I have always been intrigued with urban farming. Although I no longer keep a plot of my own in a community rooftop farm (Cityfarm), I do look back fondly at the pictures of my veggies. Since I have stopped, there is more growth in urban farming (rooftop and hydroponic) in Hong Kong. But can more be done?

I came across two stories that blew me away and took the term urban farming to another level.

Aerofarms and their hydroponic set up at Phillips Academy Charter School in New Jersey is nothing short of amazing. Students grow, learn, and eat all the veggies grown in this system. This really gets students (our future) to understand the importance of food, health and zero waste. My wife and I are new parents. We are constantly making sure our daughter eats fresh stuff. If more schools can integrate and adapt the farm to table concept as part of their curriculum, we would feel more confident in what our kids are eating and learning at school. Plus, there is an undeniable cool factor involved with this that definitely gets kids interested!

Another story I came across is this hydroponic farm right smack in the Pason Groups’ office building in Japan. Incredibly, the veggies and even rice is part of the lunch menu. Employees don’t just eat the food, they are also involved throughout the process. This truly embodies a sense of community. You cannot help but feel reinvigorated yet calm(All the indoor greenery) to be part of workplace that houses such innovation and care for food.

Certainly, there are arguments about the amount of energy used for indoor hydroponic farming. However, this problem can be somewhat mitigated with food actually grown inside your place of work or study. What better really than to have farms in places where you spend the most time in during the weekdays?

As the population of city dwellers continue to trend upward, we need to look for clever solutions that help maximize space and function with our shrinking footprint.

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