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Rooftop Agriculture – Chinese Farmer Turns House Roof into Fertile Farmland

The curious case of the Chinese Rooftop strikes again!

First, there was the eccentric businessman who built a mountain-villa on the roof of a Beijing apartment building. Then there was that mysterious temple built on a Chinese skyscraper. Now we have the story of farmer Peng Quigen and his one-of-a-kind ‘sky-farm’. For several years, he has been growing rice, fruits and vegetables on the roof of his four-storey home in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, 40 feet above the ground.

Peng’s sky-farm is no hobby. What he has done with just 120-square-meters of rooftop is pretty remarkable. He’s actually managing to yield large quantities of produce from this small, yet fertile, patch. Just last year, Peng harvested nearly 400 kilograms of watermelon, which is a whopping 30 percent higher than ground-level yield. This year he’s trying out rice – he says that in spite of the negative impact of typhoon ‘Fitow’, he’s expecting to harvest enough rice to feed one adult for one whole year.

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Photo: Xu Yu/Xinhua News

What makes this small patch of artificially built farmland so special? Peng thinks it’s mainly because of the compact structure. He says that water loss and soil erosion aren’t much of a problem for him, at least not as much as in a normal farm, so the productivity is higher.

Most other rooftop constructions in China are illegal. But all of Peng’s neighbors are pretty much in love with his little sky-farm and routinely offer to help him with harvesting. Even the local authorities haven’t raised any objections so far.

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Photo: Xu Yu/Xinhua News

Could it be that this farmer from small-town China has managed to find a solution to the growing problem of producing sufficient food for large masses of people? Rooftop agriculture might just be our future. We’ll have to wait and see.

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Photo: Xu Yu/Xinhua News

Source: Xinhua News

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