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On Top Of Hong Kong’s High Rises, Rooftop Gardens Take Root

Client Gina Ma (left) stands with Rooftop Republic’s Andrew Tsui (center) and Pol Fàbrega (left) amid the rooftop garden of a French restaurant in central Hong Kong. Rob Schmitz/NPR

Rooftop Republic has helped fill more than 26,000 square feet of rooftop on 22 rooftop farms. The biggest one is on the roof of Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific, where 40 employees manage container vegetable plots on a daily basis.

By Rob Schmitz
NPR
June 24, 2017

Excerpt:

Fàbrega is not a developer. In a city full of bankers, he’s a gardener. He helps run a gardening cooperative called Rooftop Republic that aims to make the best use out of Hong Kong’s thousands of roofs.

“In Hong Kong, currently there’re around 700 hectares of farmland that are being farmed,” explains Fàbrega, “So the amount of rooftop space is almost the same as the amount we’re using today to farm – like, actual farmland.”

Hong Kong’s agricultural contribution to its GDP is 0.02 percent. Fàbrega’s goal is to boost that tiny number by filling Hong Kong’s 1,500 acres of rooftop space with vegetable gardens.

He’s starting small, by giving tutorials to city residents. On the roof of Fringe, a French restaurant in Hong Kong’s Central district, Fàbrega and Rooftop Republic co-founder Andrew Tsui give a tour of garden containers full of Romaine lettuce, kale, cherry tomatoes, and carrots.

Read the complete article here.