Corn plant
Purple Broccolini
Red Lettuce
Red Beet
Egg Plant
Green Lettuce
Young Goat
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Local produce is being cultivated and valued for deliciousness

Sweet. So juicy sweet, it reminded me of candy. This was my initial reaction to a tiny tomato that I popped into my mouth.

I had brought produce home from a morning visit to an organic farm in the Yuen Long district of Hong Kong. I hauled back a huge bag of beets, cabbage, lettuce, chives, purple broccolini and a modest size bag of tri-colour cherry tomatoes. I should have bought more.

Recently, I have been consciously buying locally grown produce.

I am swayed by the “farm-to-table” movement, which promotes produce sourced directly from farms closest to the diner and consumer. This movement also fosters the idea that food transported short distances, as opposed to being flown or transported from around the world, consumes less fuel and thus is better for the environment. I’m a fan of products sold directly by farmers. I prefer supporting local farmers and find that the flavours and sweetness are best when the produce is consumed soon after harvest. And most importantly, because there is a resurgence of local farms, “locally grown produce” has become much more available and affordable.

I have sought out locally grown, and specifically organic produce from farmer’s markets throughout the city. I have been to ones in Tai Po, Sai Kung and the Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden, where I can get a dozen freshly laid eggs by their resident hens as well as vegetables grown on their farm.

The farm that I went to in Yuen Long has regular events open to the public for educational and promotional purposes.

My friend and I signed up for their “corn harvest” half-day activity. The event was supposed to be a full visit around the farm and a briefing on growing corn, and then we were to harvest our own ears. But we were informed just prior to the date of the visit that some wild cattle had broken into the farm, eating their fill of the tender corn and sweet beets. Alas no more corn to harvest.

Despite that setback, the farm said we were still welcome to visit and harvest other vegetables. Thus, my worthy struggle home with a huge bag of vegetables.

Text & Photos Cammy Yiu