Hydroponic & Aquaponics in Hong Kong: How to grow soil-free vegetables yourself & where to buy them

If there’s one thing we can do to counteract the pollutants and stresses that inevitably come with living in Hong Kong, it’s to eat our greens. But supermarket and wet market veggies are often of questionable origin, and heading to your local farmer’s market (if you’re lucky to have one nearby) is not always convenient. Organic vegetables flown from far away have a carbon footprint as high as their price tag. And the city rat-race lifestyle doesn’t exactly leave enough time – or space – for you to nurture a vegetable patch. But what if you could grow vegetables inside your flat, on or your balcony? 

Enter aquaponics and hydroponics, concepts touted by some to be possible solutions to the world’s inevitable food crises. 

 
A Potti home aquaponics kit.

With hydroponics, plants are grown in nutrient-enriched liquid instead of soil. Add fish to the equation, and you get aquaponics, another type of environmentally friendly agriculture in which you raise fish and grow vegetables simultaneously in a symbiotic, circular system. The fish waste provides nutrients for the plants, while the plants filter the water, providing a clean environment for the fish.

Both concepts can be scaled up for commercial purposes, but you can also get teeny-tiny systems for your own home that require minimal effort (compared to the toil and moil of hoeing your own fields, at least). 

Home aquaponics/hydroponics systems

Potti

SuperFarm, an educational organisation, has designed a home aquaponics kit called Potti that’s so portable and so cute you might just want to place one right on your bedside table. Using the Potti system, SuperFarm has been teaching local kids all about sustainability, urban farming, chemistry, and biology. But why leave all the science experiment fun to the kids?

That’s right: with one convenient device, you get to grow your own food, keep pet fish, and brag to all your friends about how green your lifestyle is. Yay! 

What: Potti, the home aquaponics system.
Where to buy: You can grab one on their website.
Cost: 799HKD (does not include the fish)

CityHydrophonics

CityHydrophonics is another company trying to encourage people to grow their own vegetables at home. They recently had a successful crowdfunding campaign on SparkRaise, raising HKD13,000 


A computer rendering of a CityHydroponics balcony system. 

Their modular, customisable system is designed to work in any space, including those random, oddly shaped balconies and terraces that old Hong Kong apartment buildings seem to always have. 

Each system has nutrient rich water constantly running through to make sure the plants get everything that they need and are designed to take up vertical space rather than horizontal. No excuses now Hong Kongers, there’s plenty of room for a new vegetable patch. 

What: CityHydrophonics, hydrophonics for your home.
Where to buy: You can grab one on their website.
Cost: HKD498 and up for small systems, HKD3,200 and up for bigger systems

BONUS: Hydrovege

Hydrovege doesn’t sell DIY systems nor produce, but they are still working hard to promote the system in Hong Kong. Check out their website for their projects, tips to grow your own hydroponic vegetables, and exhibitions! 

Hong Kong aquaponics and hydroponics farms

For those of you that aren’t currently looking to try this at home, we’re sure you have your reasons, there are also a couple of aquaponics farms throughout Hong Kong for you to get your hands on this kind of produce.

Evergreens Republic

Evergreens Republic claims to be the largest farm of its type in South East Asia, and you can find their produce at all Sai Kung and Discovery Bay markets. Their food is grown using a large-scale aquaponics system located in the New Territories, so it’s all local and USDA-certified organic (apparently, the only locally grown organic farm to have such a certification). Evergreens Republic also offers home delivery services! 

What: Evergreens Republic
Where to buy: Online or at markets in Sai Kung and Discovery Bay

Farm Direct

Farm Direct is one of the most established farm-to-retail companies in Hong Kong, with stores all over the city selling vegetables from their own hydroponic farms or from organic producers around the world. 

What: Farm Direct
Where to buy: At one of their many stores, including ones in Wan Chai and at Hong Kong Station 

Fortune Farm 

This farm in Fan Lin grows veggies using greenhouses and hydroponics, promising fresh, safe and delicious greens for the perfect at-home salad.

What: Fortune Farm 
Where to buy: Online 
 


Got a tip? Send it to us at hongkong@coconuts.co.


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