Category — China
A mix of new and old technologies such as aquaponics and polytunnels are helping to make profitable city-based farming a reality in the world’s biggest cities
By Tom Levitt
One of the world’s largest aeroponic farms has been running for more than a decade in Singapore, producing cut and bagged salads and herbs for local supermarkets – perishable products that are difficult to import.
According to local urban farming expert He Jie, professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the ability to grow vegetables without soil makes aeroponics well-suited to a dense, urban setting.
April 8, 2013 No Comments
Asian Cairns, Sustainable Megaliths For Rural Urbanity – Shenzhen 2013, China
By Vincent Callebaut Architects
Six multifunctional farmscrapers
The six gardening towers engraved in a Golden Triangle pile up a mixed programmation superimposing farmingscrapers cultivated by their own inhabitants. Like our Dragonfly project in New York, the aim is to repatriate the countryside in the city and to reintegrate the food production modes into the consumption sites. The megalithic towers are based on cairns, artificial stone heap present on the mountains to mark out the hiker tracks. Clever exploits of the construction, these six towers pile up housing, offices, leisure spaces in the monolithic pebbles superimposed on each other along a vertical central boulevard.
March 9, 2013 No Comments
The Perennial Plate – Episode 110: A Tale of Two Rooftops
Filmed and edited by Daniel Klein, Mirra Fine
Created by theperennialplate.com
In Partnership with Intrepid Travel
(Must see. Mike)
“As a series we’ve covered a number of urban farms, it’s a subject that’s near and dear to our hearts as urbanites. Farms in the city, and particularly rooftop farms seem to be an obvious way to make positive change in our food systems. For that reason we wanted to see what two iconic Chinese cities had to offer. We found a burgeoning new movement with two charismatic folks at the forefront. Meet our farmers from Beijing and Hong Kong.”
January 6, 2013 No Comments
UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are increasingly looking to entomophagy as a substitute for meat and fish
By Harold Thibault
KUNYANG – Li Jinsui is an ambitious man. He invested 250,000 euros of his own money in this insect factory, sitting amidst the hills of Kunyang, on the outskirts of Kunming, the capital of the southwestern province of Yunnan. With seven patents, production officially kicked off in 2009.
Since then, no visitor comes by without being offered a plate of bamboo worms, one of the dishes in his catalogue. Yunnan Insect Biotechnologies also offers dried larvae, protein powder from insect exoskeletons and actual insects for human and animal consumption.
Li could be a pioneer. Experts from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are increasingly looking to entomophagy as a substitute for meat and fish but also as a cheaper alternative to animal feed, especially in fish farms.
November 20, 2012 No Comments
A growing number of people have taken to “urban farming” in the wake of a series of food safety scandals.
By He Na
Han Qunhui’s home in Changsha, Hunan province, is situated in a large community where most of the buildings look the same. Even friends who’ve visited several times before have been apt to get lost in the “maze” of houses.
But that’s all changed recently. Now, visitors can find Han’s home quickly, even if they still have no idea of her building and room number.
The change is due to Han’s balcony: It resembles a green tent hanging outside the fifth floor, with towel gourd vines, rows of beans and agaric vegetables overflowing the open balcony, where large bowls of endive, lettuce and shallots also grow.
September 19, 2012 No Comments
Kickoff meeting was on August 11, 2012
Co-organized by HomeShop and Jonas Nakonz
From their website:
A gathering to exchange information on urban farming in Beijing. It’s an opportunity to meet likeminded people, learn some facts and d.i.y. techniques, and share knowledge and experiences. How can we access soil and fertilizer? Where can we get seeds? What materials can we use for containers, and where can we put them? How can we work together to make it easier and more fun?
September 5, 2012 1 Comment
Labourer working on a construction site in the summer heat in Ningbo, east China’s Zhejiang province. China’s countryside is facing a widening wealth gap as hundreds of millions of rural residents abandon farming for better paid work in cities, according to a report released on August 21.
China study warns rural wealth gap near ‘danger’ level
Aug 22, 2012
SHANGHAI: China’s countryside is facing a widening wealth gap as hundreds of millions of residents abandon farming for better paid work in cities, a report said, warning rural inequality was approaching “danger” levels.
The Centre for Chinese Rural Studies said inequality in rural areas was growing given the difference in incomes between those who farmed and those who flocked to cities as migrant workers.
“The difference in rural residents’ income is getting bigger and pressure on living expenses is increasing,” the centre said in a statement reported in state media today.
August 23, 2012 No Comments
There are also plots here for people to rent and grow their own
By Stephen Couling
22nd July 2012
Signs of a healthier, cleaner and greener China are around us. We are walking, one morning, from the bus stop some way north of the Summer Palace in Beijing to visit Little Donkey Farm, a 15 Hectare organic, open-field operation set up in 2008 in Houshajian West Village in the Haidian District in north-west Beijing. Here is Beijing’s first-ever Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) scheme. It also had partnerships with the Haidian District Agriculture and Forestry Ministry and the Renmin University School of Agricultural, Economics and Rural Reconstruction Department. The stated mission here is “to include agriculture in the tertiary industry of culture and heritage through mobilising not just farmers, but citizens, NGOs, and governments to join the sustainable agricultural movement.”
July 29, 2012 1 Comment
With growing wealth, concerns about food safety and the fever for online shopping, more urbanites are taking to farming on their own terms.
By Zheng Jinran
June 23, 2012
The perfect storm of two major trends in China – online shopping and growing concerns about food safety – has given birth to a generation of urban farmers.
More urban residents, many of whom are young people between the ages of 25 to 35 living in metropolises such as Beijing, are growing vegetables and herbs on their balconies or rented farmland in the suburbs, and turning to Taobao, a major online shopping service provider in China, to start their apartment gardens.
June 24, 2012 No Comments
The latest statistics from China’s Ministry of Agriculture indicate that, at the end of 2011, more than 700 million tourists from across the country had participated in various leisure agriculture activities.
Web Editor Zhang
It is a fresh, weekend morning after a night of rain at a farm ranch located in Huairou District in suburban Beijing. A number of people are busy working in the fields, planting new seeds, watering vegetables, and harvesting. But these happy workers aren’t actual farmers, but rather city dwellers who choose to spend their weekends farming.
And it’s not only white-collar workers who want to escape the city of steel and concrete; the majority of these “occasional farmers” are retirees. Jia Yanming once conducted research with electron microscopes at the China Science Academy before she retired. Together with her husband, Jia now rents an 800 square meter vegetable greenhouse in Huairou. Jia tells us why she decided to move to the countryside four years ago:
May 28, 2012 No Comments
Join Goodtochina’s Skyfarms!
Feb 15, 2012
GoodtoChina launches Skyfarms – a rooftop community initiative in Shanghai – a place for people to come together, learn, and grow their own fresh, local, organic food in a gorgeous and convenient setting. GoodtoChina, with our partners at Jiashan Market and Anken Green, will make it as easy as possible for you to succeed as an urban farmer!
March 14, 2012 No Comments
“Moving to the cities, we are told not to grow vegetables, not to raise chickens in the community, not to leave things in the corridors, and so on and so forth because these habits may annoy our neighbors. But it’s not that easy to change.”
By Liu Yujie
Zhang Guichun, a 55-year-old Beijinger, has astonished the local community with his organic “hanging garden” on the roof of his traditional courtyard home north of Tian Tan, or the Temple of Heaven in southern Beijing.
“Even if we don’t have enough land in the city, agriculture can go vertical, up to roof and balcony,” Zhang notes.
Zhang, a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, began creating his “hanging garden” five years ago, and now it is home to some 30 kinds of vegetables and fruit, including tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet bell peppers, melons and watermelons – all enough to feed his family.
December 18, 2011 No Comments
Shelley Xu, a visitor to our Compost Garden in Vancouver, looked at some Chinese language websites for information on urban agriculture.
I did some searching on the web and found a Chinese site named “CityFarmer” and some other sources, most of which have information for the public at a grassroots level. Since there’s limited residential space in urban areas, most gardeners utilize their balcony spaces. Community gardens can also be found, and there are some privately owned farms open to the public for recreational/educational visits.
November 10, 2011 No Comments
Gardens of Beijing – Video
By DJ Clark
Part of a series on the Food Crisis in Asia
July 20, 2011
(Very interesting! Must see. Mike)
About three years ago Tom Huang found himself in increasing pain from a bad stomach and went to the hospital for a diagnosis. The doctors told him it was the food he was eating that caused the problem and he needed to change to a healthier diet. Tom could not afford the expensive organic food offered in the Beijing supermarkets so he joined the increasing army of urban farmers tending small plots of land on the outskirts of the city.
July 21, 2011 No Comments
We now have about 100 plots of land rented out.
Residents in Beijing pluck their own vegetables straight from the soil in urban farm plots that have sprung up on the outskirts of the city.
A recent string of food safety scandals have prompted some health-conscious citizens to boycott the markets and grow their own produce by renting their own plots on a local farm.
July 14, 2011 No Comments
China goes organic after years of ‘glow in the dark pork’ and ‘exploding watermelons’
After years of nerve-racking food scares from “melamine milk” to “glow-in-the-dark” pork and “exploding watermelons” urban China is starting to embrace the shoots of a new, green revolution and is going organic.
By Peter Foster
29 May 2011
From a runner-bean spotted spiralling along the balcony balustrade of a Beijing apartment, to long waiting-lists for allotments, a plethora of gardening websites and a mushrooming of organic farms and shops, Chinese families are increasingly looking to “grow their own”.
In recent years China has been hit by a number of food scandals and fears about safety have lingered. In 2008, 300,000 babies became seriously ill and six babies died after being given formula contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine.
May 31, 2011 No Comments
Photo by Sue Anne.
Vegetables from a tiny space of land on what had been rubble
By Sue Anne
Shanghain Street Stories
Nov 22, 2010
I recently returned to Dongjiadu (upon learning that westward demolition has resumed with the intention to completely flatten the north part of Old Town (which also hangs blocks away from the Huangpu River by early next year.
In the sole structure that has been spared for refurbishment – the Shangchuan Huiguan or Merchant Shipping Hall – lives a family from Anhui who are responsible for organizing the razing. Nearby, another crumbling structure housed workers from Chongqing, also involved in scrapping and demolition.
November 23, 2010 1 Comment
Peng Qiugen’s neighbors harvest rice on his 120-square-metre roof paddy Photo: Feature China/Barcroft Media.
A Chinese man has grown rice on the roof of his house because his city lacked the open space he needed
By Charlotte Bailey
30 Oct 2008
Peng Qiugen decided to plant rice on the roof of his four storey house in Shaoxing in east China’s Zhejiang province as a novel way to farm in the overcrowded city.
Mr Qiugen planted the rice back in May on his 120-square-metre roof paddy and his crop is now ready to be harvested.
October 26, 2010 No Comments
A pumpkin grown by a family in Nanluoguxiang. Photo: Courtesy of the Nanluoguxiang community.
“Things that you grow yourself are extra tasty.”
By Li Shuang and Chen Jing
September 14 2010
The Beijing Agricultural Bureau is trying to encourage the cultivation of mini-farms on balconies and in yards by offering residents free seeds and farming equipment. Growing one’s own greens can help to reduce carbon emissions, clean the air and release stress.
Starting this Saturday, Beijingers can go to their residence committees to receive a limited number of seeds and fertilizer offered by the bureau.
The information hotline 12316, which used to only serve Beijing’s rural population, is now prepared to field any questions posed by urban farmers.
September 15, 2010 1 Comment
At work in an Alleycat Acres garden. Photo by Alleycat Acres.
Farming in the City: Joys of Growing Food
by Ann Dornfeld
This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report
July 5, 2010
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. Government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of 125 million people.
The short article is about Seattle’s Alleycat Acres. Sean Conroe and Amber Banks are interviewed. Following the story, 42 people from around the world used their limited English to comment on the story and speak about urban agriculture.
July 9, 2010 No Comments