Leisure farming in Beijing. Central Cultural Leisure Park.

Today I am going to show you a new agricultural and leisure park that we have visited in China. It is the Central Cultural Leisure Park (CCLP). This large tourist complex is located in the Haidian district, northeast of Beijing, at the foot of the famous Mount Fragrant Hills Park.

In case you haven’t read the post Peri-urban Agriculture: a tourist business in China, I will tell you that places like this are becoming very fashionable in the cities of this country (we have already visited others such as the Qixin Ecological Garden, in Tianjin, and the Tianze Farm, in Taian). It is a mix between a leisure park and an agricultural farm, combining food production with tourist visits and the “ Pick up farm ” that Álvaro will tell you about very shortly.

Have you seen something similar in your cities? If so, tell us!!

How is and what is in the Central Cultural Leisure Park?

The photo below corresponds to the entrance of the Central Cultural Leisure Park. As you can see in the photo of the map above, it is a very large place divided into several sectors and each of them is dedicated to something different.

Among other things, they are engaged in the cultivation of mushrooms. There are greenhouses and terraces outside with vegetables, and an area with farm animals where they produce, for example, chicken or duck eggs or where you can ride a horse.

There are several areas of the park dedicated to growing fruit: they have cherries, blueberries, peaches, apricots, medlars, dragon fruit, apples, strawberries, blackberries… This is one of the photos I took in one of the strawberry greenhouses.

In the south-east part we can find almost four hectares with vines, where grapes are grown for fresh consumption and to make a homegrown wine that they also sell. They grow more than 50 different grape varieties (early, medium and late), so that fresh grapes are available almost all year round.

There’s even a playground and a go- kart track for the little ones. They also have an area for workshops and visits, which they call «Happy farm», where children can learn about seeds and crops (a first contact with horticulture so that they learn where the food we eat comes from and how They are cultivated). There are also several gardens where flowers are grown and sold, and a lake for fishing.

But everything does not end here… in the Central Cultural Leisure Park there is a building where traditional cultural shows and a restaurant are mounted. And, for people who live far away and want to spend a couple of days with the kids enjoying the park or visiting the touristy Fragrant Hills Park, there are also a couple of hotels.

In short… the Central Cultural Leisure Park has it all! Lots of fruit trees, greenhouses and open-air crops connected by paths where you can take pleasant walks in the middle of nature. This is just what many of the urbanites who go to places like this are looking for: to get out of the gray and polluted city to see a little more green, perhaps that is why these places are so common on the outskirts of the cities of China.

What activities can be done?

In addition to being in contact with nature and animals, the Central Cultural Leisure Park offers a “Pick up and go” service: visitors go around the place and pick up the fruits and vegetables they eat directly from the different greenhouses or fruit trees. they want to take home. Then, before leaving, they pay based on what they have collected.

Schools can also request excursions to the Central Cultural Leisure Park, in which a guide or instructor shows the children some of the greenhouses, visits the farm and takes part in a workshop at the « Happy farm». On our visit, in fact, we met a small group of 7-year-old children who were visiting the place, as you can see in the photo.

A novelty that we have not seen in other tourist agricultural parks like this one is that urbanites interested in growing crops can rent plots for horticultural crops in some of the greenhouses. They are terraces of 30 square meters and cost 4,000 Yuan a year (about 550 euros). The people who rent them can plant whatever they want and take their own harvest with them when it’s ready. According to what we have been told, that price also includes seeds, irrigation, garden tools and fertilizer products. The plots are more expensive than those we saw at Shanghai’s Jiashan Skyfarm, but they are also larger and are inside a greenhouse rather than outdoors, allowing for cultivation during thewinter.

I leave you the photos of one of the greenhouses with rental plots, in which you can see some lettuce, cabbage, celery, carrots, turnips, chillies, etc.

During our visit we learned a few things about the cultivation and pest control methods used in this place. Álvaro will tell you more when he tells you about the Central Cultural Leisure Park. All the best!

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