After the three academies were completed, and Yun Feiyan, a woman, was tasked with serving as the head of the women’s school, no one objected. Of course, this was not because the officials at the imperial court were open-minded, but because the Crown Prince directly issued an order instead of asking their opinions, so even if they were indignant, they could only obey and did not dare to cause any trouble for the women’s school. But these people vowed that they would never let the daughters in their families attend.
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Since ancient times, there had been no practice of letting women attend schools and academies. It was simply unconventional.
Su Mu sat on the dragon chair and glanced across the hall at these officials, but didn’t put much regard on the thoughts of these people. Even if they didn’t allow their daughters to attend there were still plenty of other families who would.
In the afternoon, Su Mu, accompanied by Yun Feiyu, Lin Siyuan, Liu Xi and the others to the Imperial Agricultural Academy. After the winter solstice, Su Mu had begun to pay attention to spring plowing. A large number of agricultural and farming experts from all over the Qing Kingdom gathered here. Their task was to cultivate improved breeding types, for both crops and animals.
Coming from the cold wind outside into the airtight greenhouse, a heat wave hit everyone the moment they stepped inside. Su Mu untied his cloak and passed it behind him. In front of him was a small patch of green farmland, covered in green vegetation and vitality, making it seem like the warmth inside and the coldness outside seemed to be two different worlds. The people who followed behind Su Mu gaped their mouths open in surprise. Liu Xi walked to a farmland and looked at the tender seedlings, full of curiosity: “Your Highness, how can there be seedlings in the winter?”
Yun Feiyu took a look at the surrounding environment, walked to the soil and touched it, only to come away with a sense of warmth. The roof was curved, and only at the places above the seedlings were sunlight let in. Watching the Crown Prince ask an old man carefully about the situation of the seedlings, Yun Feiyu had to express admiration again, the Crown Prince was really someone very extraordinary.
The old man standing next to Su Mu was Zhang Datong who Su Mu met on his way to the Wu Kingdom. Su Mu directly sent him and his family to the imperial city. It was not long after that these greenhouses were built and the seedlings seen here were the first plants planted in the greenhouse.
“Elder Zhang, how about the seedlings?” Su Mu asked.
Zhang Datong shook his head and said: “There is too little sunshine, the growth is too weak, and the output will not be too high.”
Su Mu took a look at the openings above his head and thought privately that if only there was plastic, of course he also knew that it was impossible at this stage. Even if he found petroleum, he would not be able to produce it. But the search for coal was urgent and could not be put off. Qingye Villa, the Imperial Agricultural Academy, and the Imperial Engineering Academy all need a lot of fuel to maintain the workings inside. The trees in the surrounding mountains were decreasing at an extremely fast rate. Unfortunately, while Su Mu had sent people out for more than half a year, there was still no news of any coal discovery. This had Su Mu worried about whether there were even any coal mines in the Qing Kingdom.
Su Mu walked on the outside of the farm field, looked at the different types of seedlings and asked: “Which seedlings have the highest yield at the moment.”
Zhang Datong led Su Mu to the other end, where there was a written label: “Your Highness, it is No. C-5, but No. C-5 has weak disease resistance.”
Su Mu nodded and asked, “Which has the best overall effect and is suitable for large-scale planting across the country?”
Zhang Datong walked back again, pointing to another label and said: “Your Highness, it is No. A-2. Its disease resistance is good but its output is not too high.”
Su Mu nodded and said: “Give priority to nurturing A-2, but don’t stop with the others either.”
The spontaneous pollination of rice makes hybridization difficult, and the probability of natural hybridization is extremely small. However, without various high-tech tools, Su Mu could only pray for heaven’s blessing.
After observing the rice seedling greenhouse, Su Mu came to another greenhouse. This greenhouse was the same as the rice greenhouse, but there was no rice paddy field inside. Instead, there was only one raised ridge after another with fat and tender green sprouts poking up from them. Liu Xi looked at the tender sprouts and asked, “What is this?”
The person in charge of planting was a middle-aged man. He was a little nervous to see the Crown Prince, and Liu Xi’s beautiful face made him dare not up even more. He could only bow his head and stammer: “Answering…..answering my lord, this is earth egg…..”
Lin Siyuan looked at the tender sprouts with surprise and asked, “Soil can lay eggs?”
“No…..no…..” The middle-aged man was very nervous and a little awkward at expressing himself so his words became even more clumsy.
Su Mu had no choice but to explain: “It’s nothing more than a crop that looks like an egg.”
In fact, this earth egg was actually referring to potatoes. This was the name given to it by the native people in this world. This kind of crop was discovered in the Qing Kingdom when Su Mu sent people to collect grain seeds in various countries. Because that potato-growing village had very little contact with the outside world, not many potatoes circulated to the outside, and as a result it was difficult to see it elsewhere in the Qing Kingdom.
“Does it taste good?” Lin Siyuan was very interested in food that he had never eaten before.
Su Mu nodded and said: “Not only does it taste good, but the environmental requirements for production are not very harsh, and it is easy to reproduce. It is already in the stages of cultivating improved types to be introduced to the rest of the country.”
In this world at this period, the types of crops available were extremely scarce. Many common food varieties in the 21st century couldn’t even be seen here. Sweet potatoes and corn were only two among them. Su Mu wanted to send an expedition to unexplored land to find more crop types. However, the limited manpower and resources of the Qing Kingdom right now simply could not afford to do so.
The several people visited the Imperial Agricultural Academy’s greenhouses and then went to the Imperial Engineering Academy. If the Imperial Agricultural Academy’s greenhouses brought surprises and admiration, then the Imperial Engineering Academy was a complete shock and amazement.
The steam engine and other machinery emitting huge heat made frightening sounds. Ten improved textile machines moved quickly under human operation, and in just a while, a bundle of cotton cloth was finished being woven. Even if it was not fully automated and every textile machine still needed people, the speed was many times faster.
Then they came to a huge pond. A huge round waterwheel was spinning continuously next to a man-made waterfall. Behind the man-made waterfall was another waterwheel with a rectangular keel instead of a circle. It was ten about ten meters long and was constantly pumping the water from the lake to the waterfall. Similarly, it was not operated by humans but was connected to a steam engine, but Su Mu knew that most of the operation would need manpower when performing irrigation in the wild, because another advantage to the keel water lift was that it was easy to move, so it was not as if you could carry the steam engine around with it.
Lin Siyuan rubbed his eyes vigorously, and said in disbelief, “I’m not dreaming! Then how can it move if there is no one on it?”
Although Yun Feiyu’s expression was not as exaggerated as that of Lin Siyuan’s, his shock was also quite visible.
Liu Xi had seen the steam engine, but at that time it was just a steam engine, and there was no practical application. So everything he saw at this moment was still very miraculous. “Your Highness, you are too amazing.” A pair of beautiful eyes flashed with alluring luster, and Liu Xi boasted without any shame: “What does the Wu Kingdom matter? What does the Shi Kingdom matter? What does the Wei Kingdom matter? Your Highness is the one who will be invincible!”
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Su Mu did not take his words to heart. Who in the world could be truly invincible? He turned around and said to Yun Feiyu and Lin Siyuan: “I brought you here because the waterwheel and textile machine are already ready for use and will be mass-produced in large quantities. You two will go back and discuss where and how it shall be first put into use. Liu Xi is responsible for keeping it confidential.” A cold light flashed in Su Mu’s eyes: “So long as it comes from the Imperial Agricultural Academy and the Imperial Engineering Academy, it is all forbidden to flow out of the borders of the Qing Kingdom. Any offenders will be killed without pardon.”
“Yes.” The three responded at the same time. The blood flowing in their bodies seemed to be speeding up, and they could vaguely see the shadow of the coming rise of the Qing Kingdom.
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