Community Farming Day at Anken Green by Katherine Szeto

Posted on | January 7, 2012 | No Comments

I love the idea of urban farming.

We tried to grow vegetables on our balcony this summer, but possessing inexperienced green thumbs, my husband and I harvested probably about 20 beans and a few small tomatoes. Pretty disappointing.

So helping with the harvesting of the veggies at Anken Green was a good substitute. Originally, I was supposed to head up to Moganshan with my small family, and a group of friends this past weekend. But Mia, my daughter, developed an ear infection and a nasty cough, so the doctor advised us to stay in town just in case things turned for the worst. So she and I stayed in Shanghai while my son and my husband headed for nature.

Not wanting to disappoint, I promised my daughter a fun weekend. We headed to Anken Green.

Katherine, her daughter Mia and GoodtoChina's Susan Evans at Anken Green

It was beautiful weather (albeit a bit chilly), and great to see the rows of plants under the big blue sky. After surveying the small rooftop farm, Mia and I got to work picking turnips. At first Mia was reluctant: she’s 3.5 and in the past year, has developed an aversion to getting dirty. But digging dirt with a spade was too much fun to worry about a bit of dirt. She dug and plucked turnips, and put them in little piles. After there were no more turnips to pick, we turned our attention to the romaine lettuce, then the spinach and then the carrots (of which Mia quickly downed 4, straight from the soil. Talk about fast food!) We got dirt on our shoes and pants, and under our fingernails. It was great!

Mia eating a carrot she harvested

While digging, we found a few worms and a snail. Mia was a bit scared at first, but seeing me and some of the others pick them up, she wanted to too. In the end, she happily took home 6 worms and named them all either FreddySocks or Biscuit (the names of our 2 cats) and insisted that they be placed next to her bed so she could play with them in the morning.

It was a great experience for us both. Not only did we come home with a bag full of fresh vegetables, we got to do what few city dwellers get to do.

Anken Green owner Alexandra Chu with the scarecrow

 

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