In highly-populated metropolitan cities like Hong Kong, apartment buildings are usually a priority in development over farm land. This prioritizing makes it difficult to buy fresh produce that is not imported from other countries, such as mainland China. While few and far in between, Hong Kong farms exist to provide its city with the freshest produce they can offer. As part of their Rooted in Nature initiatives, Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong and Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong work with 616 Farm in Hong Kong to acquire the best and most sustainable ingredients.
In 1999, Wong Ling opened 616 Farm in Pat Heung as the first organic farm in Hong Kong with a product certification from the Hong Kong Resource Centre Certification Limited. The farm has a number of greenhouses that grow fruits and vegetables year-round, ranging from watermelon to cauliflower. The farm uses organic and sustainable farming practices, such as:
net house cultivation to reduce the use of organic pesticides,
cover planting to reduce water consumption and increase soil microbial species, which benefit the nitrogen and carbon cycles in the soil,
fallow, in which plowed and harvested farmland is left unsown for a period of time to restore its fertility,
and the reduced use of organic pesticides.
In Hong Kong, it can be difficult to buy quality produce in the summer months. To address this, Wong Ling developed protective netting to shield vulnerable choy sum, a leafy vegetable commonly used in Chinese cuisine, to protect the seedlings from rain and strong winds.
Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong and Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong proudly serve fruits and vegetables from 616 Farm in their restaurants. The hotel chefs personally visited the farm to learn more about the organic farming practices and the produce grown on the farm. In 2014, Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong purchased around 1,600 catties of produce, and Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong purchased 314 catties of produce within a four month period. Guests can enjoy the fresh produce in cafe TOO's fresh salad station at Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong, and in Café Kool’s salad station and as garnishes in other dishes at Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong.
With partnerships like this, between our Hong Kong hotels and 616 Farm, we hope to guarantee a lasting future for organic and sustainable farming methods, as well as quality food at our hotels.