Young people returning to the countryside to farm: cured and confused!

Spread the love

The following article is from the deep combustion team

In the past, when I introduced my home to my friends, I was busy pointing to a building and counting which window was my home. Now, after returning to the village to live, she only needs to lift her finger to the roadside and say, “that’s my home, with grass, trees and flowers beside.”.

The busy life of the post-90s generation is different from that of many young people.

After graduating from University, she was busy doing interior design and opening a dessert shop for six years. Now, instead of working in an office building, she has returned to her hometown Anhui to farm in the countryside.

A busy day is like this.

I naturally woke up at five or six in the morning, went to the field to do farm work, and went home before the sun at 10 in the morning. Take a nap, read a book and take a part-time job at noon. At 4 p.m., prepare to water and fertilize the field, and then it’s time to make dinner. The lights in the village turn off after 7 p.m. and she must go to bed before 9 p.m. She joked, “our village is very crowded, and the neighbors got up at 4 a.m. to work.”.

Referring to his harvest, he spoke more briskly. “My pepper is the best in the village.” By farming, she ate pepper, eggplant, pumpkin, winter melon, gourd, corn, taro and so on. There were so many varieties that she could not count with ten fingers.

As for land, people often say, “the urban routine is deep, and I want to go back to the countryside.” “life is not only in front of me, but also in poetry and fields from afar.”. For the Chinese people, land is a special existence. It is silent and inclusive. It can be the backing for the frustrated to retire to the countryside, or the ideal place for the successful to feed their horses and chop firewood.

The world is unpredictable, and more and more people can’t grasp the certainty in life. With high work pressure and tired urban life, young people have different views on the countryside they once wanted to flee.

Many people fantasize about going home to farm and living under the eastern hedge of chrysanthemum picking, but most of them just stay in the fantasy stage. I can’t move, I can’t lie flat, and my days pass by like this. But there are indeed a group of young people who choose to flee the city and return to the countryside to live the most primitive farming life.

Why did they make this decision? Have you really lived your ideal life? We had a good chat with them.


Side a of returning home life:

The sunset is beautiful and the rain is pleasant

It was only after the Mid Autumn Festival last year that busy finally decided to go home to farm.

After six years of entrepreneurship, she had a family genetic disease, and her body was completely exhausted. In 2021, it was so serious that she had urinated blood, high creatinine, high blood pressure, cervical spondylosis, and gained 30 kilograms in six months. The family were very worried about her. Choosing to return to her hometown to farm is a way for her to save herself.

Busy farming is serious.

She had no experience. At first, she bought several books to teach farming, such as “small family organic garden” and “zero failure for novices to grow vegetables”. Later, she felt that she was superfluous. Everyone in the village was an expert in farming, and everyone could give her “on-the-spot guidance”.

And these teachers will “come uninvited”.

The population of the village is not large, and the number of permanent residents is not more than 20. It is new that a young man comes to farm. Since the excavation in March, people have come to watch her busy planting every day, such as “checking homework”, and will tell her what is not done well while watching.

At the beginning, her posture was not “authentic”. The village teacher said, “the hoe should be erected to loosen the whole ground, not just the surface”. When planting seedlings, I was busy wondering how far apart the two peppers should be and how many seeds should be sprinkled. I also relied on the “guidance” of the village teachers.

? cucumbers and peppers planted busily / pictures provided by interviewees

After the vegetable fields were all planted, her neighbors praised her, but she did not expect to do it in a good way. Hearing the praise, he hurriedly said that he would “expand” and work harder.

After the epidemic, many people chose to “go home to farm”. According to the report released by the agricultural and rural information center, in 2020, there were 10.1 million people returning to their hometown to start businesses and innovations, an increase of 1.6 million over 2019, a year-on-year increase of 19%, which was the most and fastest-growing year in recent years.

Zhang Shusheng, who was born in 1993, is also one of them.

Tired, tired, and rolled, the experiences of young people before returning home look similar, but each has its own depression.

After graduating from journalism in 2016, Zhang Shusheng worked as a copywriter in an advertising company in Guangzhou, earning only 4500 yuan a month. I often worked overtime, and had to work all night the day before I had to submit the plan. I had stomach trouble only half a year ago.

Before leaving Guangzhou to return to his hometown, his last job paid 9000 yuan a month. After removing the cost of living, he could only save one or two thousand yuan a month. He had to change his transportation three times a day to work, first by bus, then by subway, and then by bus. On a typhoon day in Guangzhou, he could not take a bus or a taxi. It took him three or four hours to get home.

The ceiling of career is low, and urban life can’t see the end. After the epidemic in 2020, Zhang Shusheng chose to return home. Now, he grows tea, makes tea and does e-commerce in his hometown in Fujian. He can sleep until he wakes up naturally every day, and his body has also been much better.

? Zhang Shusheng’s tea drying routine in the village / photo provided by the interviewee

Compared with fleeing the city, the post-90s Qianqian returned to the countryside, more like starting a business and choosing a life she wanted.

She worked as an intern in a magazine in University. Because of the great pressure of work, she began to lose a lot of hair. It took her six years to raise it. Later, when she looked for a job, she found a relaxing one. She worked as an accountant, an administrator, and a flower shop.

In 2020, she and her family rented a piece of land to be a farm 30 kilometers away from Chengdu, and the family moved here.

She told me that even when she opened a flower shop, she was worried. “She will compare with others in her heart and compete with others secretly”. For example, she sells lemon trees at home, and other families also start to sell them. She is a companion gift, and competitors quickly follow her, which makes her feel flustered.

But this anxiety disappeared after the farm.

Many people don’t understand her choice. Grandma cried as soon as she called her, saying that Qianqian had helped them with farm work since she was a child. Now that she has grown up, it can be easier. Why do you want to farm again? She explained that in fact, she was not so tired, and her parents-in-law helped to share a lot.

She likes weeding best. It took five minutes to hoe two square meters. When she reached the next four square meters, she thought, can it take eight minutes? It only took seven minutes, and she would be happy because it was one minute faster. Once, her friend came and they were weeding together. They both laughed and said, “you don’t have to think about anything, just cut it. This is the joy most people can’t get.”

Recently, someone suggested that she try to improve the competitiveness of the farm. When she realized that there was anxiety, she would immediately pull her mood back and remind herself, in that case, what was the difference with her previous life?

The original intention of young people returning home to farm is to stay away from stress and anxiety. Now, she is busy raising a cat and a dog, which are her closest friends in the countryside.

“The sunset every day is very beautiful, the sound of rain is very beautiful, and the cat sleeps next to me.” Busily, she said that she felt that the romance of the Chinese people was to return to Tian and Di in the end. Such a life made her feel satisfied.


Side B of returning home life:

No poetry, more loneliness

Rural life can be very poetic, but this is not the whole truth.

No matter how beautiful it is, it’s still not easy to farm by yourself.

The first problem is digging. The ridge was long and the hoe was heavy. At first, when she dug a quarter of it, her hands were sour. The second problem is weeding. The grass in the field grows very fast. It grows madly as soon as it rains. She has to hoe continuously. Just after hoeing one side, it grows again on the other. Gu Cheng said in his poem that “the grass is growing its seeds, and the wind is shaking its leaves”. Every time at this time, busy people will roast in their hearts, how can there be such a poetic meaning, “grass can’t be eliminated”.

? I was busy taking my aunt out to see a doctor. After more than half a month, the field was covered with weeds / photo by the interviewee

There are not many young people who can bear the hardship of farming.

Zhang Shusheng’s hometown is the core producing area of white tea, and local farmers live by picking tea. Their family is a tea merchant. They pick and make their own tea and sell their products through live broadcasting of the tea picking process. He used to pick tea and worked very hard. Now he simply asks workers to do it. His father makes tea. He promotes it online. He only picks tea occasionally and helps his father move tea.

Cai Cai, who has lived in her hometown for two years, said that although she has returned to the countryside, she only occasionally enjoys farming. After all, not everyone can persist in working in the hot sun for a long time. Living in the countryside, “many people can’t even endure mosquitoes,” Qian Qian also said.

For some young people, the real life of returning home is that their parents are at home, they don’t have to worry about eating, there are ethnic groups in the land, they can rest at ease, and their basic life can be satisfied. But the disadvantage is that there are many mosquitoes, no takeout, no social entertainment, and even no one to talk about.

Zhang Shusheng’s daily life is very simple now. He goes to the mountains to live pick tea or give lectures, and then goes to the town to deliver goods.

Zhang Shusheng said that living in the city is very lonely. I’m too tired from work, I don’t want to move when I get home, and I seldom have the opportunity to meet new friends. After my familiar colleagues leave, many people have no contact. What surprised him was that his life after returning home was even more lonely.

Once, he and his cousin rode an electric bike into the mountains to pick tea. At a sharp turn, they fell down and couldn’t get up in pain. The countryside is sparsely populated, and it is hard to pass by a person and ask them, “did you get hit or fell?”, He replied, “it was a fall”, and the other party left. After lying down for five minutes, they got up on their own. Later, I learned that I had broken a rib.

Their hometown is a backward village. As soon as it gets dark at 8 p.m., there will be no one on the road. There are no peers in the town, and he can only talk to his parents and the courier.

? it hasn’t rained for a long time, and the tea trees have been dried. Zhang Shusheng is worried about the reduction of tea production next year / photo provided by the interviewee

At first, he was glad that he didn’t need to socialize after returning home, but later, he found that he needed to socialize. When sending express, he would specially chat with the courier for a while, occasionally communicate with colleagues in the next town, and also go to the county every few days to eat some delicious food.

In addition to loneliness, Zhang Shusheng’s parents also urged him to marry when he returned home. When I worked in a big city, I was only urged to go home for the Spring Festival, but when I returned home, it had become a big problem that my parents talked about.

His family introduced him to two blind dates, one was a teacher and the other was a civil servant. After they met, there was no follow-up. Zhang Shusheng felt that he had no common topic with them. But their parents are still anxious. When they eat, they always turn the topic to marriage and love. Whenever Zhang Shusheng refutes, they will quarrel. Just last week, he and his father almost quarreled about urging marriage.

Back in the countryside, life was indeed easy, but after being used to urban life for many years, he had difficulty integrating into the rural living environment, and there were also generational differences in concepts with his parents. The same problem also afflicts similar young people returning home.

In front of Zhang Shusheng’s house is a mountain, and in the back is a mountain. “It’s very green and boring”. Facing the flowers, plants and trees in the mountains, he took a picture and sent a circle of friends.


Regardless of the AB surface

Think about your income before you go home

There is a consensus among young people returning to their hometown to farm that farming can provide them with food and drink, but it can not sustain all their needs.

It is worth noting that several young people who returned to their hometown to farm with us have already thought of a way out for themselves before making the decision to return home, which is a very important premise.

Busily, the cost of living in the countryside is small, and a few hundred yuan a month is enough, but she bears a lot of other expenses. She has a mortgage, and she takes medicine for a long time. She has a fixed expenditure of 13000 yuan every month. And because I have been seeing doctors for years, my savings are very small.

After returning home, the busy dessert shop was still open, but it was left to the partners to take care of. Her monthly profit share was one of her main sources of income.

Fortunately, her family still has ancestral property. There are 37 mu of mountains in her hometown. There are many bamboos growing on the mountains. Although the selling price is not high, cutting the bamboos once to sell them will remove the labor cost, and the remaining money will bear her food and drink for a year. There is no problem.

In addition, she also learned photography, took some part-time jobs, and earned some odd income.

? after the seedlings are planted, they are busy watering the fields with a watering pump / the interviewee provides pictures

Zhang Shusheng mentioned that he would resign and return to his hometown. A very important reason is that, relying on the white tea industry in his hometown, he earned more from his sideline of selling tea than from his main business.

When he was still working in Guangzhou, live broadcasting with goods developed rapidly after the epidemic. He also tried it. He broadcast live for 10 hours a day, cooperated with his sister, one broadcast during the day and one broadcast at night, and persisted for nearly half a year. In the first month, he earned 8000 yuan by live broadcasting. Later, the monthly income of his sideline stabilized at more than 10000 yuan.

Before returning home, he had accumulated some customers. Now, his monthly expenditure is less than 1000 yuan, and his income is 20000 to 30000 yuan. Zhang Shusheng’s savings have reached six figures.

If there are no other sources of income, many people choose to start their own businesses when they return home to live. According to our observation, there are three common ways to do e-commerce, open farms and do we media by combining local resources.

But no matter which one, it is full of challenges.

Such as opening a farm. At the beginning, Qianqian came with an entrepreneurial mindset. The farm is a place for guests to pick and have a picnic. It also organizes some activities and provides commercial photography.

At first, she only planned to invest 200000 yuan. Before she went to university at the age of 19, Qianqian had been planting land in her hometown. Planting flowers and fruit trees was not a problem. She thought that the budget would be enough without labor costs, but unexpectedly, the invisible cost was more than she imagined. For example, in order to avoid worries about planting, she first did soil improvement on the farm. At first, she thought that it would be OK to spend 100000 yuan, but later she found that nothing would change after spending 100000 yuan. Considering all kinds of costs, small tomatoes that sell for 5 yuan a catty locally have to sell for 25 yuan a catty.

In order to maintain the farm, she had to sell her house in the city. Up to now, the farm has spent nearly 600000 yuan in three years. This is still in the absence of natural disasters on the way. It will only be more difficult for inexperienced people to do it. The recent high temperature in Chengdu has also affected the business of the farm.

What annoyed her was that a guest asked how much the farm cost, and she answered the number very seriously, “600000”. The guest smiled and said, “give me 50000, and I’ll give you this in half a year.”.

It’s not easy to be an we media. Sang Sang, 32, whose hometown is in a small village in Yunnan, chose to go home to do rural we media after she resigned naked last year. She plans to do local specialties and bring goods after she makes traffic. But when I came back, I found that the pressure was no less than that in the city, and I often couldn’t sleep because of anxiety.

She started an old account with small fans. The highest number of broadcasts was 120000, and the lowest was only 4000. Data can affect her mood throughout the day. Before going out to do farm work in the morning, she was depressed because of the lack of data. When she came back, she found that the traffic had increased and became happy again. At first, she edited a long video and found that no one was watching it. The traffic was so small that she wanted to give up. After the traffic of her short video account was normal, she was worried that the account would be so lukewarm.

A blogger who went home to farm told us that he had nearly 10000 we media fans. After two years, he only received one advertisement.

It’s not easy to do e-commerce, it’s a whole system. Zhang Shusheng’s e-commerce business also benefited from his attempts in the past half year before returning home.

Li Fei, a professional who graduated from agronomy and has been engaged in agricultural work for five or six years, told us that when returning to rural areas to start a business, we should first think about the mode and orientation. “Many people do not understand agriculture. When they hear the old man say, ‘if you don’t study well, you go back to farming’, they think that farming is simple. In fact, it is not. If there is a problem in any link from planting to harvest, the crops may be destroyed.”.

He has seen many people who return home to start businesses, especially those who work on farms, underestimate the difficulty. Some real estate owners contract a piece of land for planting, and the rent is more than 100000 yuan a year. They think that the investment is not high. “But in fact, if the crops are planted in greenhouses, it will cost more than 1 million yuan. If the products are not good in the second year, they will not be able to do it in the third year.”.

Farming is extremely time-consuming and costly. “In the first year, we may not encounter pests and diseases. In the second year, we need to ask someone for advice. At this time, we know how to prevent in advance. In the third year, we need to prevent in advance, and the process needs to go through again. One season is half a year. If we don’t have solid basic skills, we may step on the pit and spend a lot of money,” Li Fei reminded.


The greatest enemy

Not a source of income

Unlike lying flat in the county seat, returning home also worries about being disconnected from the modern city. What if one day you want to return to the workplace?

Sociologist Fei Xiaotong mentioned in his “native China” when he analyzed the difference between agricultural culture and industrial culture, “people who do industry can choose to live in the land, and there is no obstacle to their migration, but people who plant the land can’t move the land. The crops growing in the soil can’t move, and the old farmers who wait on the crops also seem to be half inserted into the soil, and the atmosphere of the land is caused by the immobility”, “The modern society composed of strangers can’t cope with the customs of the local society.”.

In the process of modernization, we have left the local society, and young people return to the local society. Can the lifestyle developed in the non mobile local society still adapt to the fast moving modern society?

After a few months of farming, busy people have a sense of crisis that they are out of touch with society. The Internet can connect everything. It’s not difficult to understand the world in the countryside, but it can’t connect with changes in the workplace. Only those who are in it can really feel it.

Is it really OK not to work?

In her village, there is an e-commerce base. A couple from Anji County are doing tea business. She often chats with them and learns about other people’s entrepreneurship stories. She took the initiative to find an e-commerce company to do part-time work, writing and planning for them.

She mentioned that this is different from the mentality when she worked in the past. In the past, work required stable output, but now I want to keep myself in a learning state, understand what social needs are and what the outside world requires of people in the workplace, and keep myself and the workplace matched.

? after the rain this spring, Zhang Shusheng casually took a picture of tea mountain / the respondent

Zhang Shusheng also mentioned that before returning home, he worried about what to do if his career experience was interrupted for a long time and his business could not be done back home. However, he thought that when he returned to his hometown to do e-commerce, he was responsible for all aspects of live broadcasting, customer service, copywriting and product shooting. This experience would also be helpful for him to enter the e-commerce industry in the future, which made him feel more secure.

In order to open a farm, Qianqian sold her house. However, she stressed that she did not want to give people the misleading impression that they would “burn their bridges” and return home. Later, they bought a house in a relatively remote area. The programmer’s husband didn’t participate in the opening of this farm, but he still maintained a normal white-collar work life. Even if she gives up the farm in the future, “with these experiences, even if she works in a flower shop, she can find a job,” said Qianqian.

They have all figured out a way out for themselves. Starting from farming, they either combine local agricultural products with e-commerce, open up new income channels through entrepreneurship, or let themselves keep working in another way, so that they can have a window to understand the world of work.

So, don’t you worry?

Now, Zhang Shusheng earns 20000-30000 yuan a month from tea, which is far more than when he goes to work. However, he said that he would feel anxious because he wasted his time.

Now is the off-season of tea business, and Zhang Shusheng has a lot of free time. What he does every day is to play with his mobile phone and empty himself. The tea business is stable but there are no challenges. He feels that he is lying in a comfortable area, comfortable in the circle, but there is a bottleneck, and he has no strength to move forward.

Recently, he finally found a way to make himself less anxious – reading. Playing mobile phones has a sense of guilt, but reading books can’t, which makes him feel that he is studying and can calm his subconscious anxiety.

She has been busy and anxious, which is also the reason why she works part-time in e-commerce companies. She realized that people would not feel empty because of new inputs. She seriously learned to grow vegetables, learn to shoot short videos, and learn the content of new fields. She graduated from the architecture major and wanted to get a certificate.

After living in both urban and rural areas, Zhang Shusheng understood that there are contradictions in life everywhere, but the main contradictions have changed in different places.

In the past, when he was in Guangzhou, he could not save money even after a month of careful calculation. The main contradiction in life was to make more money. Now that I have returned to my hometown and earned enough money to spend, the main contradiction has become how to make myself not empty.

He realized that whether he lived in the city or returned to his hometown to develop, it was only a way, not a life-saving straw. “If it is used as a lifesaver straw, once you choose to fail, your life will become very hopeless, and returning home may become the last straw that will crush you.”.

In 2020, Zhihu had a question, “what do you want to do most if the epidemic is over”. At that time, I busily wrote down the answer: “I want to go back to the old house in the countryside to live, grow roses, and raise a dog”. Now, this kind of life has come true.

Busy busy felt that the premise of returning to the countryside to farm was that she had the capital to live in the city. In the final analysis, the pressure of life does not come from the city or the countryside, but from one’s own heart.

“If you are anxious, what is the reason for your anxiety? To solve it and do it. Where to live is not the end point of solving problems.” He said hurriedly, “to return to the countryside should not be to flee from the city to return to the countryside. If so, you will one day flee from the countryside to return to the city”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *