Chapter 49: Busy Farming in the Last Days

At first, Ji Cha’s plan to buy a grinder was only limited to making tofu at home, with not many quantities or large scale, so he bought a total of three machines. Originally, he had planned to use one machine first and keep two machines aside, but now that he was making beans on a large scale, he realized that he needed all three machines to work together to barely meet the demand.

Early the next morning, Ji Cha got up and checked the beans that had been soaked overnight. After having breakfast at home, he rushed to the place where workers were being recruited. There, soldiers and early-rising citizens were already preparing to arrange the day’s work plan.

Ji Cha greeted them, and a soldier handed him a small notebook. “You have three spots on the list, and the wages for the workers you hire will be reimbursed.”

This was much more generous than Ji Cha had expected, and he nodded, “Okay, I’ll contact someone to transport the goods once they’re done. Hopefully we can catch the noon meal.”

Ji Cha stood in front of the crowd with the notebook and carefully examined it. Although it was not easy to choose people, he had already had suitable candidates in mind.

The young woman who had been working with him to build the wall yesterday was also there, with her sleeping child on her back, her head tilted to one side and her face pale. There was also an elderly woman who was about sixty years old and an elderly man who was about the same age.

When Ji Cha called the three of them out of the crowd, they were a bit confused. The soldier beside them stood up and walked over to them. “Report your name and ID card number to him,” he pointed to Ji Cha, “and follow him later.”

Although they didn’t know what they were going to do, the three of them immediately walked up to Ji Cha after hearing this, looking a bit shy. The young woman recognized Ji Cha from yesterday and dared to speak to him, “Where are we going?”

Ji Cha wrote down their identity information in the notebook and said, bowing his head, “We’re going to work. The work on my side is relatively easy, and you can rest when you’re not busy. The wages are the same as those of people outside.”

The three of them walked with Ji Cha to the door of the factory, still uncertain. They had seen this building before and had wondered who could live inside. But after Ji Cha brought them in, they were all surprised, “You live here?”

It’s not their fault for reacting that way, as Ji Cha looked quite ordinary, without any outstanding features.

“Um,” Ji Cha casually replied and brushed the topic aside. He led the three of them into the factory, where the machines were already roaring. He assigned them their tasks, “Today, you are mainly responsible for helping to make tofu. My grandmother will tell you the process.”

The young woman’s name was Sun Xiaofang, a local of S city. She and her husband used to run a small supermarket in the city and lived a peaceful life. Who would have thought that the apocalypse would hit almost overnight and overturn their peaceful life? Chaos broke out, and her husband was also infected while fighting against the zombies. She couldn’t protect the things in the small supermarket by herself, so she had to follow the army to the outskirts of the city with her child.

Now, the child began crying in the middle of work. Sun Xiaofang had no choice but to raise her hand and hit the child’s buttocks twice, “Cry, cry some more!”

Grandma saw it and quickly grabbed her, “Hey, what does this small child know? Why hit him? If you hurt him, you will be the one who feels sorry.” She held the child and turned to shout into the house, “Qinqin, come out and comfort this child first!”

Zhang Qinqin was a kindergarten teacher and had a lot of experience with this. She hugged the child and said to Sun Xiaofang, who was full of concern, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll put him to sleep. You can take him with you when you leave tonight.”

Sun Xiaofang gratefully nodded, “Thank you.”

Ji Cha, Wang Qin, and a few others were developing other available land while making tofu. It was a good thing to be able to cooperate with the military to utilize all the available land outside, but they still had to take it step by step and develop this place first.

The potatoes and sweet potatoes planted in early September had already grown tall with green leaves, exuding vitality. The weather in s city in early October was not very cold yet, so the greenhouse could wait until November to be heated.

Ji Cha planned to grow fast-maturing and commonly seen plants on the remaining land before the main crop planting season arrived, which not only could connect with the military but also the market in s city’s base.

At present, everyone was still busy, but not long after the completion of the base’s fence and the official establishment of the base, there would be continuous re-socialization internally. Many industries that had lost their functions would return to their original positions sooner or later, which, although primitive, was also one of the driving forces of operation.

Ji Cha had worked on a farm before and knew that if there was effective management, everyone could eat fresh food, which was a completely achievable goal.

As time passed, the water in the soybeans was gradually squeezed out, and the tofu was continuously formed, one piece after another. Ji Cha did not cut the tofu to be delivered to the troops, but just used wooden boards to stack them onto a small three-wheeled cart, and then delivered around 100 pounds each time to a small liaison point of the military, where they would transport them away themselves.

Fresh tofu, piece by piece, emitted a warm and tender temperature, and was very eye-catching with its white and tender texture. The people around Ji Cha stared at him tightly, but were too afraid to approach him because of the armed soldiers around him.

In the morning, three carts of tofu were delivered, and less than 300 pounds were used for the soldiers’ lunch in the military. Fresh tofu sprinkled with chili and braised, without any other meat or fish, was already so delicious with rice.

However, there were so many people in the army that even 300 pounds were not enough for each person to have more than two mouthfuls. The cooks didn’t know how much had been agreed upon with Ji Cha’s side, and were annoyed by the questions from other soldiers, so they rode a bicycle and came to find Ji Cha.

“We still need to deliver 700 pounds this afternoon, and there will be 300 pounds of bean sprouts available the day after tomorrow.”

The soldiers looked towards the bustling production scene behind Ji Cha, and upon hearing the amount he reported, they shook their heads and said, “This won’t work…”

The leader above hadn’t had fresh food for many days, and the combination of tofu and greens finally pried open their mouths. When the soldier reported this to the higher-ups, and a few junior officers had already complained during the day, the leader slapped his hand and settled the matter.

They changed the amount of tofu to be made from 1,000 kg to 2,000 kg per day, and the amount of bean sprouts from 300 kg to 1,000 kg per day. They would notify a day in advance how much tofu was needed and four days in advance for the bean sprouts. The materials were supplied by the army, and the three helpers assigned to Ji Cha were increased to six.

Sun Xiaofang and the others worked until after four in the afternoon, finally managing to get all the tofu to the factory’s entrance.

Just then, the soldiers came to deliver beans for the next day, and Ji Cha asked them to take the tofu back with them. Sun Xiaofang and the others helped unload a large truckload of beans and move them to the half-open warehouse that Ji Cha had set aside on the side of the factory, where they piled them up about half-full.

Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.

“Did you eat tofu today?” Ji Cha and the soldier who was checking accounts chatted. “How was the taste?”

The soldier had become somewhat familiar with him after making two trips back and forth, and laughed, “Yeah, I ate it. I only had one bite, and I still had to rely on grabbing it, but it tasted good.”

“Of course,” Ji Cha said, “this is purely handmade without any chemicals, unlike the tofu sold in supermarkets that has a strange smell. We had 400 more kilograms of tofu this afternoon than we did at noon. You might be able to get a bigger spoonful if you go early.”

“Okay,” the soldier laughed, “you’re pretty good at this. You can make so much stuff.” He took out a small notebook from his pocket. This was the army’s homemade “payroll,” used to receive the daily rations that were distributed. “Here, Zhao Tiankuo asked me to bring this to you. Today, you can use your authority to open three plots, and tomorrow you can open six plots. I’ve talked to the people who distribute the food over there, and you’ll be able to pick it up later.”

Ji Cha looked down and saw a small note on the payroll indicating where the pay was coming from. The three words “Tofu Factory” were written on his book.

As soon as the soldier left, Ji Cha turned around and saw Sun Xiaofang and the others standing behind him. They were actually a bit awkward, having finished work at only four o’clock, and today’s work wasn’t even that tiring. Would they only have enough for two meals when the payroll was opened?

If that was the case, they might as well go back to hauling bricks tomorrow.

Ji Cha took out a pen from his pocket, leaned the wage book against the wall, and wrote the names of the three workers on three pieces of paper. He didn’t hesitate to tick the box for 100% completion and signed his name before tearing off the sheets and handing them to the workers.

“Come earlier tomorrow, don’t go to the hiring spot. Someone will be there to open the door for you. Just do what you did today. I also need to go to the hiring spot and recruit a few more people,” he said.

Not only was the work easy, but the wage was also more generous than outside. The three workers were old and weak, and they couldn’t achieve 100% completion yesterday while moving bricks, but they were able to earn the highest wage under Ji Cha’s supervision today. When they heard that they were expected to come back tomorrow, they were even more delighted.

To their surprise, before they left, Ji Cha gave each of them a small bag of soybean dregs. Fresh soybean dregs are not only high in nutritional value, but they also taste good if cooked properly.

Ji Cha has an agreement with the army on soybean dregs. He can keep 3% of the soybean dregs for his own use. The rest of the soybean dregs are taken back to be processed into soybean cake and other types of dry food, which is also a good source of nutrition.

Three percent of soybean dregs from one thousand kilograms of tofu is enough to feed Ji Cha’s ten pigs for two meals, not to mention the two thousand kilograms of tofu the next day. With other feeds mixed in, his ten pigs wouldn’t be able to finish them all.

Compared to pigs, chickens eat less, and Ji Cha still has a lot of soybean dregs left over. Unfortunately, rabbits do not eat soybean dregs, and he has to prepare feed for them separately.

Speaking of domestic animals, two hens started laying eggs two days ago. Ji Cha hadn’t carefully observed whether the hens had mated with the rooster, but he planned to incubate the eggs anyway.

He had already prepared a small incubation room, and he would transfer the hens into it as soon as they started brooding.

As for the rabbits, the female rabbit went into heat earlier, and the male rabbit didn’t show any signs of being ready, but these days the male rabbit has started to display signs of sexual maturity. Ji Cha hopes that the rabbits will produce more offspring, which will give them fresh meat.


Thingyan: I don’t know what kinda food could be made using soybean dregs. Like I’ve never had it before.


  1. comix says:

    Thank you for the update! I’ve never eaten soybean dregs either but I think it can be made into a sort of flour…maybe. 😅

    1. Thingyan says:

      I wonder if it’s sold in the Asian supermarkets lol

  2. Rebecca says:

    Soybean dregs aren’t usually sold in Asian supermarkets because people usually either buy tofu or soybeans and make their own soy milk/tofu. The dregs are also called Okara. It can be used in smooties, patties, croquettes, Korean stew, or dried into flour and you can make protein balls, biscuits, cake, biscotti.

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