Earlier this year Slow Food convivia in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong organized three simultaneous events to promote the “Farm with the Family” initiative, a project that is bringing producers and consumers closer together. Here we look back at some of the highlights…
SHANGHAI: Slow Food joined forces with Sprout Lifestyle to organize a visit to Biofarm, an organic farm located in the Pudong district. Celebrating its 9th anniversary, the event included a farm tour, in which participants learnt about the concepts of organic fruit and vegetables, bug control, and the rotation of plantations. The guests were able to fully immerse themselves in nature and the quiet atmosphere of the farm as they visited the arugula and tomato plantations, and tasted the fresh plants. After an organic, vegetarian lunch (prepared by the farm employees and extra guests from Slow Food Shanghai), Kimberly Ashton, a local health coach and food educator, taught participants how to prepare healthy crispy rosemary potatoes, and a potato and fennel soup. At the end of the day, participants had the chance to purchase vegetables to take home with them: a perfect end to an escape from the city.
HONG KONG: A group of families and friends braved a thunderstorm and travelled to Zen Organic Farm in the New Territories. A one-hour drive from the island of Hong Kong, the farm, started four years ago, grows approximately one hundred different types of crop, including 20 – 30 varieties of tomatoes and a number of varieties of capsicum. It is about 250,000 square feet in size; 100,000 sq ft of that dedicated to greenhouse use – lucky given the rain! Participants prepared a salad and soup from the farm’s produce, including herbs and edible flowers not available in “normal” supermarkets. As issues of food safety have risen in China, from where most food sold in Hong Kong comes, organic farms have started to gain greater interest in Hong Kong, from both food establishments and the general public: There are now about 200 organic farms in Hong Kong. Zen is devoted to educating the public, especially the young people of Hong Kong.
BEIJING: In an area in which both farms and fruit trees are quite uncommon, Slow Food organized a Cherry Picking Day. Run by a lady who left the city a decade ago after becoming allergic to all sorts of polluting elements, the farm is an hour and a half outside of Beijing. Participants were offered a meal based on local, seasonal and organic products from her land, as well as being taught the first steps in becoming a real Tai Chi practitioner. After lunch, the fruit picking began. Find photos and more information in these two blog pieces:
• Cherry Picking in Beijing!
• Blog piece from Alicia Noel
Find photos from Alicia here