GoodtoChina works with a network of partners to develop integrated urban farms through both rooftop and balcony farming, community farming and indoor hydroponic systems. Working with both companies and community organizations, we have five rooftop farms in Shanghai that act as models for new and ongoing projects:
Jiashan Market, Anken Green, and The Water House Hotel
Initiated in 2009, Jiashan Market was our first urban farm installation and has become an extension of their hip, contemporary and forward thinking community. Like Anken Green and The Waterhouse Hotel, the urban farm grows produce that is used by the cafes and restaurants located in the building. The food is fresh, local and organic, promoting a lifestyle that fits with the desires of the restaurant and its clientele.
Herbs, leafy vegetables, beans, tomatoes and edible flowers are just a sampling of the many plants that are grown on each rooftop. Choices of what to plant were dependent on the needs of the cafes. We have found that once a company adopts a greener roof top policy or an urban farm, the benefits are numerous; our partners are excited about their vegetable garden and feel that it adds an extra level of quality and diversity to their brand, restaurant menu, or overall range of service and employee experience.
In spring 2012, both Anken Green and Jiashan market will open parts of their roof top to community farming, allowing local residents to grow their own food. See upcoming projects below.
HandsOn Shanghai, Minhang
In Spring 2011, GoodtoChina partnered with HandsOn Shanghai as part of their “Make a Difference Day” to create an urban farm on HandsOn Shanghai’s rooftop. Volunteers with FedEx and the Sino-British College transformed grass into garden beds.
Bamboo raised beds were constructed to provide a sustainable yet contemporary way of creating an urban farm. Bamboo is a great renewable resource that is not only local to China, but fast growing and adaptable.
Although Minhang’s green roof policy did not allow for vegetables, volunteers planted edible flowers and aromatic herbs that require little maintenance. This will create a beautiful, colorful and pleasant environment for HandsOn Shanghai’s employees and volunteers.
In June 2011, GoodtoChina and HandsOn Shanghai partnered to transform the garden at the CereCare Wellness Center into an urban farm. Located in the Xuhui District, CereCare was established in 2003 as a treatment center for children with cerebral palsy.
Approximately 20 volunteers helped build raised garden beds and planted vegetables, edible flowers and herbs such as chard, lettuce, dianthus, nasturtiums, mint, rosemary and thyme. The new farm and revitalized backyard will give kids a great opportunity to smell, touch and taste what is growing.