Growingup

Ur­ban farm­ers are turn­ing China’s con­crete jun­gle into high-rise veg­etable gar­dens

ChinAfrica - - China Report - By Xia Yuanyuan

The [veg­etable] harvest is good. It can sup­port at least half of our fam­ily’s daily use. The green in front of my apart­ment gives me a feel­ing of na­ture, and I feel re­laxed and pleased when­ever I see my lit­tle farm­land.

Since the dawn of chi­nese civ­i­liza­tion there has been an in­nate yearn­ing for peo­ple to live an idyl­lic life sur­rounded by na­ture, far from the mad­den­ing crowds. This green dream has been fil­tered down through mil­len­nia to mod­ern Chi­nese so­ci­ety now en­gaged in the age of tech­nol­ogy in a maze of ur­ban sprawls.

The scarcity of land in big cities has not di­min­ished green dreams and in­stead of spread­ing out­ward, am­bi­tions have scaled heights - quite lit­er­ally.

Crops, veg­eta­bles and fruits are no longer the sole pre­serve of coun­try­side farm­yards. They can now be seen adding value to ur­ban bal­conies and roof top gar­dens, a new ex­pe­ri­ence for many city dwellers who use gar­den­ing as a way to un­wind af­ter a day’s grind and learn some­thing new.

Trim­ming plants in her gar­den in front of her Bei­jing apart­ment, Xiao Shu­juan, 61, said, “I used to plant a lot of flow­ers. With a

lot of idle flow­er­pots, I thought why not plant some veg­eta­bles.” Since Au­gust last year, Xiao and her hus­band be­came ad­dicted to plant­ing dif­fer­ent types of veg­eta­bles in their gar­den, in­clud­ing Chi­nese cab­bage, let­tuce, pars­ley, onion and gar­lic sprouts.

“The harvest is good. It can sup­port at least half of our fam­ily’s daily use,” Xiao told Chi­nafrica. “The green in front of my apart­ment gives me

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.