No matter how big and fat the sparrows on the road were, Luo Xun and team had no time to get out of the car and fight these strange animals. Their fridges and freezers were filled with a variety of frozen, dried and pickled meat. Enough to enjoy themselves for a month, so for the time being they did not have to worry about the roadside food.
They went straight to their destination, back and forth from home and both sides of the road. Occasionally also digging up useful trees and plants to transport home. It was a full 10 days of hard work.
During the time, they ran out five times, each time mostly collecting metal. The car space was also filled with a variety of dried wood. At last, a sufficient amount of metal was barely collected to renovate the new base.
The main building, garage, barn and farm were all completely covered with metal shelves after repeated refinements.
The four walls and ceilings of the basement floors were all covered with refined metal in case something tried to drill from the soil. Yan Fei increased the robustness and thickness of the tunnel walls again.
When this was done, their metal reserves had been reduced by one-third. Luo Xun had spent the past two days drawing designs, ready to change the entire building to resemble the base in the southwest with the geothermal flooring and plumbing.
Not only there, the underground planting spaces should also have temperature regulation equipment added. The original things were advanced but too complicated, once there was a problem, there would be no way to repair it. It would be better for them to change to something they would monitor and repair when needed.
Finally there was the outside open space. Luo Xun would wait until the plumbing was finished before thoroughly covering the space with metal and creating a greenhouse for fruit and flowers.
They were ready to extend the metal shed to the edge of the mutant plants after four weeks. They had previously experimented with throwing metal things next to the plants, some pieces were damaged. But once the metal stopped moving, it did not attract the plant’s attention. After confirming that the things did not move on their own and were not edible, they ignored them.
This was good news for Luo Xun, they could safely use metal planks to create walls and it should be safe so long as they were thick enough to hide their presence.
These days Luo Xun and Yu Xinran scouted around the land. They did not explore the entire scope but still sifted out a dizzying number of nuclei. Who knew how many dead zombies and animals were buried after the apocalypse started?
There was enough nuclei for them to spend for a long time. For the time being, they had not continued to search deeper and gave the little girl a vacation. She and Puppy played around in the building.
Now, Luo Xun and the others rubbed their hands together for their next task – it was time to harvest all the matured rice and wheat from the southwest base.
“This is a harvester, this is a dryer and this is for tying things like straw.” Luo Xun patted the two devices on the ground. “In a moment we can temporarily modify the shelf to deal with it directly.”
“It’s a lot easier than when we harvested last autumn!”
“There’s a machine on top so that the dry food can be directly transported and the flour can be ground with the machine.”
What was one of the best things about this new base? No doubt it was that there was a complete set of agricultural equipment.
Maybe the school was rich? Had special funding? Anyway, regardless of size or how many students had been there, the place was jaw-droppingly well-equipped. All available and in good condition. Although some things were inefficient but it was just right for Luo Xun’s group!
“Luo Xun! There is also a press that can make noodles, let’s try when we go? Anyway most of the harvest is wheat this time!” He Qiankun asked with shining eyes.
“Yeah, but don’t have much cooking oil. Maybe we should return to base or find another place to collect supplies.” Luo Xun added with a smile, “But we have to set aside some seeds this time. After sorting out the harvested crops, we have to open some space especially for growing grain.”
Last autumn they had harvested too little rice. If not for the variety of vegetables, potatoes and corn which could be used as an alternative, their rice would have been all gone. They were also lucky hunting the rabbit, coupled with leftover bacon and dried meat, they had eaten well until now.
Now they only used one room to grow grain, around an acre of land which would provide the team with half a year of food. Setting up more would let everyone life more richly and let them sell food back at base or something.
After Luo Xun mentioned seeds, the crowd nodded excitedly with smiles. “We have to set aside more seeds to plant devil vines.”
They had been able to receive satellite photos from time to time, as well as messages sent to other bases through signals. Among them, a part of their location had been shown which let them determine the distribution of mutant farmland. The area was not small and he could use it to increase the area of the land defenses.
Devil vine seedlings were not lethal and it was relatively simple to cultivate. Since it was one of their defense mechanisms, the more the better. This way, they could increase the area of underground cultivation. As long as they did not plant the vines too close to open road, even metal users passing by would not be able to find them.
“No problem, right Luo Xun, we’re going to have to paint?” These days, on the one hand they were responsible for building metal shelves, protective walls, on the other hand they would paint the metal a mottled pattern of green, black and brown. It seemed to have been quite successful in hiding them from the satellites.
“Need to paint and when the grain is processed, some will focus on painting, while the others will deal with the wood…there are too many things to do.” Now it was the end of the month, Luo Xun quickly added, “These days are fine, after two days if we go out then we need to see if there are any animals to hunt and freeze in the fridge.”
They had almost finished the rabbit meat at home. Since they had to set aside a portion of seeds to continue growing and to grow mutant plants, they were more nervous about their food stores. Need a variety of sweet and regular potatoes, corn and other things along with meat. Eating more barbecue would solve the problem, right?
Happily harvesting grain, Li TIe and others rode the elevator to the ground floor. Then entered the buildings for storage and food processing – there was specialized equipment. Yan Fei made a metal channel in between the two buildings in case any animals appeared to make trouble.
A shower of wheat and rice were shelled. The wheat was ground into powder and the smell of grain filled the air, making the people break into smiles.
There was trouble with the noodle maker since they did not have enough fuel, Luo Xun did not bother for the moment. Xu Mei and Song Lingling cleaned out the presser and even kneaded the noodles. That night they used the remaining sheep bones to make some soup to eat. With their own grown herbs and onions, the fresh taste burst out on their tongues.
“Having machines help with harvesting this season was much easier than by hand.” Everyone was busy with a lot of things every day, the two ladies did not always have the time or energy to cook. Luo Xun was the same, since all kinds of foods were already made, he had not cooked for a while.
“There’s a noodle machine in the kitchen!” Song Lingling’s eyes lit up. “Me and Xu Mei are not good, each time we tried they would go flat, and there isn’t a cook here…”
Luo Xun could technically do it but he does not have time. After hearing her words, Luo Xun had to dampen her enthusiasm, “Even if you make buns with the machine, you need to have yeast for fermenting.”
Song Lingling’s face froze before turning to Xu Mei and acting like she had heard nothing, “Xu Mei, do you want to try making noodles with the machine?”
Luo Xun helplessly waved a hand, “Try tomorrow for a change in taste. Before we only had porridge or dry pasta, having soup noodles would be great.”
That kind of machine could make things like instant noodles but the seasoning and taste would be different. They made pure flour, unlike some manufacturers before the end who added things to affect the taste.