China’s urban elite is getting its hands dirty, planting fruit and vegetables in plots on their balconies and in their backyards. The number of would-be gardeners seeking allotments on city outskirts has also increased in the past 12 months. Many of them have rural family roots and miss the connection with the soil – some just want to control where their food comes from after several recent food scares. Already, more than half of all the vegetable needs of China’s 18 largest cities and half their meat and poultry is produced in urban areas. In Shanghai, nearly one-fifth of the land is farmed, and the city is self-sufficient when it comes to vegetables and fruit. — mz
Originally published in Issue 27 (October) of Monocle magazine.