Whenever I travel to Hong Kong, I would seek out unusual activities or places to visit, I am more interested in the ‘alternative’ side beyond shopping and eating. On this visit, I found out about Mapopo organic community farm in Fanling, New Territories, where they would host an evening with guided walk around the farm observing nature, followed by an organic vegetarian meal cooked from locally sourced produce. My friend and I decided to book onto this event to check out what organic farms are like in a small modern city like Hong Kong.
In Asia, you cannot live without mosquito repellents… even though my friend and I had already put on an excellent mosquito repellent cream ( which I bought from Germany!) and used mosquito repellent patches, we still managed to get bitten on areas that we missed! These mosquitoes are terrifying… we felt incredibly sorry for one girl who worn shorts and ended up with about 30 bites on her legs!
Despite the mosquito scare, the event was interesting and informative; we were taken around by young local villagers and were given transparent red paper to cover our torches so that we wouldn’t disturb the insects and animals. The tour lasted about 2 hours and we saw a firefly, several kinds of snails and frogs etc. I learned a lot more about these small creatures at the tour, but what amazed me was the location of this farm: it is only a street away from several residential high rises!
The vegetarian organic meal cooked by a local farm resident was delicious, we were surprised to learn that these tasty vegetables and tofu were all locally produced. However, even though organic farming is on the rise in Hong Kong, there are still many obstacles esp. when land is so scarce here.
At the end of the evening, we were told that the government has proposed to ‘regenerate’ the area by getting rid of more farmland ( the farm had already been reduced by half previously) for more residential high rises! Meanwhile, property developers ( which control Hong Kong on the whole) have already started evicting farmers from their land even though the proposal has not been finalised. I can’t help but feeling angry towards a government which only cares about profit making, yet there is little that we can do to stop them. When nature and its habitants are destroyed, there will be no turning back… I just hope that this community will get more support from the locals and media because only people’s voices can possibly make differences in our societies.
Mapopo organic community farm (their website is only in Chinese) hosts weekly organic farmers market on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons, as well as workshops like ceramics and bread making.