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June 18, 2011

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Rural idyll ... under Lupu Bridge

GREEN-FINGERED residents are being invited to grow vegetables free of charge in a "farm" in the downtown area under Lupu Bridge.

This initiative by the Shanghai Development and Reform Commission aims to highlight environmental protection and help build a low-carbon city.

The 3,000-square-meter City Farm is on Longhua Road E. near Luban Road in an area which was used for parking during last year's World Expo.

The project will run until mid-August, after which the land is planned to be used as a school extension.

The farm is actually built on a concreted area. A drainage board was laid on this and covered in non-woven fabric. Nutrient-rich soil has been piled on the fabric.

Now, vegetables such as peppers, water spinach and lettuce are being grown on the farm.

All the seedlings, fertilizer and spades will be provided by the farm free of charge, said Qin Yong, who is in charge of the project.

The growing area is divided into 104 small plots. People can log on to claim the "land certificates" and get seedlings from the farm organizer, Qin said. Foreigners can also apply.

The farm also includes four other areas for fishing, taking photos, learning knowledge of plants and growing and sand painting.

Locals have praised the scheme.

"It is good to let children see the agricultural products," said a resident, surnamed Duan, living nearby.

As the project only runs for two months, some vegetables will not be ready for harvesting by the time it ends.


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