Touch the Soil News #285
Imagine one day waking up and realizing you need to go home, but you are a million miles from home. Home in this sense is the family farm of three to four generations ago that had a vegetable garden, a couple of milk cows, chickens for eggs, a few acres of grain for bread and some meat animals.
The reason you want to go home is that you have found yourself in a city of 7.5 million people (Hong Kong) that is on the edge of China with 1.4 billion people all looking for more food. The realization hits you that everything must be imported. Food from the global food system is at risk to compromise from adulteration, mis-labeling and price spikes from aggressive speculators. The city has no strategic food stocks in case of some human or natural mishap.
Hong Kong skyline. Hong Kong is an administrative district of China. The city is 98 percent depedent upon imported food - most of which must be flown in.
The reason you become aware of this is because your city’s (Hong Kong) leadership has decided that it should try to save what agriculture remains in the city and it is hitting the news. In 1995, the city had roughly 30 square feet of farmland per person. Estimates are that it takes 45,000 to 60,000 square feet of farmland to feed one person. However today, 2016, the city has less than 10 square feet of farmland per person.
One of the city’s visions is to get people interested in growing food for recreation and pleasure as well as the more important reason of fresh, healthy and local calories and vitamins. The city has a vision to spend $65 million for a 200-acre agricultural park and to nurture local farmers in that park. To fully meet the nutritional needs of the Hong Kong citizens would require an agricultural park of closer to 11 million acres.
So when it comes to food, you are a million miles from home with essentially no way to get home. Your hope is that places like America, one of the largest exporters of food, does not expand its population to a point where it can no longer export food. But then folks in America are not aware that from a dollar basis they import almost as much food as they export. Whoa, what is going on here?
Following is a recent video clip on the waking up of Hong Kong to food gardening: