Shanghai Farm Dream

A week ago this morning my neighbors graciously allowed me to go to their farm in the field across from our complex.  I have watched the evolution of farms here for over a year. Before that, it was a field of about 30 acres which will inevitably be developed someday. And unfortunately I can see some changes already happening.  But as for now, less than a quarter of this land is now small gardens.  This land was all farms not too long ago and the people who live in my "community" as it's called were the farmers who were given properties here.  I had been curious about who the farmers were:  the little farms are just far enough away it's hard to make out the people very well.  Now I know that the farm closest to my view is my next door neighbors'!

One day several weeks back I found out my next door neighbors were some of the people farming here, growing many kinds of vegetables like winter melon, bok choi, cabbage, garlic, cilantro, radishes, chillis and sweet potatoes.  They gave me some boiled sweet potatoes and I unceremoniously invited myself to go with them to see their garden soon. 

So last Saturday after some loud bangs on my door to let me know it was time (around 7:30 a.m.) I put on my hikers, climbed over a fence and followed the lady along Suzhou creek to the opening in the fence to the trail through the gardens. 

In a way it was a bit unnerving to connect to the earth with my feet and watch the sky being decorated by super-cranes and jumbo jets coming and going with my eyes. Still it felt great to breathe the autumn air, pull some weeds before the neighbors thinned some green vegetables, and meet some of the other neighbors in our community. 


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