Fang Zhao had already said aloud the answer in Fan Lin's heart. Now, Fan Lin was no longer able to preach about it. However, he reacted quickly and did not show any awkwardness, instead just laughing heartily. "That's right! You think exactly the same as me. I most love watching them germinate. It is really vivacious, especially those arrow sunflowers. Tomorrow morning, you guys will be able to see it. However, before that..." Fan Lin made Fang Zhao and Kevin Lin follow them over to the experimental plots. "Don't you people want to livestream? We can start. Fang Zhao, there is some equipment for hammering the ground over on that side. We have to do some work on the land."
Kevin Lin stamped on the ground. The ground had been hammered before, and it was especially hard. It was difficult for Kevin Lin to imagine planting anything here. He found it hard to believe. "Is there really stuff planted underneath?"
"Of course. Otherwise, why would I have called you guys over? They have been planted for two months already. If it were other crops, the seeds might have rotted in the earth, but arrow sunflowers are different. Just wait and see, the monitored data underground is normal, and they will be able to germinate tomorrow. These two months, the seeds underground have already swelled up to many times their original size."
What was the best way to ensure a plant's growth? They had accumulated 30 years worth of experience growing arrow sunflowers. Till now, at this experimental plot, they had gone through over 20 generations of arrow sunflowers.
As Fan Lin explained to Kevin Lin about this hybrid species, Fang Zhao had already dragged a sledgehammer out from the case beside the experimental plot. It felt heavy in his hands, but just like the pickaxe in the mining tunnel, it had propulsion appliances installed on it. It might be slightly heavy, but once the appliances were enabled and the hammer was being used, it would get much easier.
Kevin Lin coordinated with Fang Zhao and turned on the live broadcast.
Kevin Lin had originally looked a little gloomy, but he put on a warm smile in a flash. "Greetings, everyone. The place I am at is the Academy of Science HQ's Professor Fan Lin's experimental plot on planet Baiji."
He gave a brief introduction of the surrounding terrain but did not mention which outpost it was, nor did he film anything else. All he filmed was the experimental plot's piece of land. Therefore, audiences did not know the location of this experimental plot on planet Baiji.
But online audiences' main focus was not on the outpost. As they watched the scene displayed, they felt puzzled.
"What is going to be broadcast today?"
"Why is it that all I see is a plot of flat land?"
"Don't tell me they are going to broadcast people eating soil?" someone joked.
"What can even grow in such hard ground? Do you think I have never planted flowers?"
"Fan Lin? That name sounds familiar."
"You don't say! Of course he is familiar. Every one of us in Muzhou knows him!"
Upon hearing the name "Fan Lin," audiences in Muzhou could not help but sit up straight and pay attention. Quick-witted people had already guessed that maybe some important new product was going to hit the markets.
In the live broadcast, Fan Lin introduced a new species that had been cultivated in his laboratory: the arrow sunflower.
"...This sort of herb has an annual life cycle. Thirty years ago, my laboratory had already bred it. Half of its genes are from our home planet and the other half from Baiji. In These 30 years, we have been experimenting and improving it."
Fan Lin also spoke about the benefits of this new species. It provided lots of multivitamins and could help in resisting illnesses. This species could be used as food in cooking, medicine, and even military affairs.
Many online audiences were skeptical.
"Is that true?"
"So many benefits?"
"He's bragging, right? Don't they just love to brag about their own stuff and, after that, suck money from consumers?"
"Nonsense. Take a look at who is talking! That is Fan Lin! Perhaps he might not be so reputable in other continents, but everybody in Muzhou knows him!"
In Muzhou, the name "Fan Lin" was a gold-plated signboard. The overwhelming majority of crops used by Muzhou farm owners all came from Fan Lin's laboratory. For example, a couple of years ago, there was a type of fruit that had become popular. When farm owners went to purchase seeds, they always looked at the laboratory that bred the seeds. There were certain names that nobody would doubt regarding safety issues, and Fan Lin's laboratory was one such name.
Someone made a list of various fruits, vegetables, grains, and food products that had been produced by Fan Lin's laboratory. Even without this list, just doing a search online would show how awesome Fan Lin's laboratory was.
However, although Fan Lin did not say much, those that understood could guess that once this product hit the markets, it would probably be a high-end one.
When others in the same industry as Fan Lin received the news, they immediately switched over to channel S5.
"Without saying anything, Fan Lin has actually gone to planet Baiji! Seems like it is indeed hallowed ground. The soil is definitely good, otherwise Fan Lin would not have even given it a glance."
"That means that Fan Lin had already invested in planet Baiji early on."
"30 years ago, planet Baiji's land was dirt cheap. I think a 100-year lease contract cost about 100,000?"
"Maybe 50,000 was enough. Renting the land then was just a steal. Now, if you don't have millions, you can forget about the idea. And even if you do, there are thorough investigations, and planet Baiji's side might not even approve of it."
In the past, getting a piece of land on Baiji to build a laboratory had been very easy. Baiji base would surely have given a lot of leeway as long as it was not overboard, as they had wanted to attract more people.
But now, applying for even a small plot of land was especially hard, and there was still the stingy Shanta there.
"Makes me green with envy!"
"His luck is really good. Straightaway applying for 100 years of usage rights. Now, only 30 years have passed. If we compare to the past, we would definitely be losing out, but if we want to apply for an experimental plot on planet Baiji, we still have to do it fast. If we wait till Baiji slowly becomes even more developed, at that time, even if we wish for it, it will be really hard to get land."
"Is that fella Fan Lin flaunting? With that much land, even if his research on Baiji concludes and he no longer cultivate crops there, when he leaves the place, he can also earn a huge sum."
Fan Lin's live broadcast this time around indeed gave rise to much envy, admiration, and hatred from others within the same industry. It also made many people think about staking a claim on planet Baiji.
To the contrary, Muzhou's other farm owners had started thinking how great it would be if they could grow this crop in Muzhou. Even if it could not be grown in Muzhou, the Muzhou people could take charge of exporting it. When it came to the processing of fruits, vegetables, and fresh produce, Muzhou was the best in the world, and they had many advantages.
As the agricultural continent, for all Muzhou farm owners, this had an even bigger appeal than the discovery of grade A power ore. After all, they relied on the land for agricultural produce to make a living.
Everyone could see that Fan Lin had borrowed channel S5 to make an early announcement of the new product his own laboratory had created.
In comparison, channel S5's resident celebrity Fang Zhao had even less presence than Kevin Lin. At least Kevin Lin was beside Fan Lin, controlling the filming, and he could ask Fan Lin some questions. Fang Zhao just silently stood to the side, hammering away and not interrupting.
Fan Lin walked around the plot and stopped. Stamping on the ground twice, he said, "Fang Zhao, here, this spot requires another two knocks."
Fang Zhao did not say much, just lifting the sledgehammer and hammering twice on the spot Fan Lin had pointed out.
"Here, here, gently! Hey, that's too gentle!"
Fan Lin directed Fang Zhao to hammer at different spots. Noticing his enthusiasm in directing Fang Zhao, Kevin Lin could not help but ask, "Aren't there machines to do this job?"
Although Kevin Lin wished to tell the audience during this broadcast that even if Fang Zhao was not mining in the tunnels, he was hammering the ground in the experimental plots and was not slacking off, he still raised questions that answered the doubts of the audience.
The reason why machines could not be used when mining was that many instruments would not be precise enough and were unusable. Therefore, manpower was needed. But why did the job of hammering the ground at the experimental plot require manpower to complete?
As for this question, Fan Lin did not avoid it. "Why use machines when there is manpower available?"
Kevin Lin: "..." Why do you sound so self-confident?!
Those not in the know would even think that Fan Lin was deliberately making things difficult for Fang Zhao.
"Do you know how much force seeds exert when they germinate?" Fan Lin suddenly asked.
Kevin Lin's mind stopped wandering and replied, "I read something related to this before. It said that when a seed germinates, it has the strength to split rocks."
"That saying is indeed correct. However, although it sounds strong, it is not something that can be done momentarily. It is a slow process. Arrow sunflowers are different, though. The process of their germination is compressed to within a very short period. During that brief moment, it produces an explosive force that is rather astonishing. Tomorrow at daybreak, you will get to see them germinate."
When he talked about results that he himself had so painstakingly cultivated, Fan Lin's eyes were glowing. At the same time, he was telling online audiences that what he wanted to show everyone would happen tomorrow morning.
Fang Zhao spent half the day busy at work in the experimental plot. Kevin Lin felt tired just watching him. The dull thuds that rang out were real as could be and were not just for show. Although the hammering equipment had propulsion applications on it, Fang Zhao still needed to use his own strength. And from the start of the live broadcast till after the broadcast ended, Fang Zhao's attitude was always the same. He did not just skive off just because the broadcast was turned off.
Although Fan Lin kept instructing Fang Zhao on where to hammer, he knew that as long as the little fellow asked for a break, he would not object to it. He was very satisfied with Fang Zhao's performance, unlike certain little celebrities that had a completely different attitude on-screen and offscreen. Thus, Fan Lin did not say much. He just wanted to see how long Fang Zhao could persevere.
On the contrary, as Fang Zhao continued hammering away at each experimental plot and was about to reaching the eighth plot, not only Kevin Lin, even Fan Lin was feeling tired. However, Fang Zhao still seemed to be rather relaxed. He was only covered in a layer of thin sweat, but he was not panting as he continued hammering away at the eighth plot effortlessly.
Fan Lin looked at Fang Zhao, who was helping him hammer the land, and was pleased. "It feels like this little fella has our Muzhou blood in him."
Muzhou people's farm work was very impressive. On average, their constitutions were also stronger. Even many large farm owners that seemed to live like kings were stronger than people of other continents when it came to standing in their fields.
"There is no need for wishful thinking. I have seen Fang Zhao's file; his previous three generations are all Yanzhou people," Kevin Lin said.
Fan Lin did not care about what Kevin Lin said. He was just lameting and thinking to himself how he could go about talking to Shanta to get Fang Zhao to transfer over here for his military service.
Although he had only wished to borrow Fang Zhao and Kevin Lin's live broadcast to publicize his own laboratory results, today he had witnessed Fang Zhao's character. If Fang Zhao had changed his attitude and slacked off after the live broadcast, Fan Lin would not have had any other thoughts and would have sent him back to base after the next day's objectives were met. But now, he had changed his mind. He wished to keep Fang Zhao at Outpost 23 and help this old man with his farm work.