Chen had no public office, but engaged seriously in sericulture, and was convinced of the high importance of this agrarian sideline business. In his 3-juan-long book therefore, he assembles basic knowledge about mulberry cultivation and silk production. The first fascicle presents basic knowledge about many aspects of sericulture, the second one focuses on mulberry tree cultivation, and the last one on the nourishment of silkworms and methods of gaining and spinning silk yarn.
The texts consists of quotations from older texts as well as on the author's own contributions to the field, as based on his personal experience. The book was finished in 1897 and was republished in modern editions in 1956 (Zhonghua Shuju 中華書局) and 1958 (Nongye Press 農業出版社).