K11 urban farming. Orchards in shopping centers

Good morning to all gardeners! During our trip to Shanghai, we have seen several very curious Skyfarms . But we have also visited orchards in unusual places such as the K11 urban farming, an orchard inside a shopping center.

What is the K11?

The K11 is a 61-storey skyscraper present on the Shanghai skyline since 2002, its 278 meters high, including its final antenna, place it in the seventh position among the tallest buildings in the city, which is not a big deal. turkey considering that the second tallest building in the world is located here. Among its most notable services we find an exhibition center, hotels, offices and one of the most famous shopping centers in the city.

K11 urban farming. A didactic and lucrative claim

The K11 urban farming is one of the main attractions of this shopping center since its creation in May 2013. It is located inside the third floor, a special plant dedicated to agriculture and livestock where you can find different restaurants and organic products . Planting workshops are also held a couple of times a month. I am going to describe to you a bit how our experience was:

As we got out of the elevator, the first thing we found was two calves in a pen, something shocking above all in a shopping center … Later we observed that there was also a more adult Friesian cow, housed in a relatively small space for its size … These animals , within the K11 urban farming, they are the subject of thousands of photos a day, receive practically no natural light and live among the voices and the hustle and bustle of the shopping center. Something that seems pretty bad to me, a mall is no place for a cow.

Around these animals we find cow-clad workers who put on a dance show for the children every 20 minutes or so. And all this paraphernalia is nothing more than a claim to sell milk shakes in a place smaller than the calf pen …

To get the positive point out of it, I suppose that many of these children, residents of a city of more than 20 million inhabitants, have never seen a cow in their life and can learn where the milk they consume comes from and touch the animals …

The urban garden of the K11 urban farming

Integrated between these cows we find the urban garden of the K11 urban farming, I am going to divide it into 3 areas to tell you a little better what we found:

Zone A. Terrace zone

In this first area of ​​the K11 urban farming, 6 raised beds made of plastic and insulating materials are grown . Most of these terraces are about 2 square meters in area and 1.5 meters high, others are somewhat longer, about four meters long. In these terraces we can find peppers, lettuces and different aromatic of small size such as basil etc …

According to what they told me, the LED light bulbs that are on these terraces are enough for the growth of the plants and they are watered in the late evening, when the public leaves, through sprinklers integrated next to the lights. For me, the plants were somewhat small although the planting frame was correct, which causes a lack of attention.

Zone B. Workshop zone

This area is the transit space itself, where those interested in K11 urban farming can browse, observing both area A and area C. At the bottom of it, a space is reserved for children to paint or make figurines with plasticine. . It was not very clear to me if the monitors in that space were part of the cow family or not … From what I have read, in this area planting workshops are held a couple of times a month … These workshops are free for the clients of the center commercial, as long as they present purchase tickets worth 1000 RMB, about € 150 …

In this area of ​​the K11 urban farming we also find horticultural crops , in this case mainly potted crops . Turnips or carrots are grown in these pots , but we also find a couple of terraces with peppers. The potted species were growing although a little wild, it gave the impression that they were the product of some workshop or event that has already happened and the pots have been forgotten.

Zone C. Vegetable wall crops

Finally, we find this area, of the K11 urban farming, with large windows and behind them several types of crops: Mushrooms and green shoots.

Mushrooms: As Lucía told you in her article about the exploitation in qixin , spores are inoculated into bags of substrate to achieve this result:

Green shoots: Many of you know that purifying green shakes are in fashion. These green shoots are mainly grass stalks, I personally would not drink it although I have to do more research on them.

My surprise was great when the manager of the restaurant next door told me that those crops, within the K11 urban farming, were his and that all the other terraces in zone A were just a claim so they could go to eat at his restaurant …

All the aromatics, peppers and other crops of the K11 urban farming, were worth nothing more than attracting the customer to the plate of mushrooms or the purifying green juice. There were no workshops on those terraces … Something respectable but not very efficient in my opinion, I think that showing the crops on the glass was more than enough to attract customers …

As positive things, we can say that the K11 urban farming is a curious place where the little ones more urbanites can see the plants grow, touch them, smell them and know where things come from by themselves, but I do not think it is good to use urban agriculture and ecological as a claim.

All the best !

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