We saw Hong Kong as a place with huge potential for reversing the current fast-food trend by advocating the benefits of eating local organic food. In early 2009, we initiated contact with local farms that shared our vision. The vegetables feature in recipes at Posto Pubblico, Cantopop, Linguini Fini and Pizzeria Pubblico.
What are the difficulties faced in farming in Hong Kong?
Farmers are facing high labour costs. They’re also facing high rents for farmlands, land reclamation for property development and weather fluctuations.
What are your tips for people to grow vegetables in a small space at home?
Get basic equipment such as a pot, soil and organic fertiliser. Organic seeds can be found in Tai Po Farmers’ Market or seed shops in Yuen Long and Sheung Shui. Place on the roof or on the window-sill in sunlight. Normally you can harvest leafy greens after three months.
How does the KFBG work?
‘Helping people to help themselves’ has been KFBG’s mission since 1.956. KFBG’s current agriculture and sustainable living programmes focus on facilitating community transition towards relying less on fossil fuel. We also create sustainable alternatives for organic resource recovery such as food waste composting and res killing people to grow their own food and setting up community farms.
What should consumers look for when buying good organic produce?
They should look for locally produced, seasonal organic produce. It’s fresher and has lower food mileage than imported produce. Farmers’ markets such as the Organic Farmers Market @ Central are the best place to buy local organic produce directly from local farmers. Bring a cloth bag with you, to help cut packaging waste.
What is your vision for I long Kong with this project?
We live at the centre of an amazing natural landscape, yet we often forget about this nature nearby, which is the real luxury. The Canopy is a building where the inside and the outside are not so far apart.The flats are modern tree houses: immersed in nature.
How can Hong Kong residents ‘green’ their existing homes?
It would be great if all Hong Kongs balconies and rooftops were filled with greenery. So many rooftops in older buildings are used as dumps or even abandoned. It’s very easy to install thin, real grass flooring and a few pots.
How does The Canopy differ from green roofs?
Green roofs are a great start, but a green roof can’t give you the ability to enjoy greenery from inside your home, simply by opening the windows.