Yu and the others. He took out the rods from the cart and weighed them one by one. After weighing them, he paid Li Yu a total of 20 taels of silver.
After Li Yu sent Ah Gen back, Li Mei looked at Li Yu in surprise. “Yuer, why is this worth so much money”
Li Yu smiled and explained, “Aunt, goji berries are medicinal herbs that nourish the body. They can also be used to make tea with wild chrysanthemum. Drinking them can relax the liver and brighten the eyes, so theyre worth a lot!”
Li Mei was enlightened. “I see! Lets dig up more after spring. Well take out half of the land at the back and plant seedlings.”
Li Yu nodded in agreement. “Its good that no one knows the price now. You and Uncle can also find some barren mountains to grow seedlings. When more people plant them in the future, they wont be worth much.”
“Even so, you cant plant all those things. You still have to plant food. Youre still young. You dont know that if you encounter a year of famine; no matter how much silver your family has, you wont be able to buy food.”
“Aunt, if the harvest is good this year, I want to buy more food to store.” Li Yu counted out 30 taels of silver and handed it to Li Mei. “Take this silver first. Buy land to repair the house and open up some wasteland.”
Li Mei hurriedly pushed away the silver that Li Yu handed over. “Yuer, dont be in a hurry to give us the silver. There are still a few days after the Hungry Ghost Festival. Were going to start farming and cutting the grains. Even if we want to repair the house, well have to wait until the farming is done. Your uncle and I will help you collect the chili and beans in the next few days.”
“Alright then! Ill give you money first. You and Uncle have to collect more peas and vegetables. Then, ask those people for some pumpkin leaves.”
“Alright, pumpkin leaves are simple!” Li Mei agreed with a smile. She took the silver and called Liu Changmin to carry the basket to collect the vegetables.
Li Yu put more than half of the salt into the space and took out two pheasants from it to the village heads house.