Urban Farming And The Food Revolution In Hong Kong!Wed 30 Jan 2013
Story by Beatrice Chan
Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world (we rank 4th). Our sparse lands are mainly used for building skyscrapers (over 1,200 of them and all for offices) and of course for housing (living in the 30th floor or higher is very common).
The line between rural and urban is blurred here. Itís not uncommon for people to travel for up to two hours on public transport in order to get to work on a daily basis. Our previous farmlands were mostly replaced by buildings, as the return rate of farming could never keep up with economic development. Therefore, 94% of our foods are imported and 85% of them are imported from China.
However some of the imported food is not of a high quality with some of the food practices being questionable, therefore many people in Hong Kong are losing faith in such imported goods.
A Revolution In Bloom
Hong Kongers need to save ourselves and our next generation. Food revolutionaries and local die-hard farmers have been fighting alone for the past decade. However, with the prevalence of consuming local and organic food spreading across the globe, the increased demand led to the revival of local farming and farmerís markets. We can now purchase in season local vegetables and at the same time support our local farmers.
Another very interesting revolution also emerges inside the city center. HK Farm is one of the pioneers of rooftop farming in Hong Kong and some other commercial rooftop farming sites have also opened for the public to rent their own growing box in order to plant and grow their own food. Local families are beginning to utilize their balconies, rooftops and even windowsills to start growing their own herbs and vegetables.
Additionally, we also have some large-scale investment taking place here in Hong Kong, such as a commercially run hydroponic vegetable farm which started in 2012. This is all very exciting news for us yet we still have a long way to go!
My Experience as a City Farmer
I recently joined a community rooftop planting course to learn the basic technique of urban farming. Itís very excited to be surrounded by skyscrapers and to check the lovely bok choy, tomato and green peas planted in a wooden box placed in a rooftop of an old industrial building.
I believe we are what we eat and we can bring back farming and local food to our city. Itís just a matter of time and we will keep working hard at it.
About the author: Beatrice Chan is an adventurist and voluntary ambassador for the Food Revolution in Hong Kong. She has travelled around the world to experience different cultures and food. She writes freelance article for magazines on food, restaurants and travel. In 2013, she hopes to bring food education, sustainability (local & urban farming) and cherish our precious food (combating food waste & to support food bank) to the food revolution in Hong Kong as well as in Asia. She is also the mastermind behind a community project: www.go.asia. Follow us on Facebook and check out our blog.
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