New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Hong Kong’s Rooftop Republic

View from rooftop garden. Photos by Melissa Luk.

On a sunny March afternoon I went up with Pol of Rooftop Republic to tour the very high rooftop farm they had set up on the BEA Tower in Kwun Tong, Hong Kong. In this floating oasis we had a chat about how it started and how it’s going.

By Melissa Luk
City Farmer correspondant
April 14, 2018

How did Rooftop Republic begin?

Rooftop Republic was born with the mission to integrate urban farming into our city lifestyle and make it easily accessible to city people. Although we have seen an increase in the number of organic farms in the New Territories (most “rural” part of Hong Kong) over the last years, we realized we needed to bring the urban farming movement to the heart of the city and integrate it with our day to day lives not just something we do once in a while. Whether it’s in the places where we live, where we work, where we go to school or where we socialize, we aspire to put an urban farm on every available roof so that people can reconnect with their own food and their community.

When did this garden start? What was the process like?

We set up this garden in November 2017. We had been planning it for several months. We had to do some minor renovation work for the surface where the planters are now. Before it used to be artificial lawn so we took it out and put new tiles.

After that we set up all the planters, built the irrigation system, did some testing and then put the soil and plants in. This part took around two weeks.

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April 14, 2018   No Comments

Japan: In Kanagawa, homeless grow crops and confidence

Kiyoko Ojima, who helps homeless and other needy people by giving them opportunities to work in agriculture, is seen at her field in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, on March 19. Satoko Kawasaki.

“I wanted to help those who are starving by growing crops,” she said of her passion for agriculture that has led her to run a vegetable field. “There are many people in Japan, too, who struggle to put food on the table.”

By Magdalena Osumi
Japan Times
Apr 9, 2018

Excerpt:

Ojima, 39, engages homeless and other people on social assistance in work in the field, in the city of Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture. “Our main goal is to help these people regain confidence … so they can eventually get back on their feet,” she said in a recent interview with The Japan Times.

Every April about 10 people, men and women ranging in age from their 20s to their 60s, come to Ojima’s 10,000-square-meter field to sow seeds, cut weeds, water plants and harvest crops.

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April 14, 2018   No Comments

China: Beijing closes 321 pig farms in 2017

The city has also chosen more than 20 pig farms to promote the use of waste-processing and water-saving technologies.

Editor: Liangyu
Xinhua|
2018-04-09

BEIJING, April 9 (Xinhua) — Beijing shut down 321 pig farms last year to clean the environment and save water.

The Survey Office of the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing Sunday said the city produced 2.42 million hogs for slaughter in 2017, down 12.1 percent year on year.

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April 14, 2018   No Comments