Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Urban Farms

Click the pix for larger picture.

There are no suburbs here. You go from city to farm land. Feeding 1.3 billion people is serious work and you cannot do it by American style suburban sprawl. Farming in this part of the world is done intensively by hand. The biggest piece of farm machinery I have seen around here is a very big rototiller. Plows are pulled by buffalo. Really. They may be catching the attention of the world with high speed trains, but the food is grown by hand.
Throughout the city there are still plots of land that are being farmed. There is even a big city park that has a strawberry field in it. We eat very fresh produce, that has been grown very close to here. It may not be organic, but it is fresh and was grown and delivered using a minimum amount of petroleum products.
Farming is better here than in most parts of China. There are 3 growing seasons, the land is fertile, water is plentiful, and the soil is good. A farmers life is never easy, but there are farmers here who have prospered. They grow vegetables, rice, fruit, chickens, ducks, pigs, and some have branched into fish and shrimp farming.
I appreciate having the kind of fresh food that we have here. The chicken I eat was running around recently. The green veggies were picked yesterday. The fruit came from the next town. The shrimp are still flopping around.
The contrasts here are remarkable. I can get honked at by a black Mercedes with dark tinted windows, get on the bus and sit down next to a sunburnt woman who has a bamboo pole and two baskets full of bananas.

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