"Urban farmer" grows vegetables at home to promote "balcony economy"

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  With economic development and consumption upgrading, people have more needs in spiritual life, and balcony planting appears in this context.

More and more citizens are building "balcony farms" at home.

The industrial chain around the growth cycle of balcony planting and full cultivation of fruits and vegetables has been formed, and supporting businesses such as balcony decoration have also been driven.

  Nowadays, growing pea shoots, strawberries, small tomatoes, mint, etc. on the balcony has become a new way of life for urban residents.

  Under the epidemic, the "balcony economy" has been promoted.

Around the balcony planting, an industrial chain covering the full cultivation and growth cycle of fruits and vegetables has been formed, including fruit and vegetable seeds, flower pots, nutrient soil, fertilizers, gardening tools, etc.

At the same time, the "balcony economy" has also driven the transformation of traditional businesses, and some decoration companies have launched leisure terrace decoration plans in a timely manner.

  Citizens build "balcony farm"

  With 5 yuan a bag of seeds, tens of yuan of soil and flower pots, Li Songxi, a post-90s citizen of Kunming, built a "balcony farm" on his 10-square-meter balcony.

At present, she has harvested a season of pea sprouts, hydroponic mint, as well as a few pots of herbs and rosemary. She usually cuts a crop when cooking or stewing soup, and new seedlings grow again within a few days.

  Full-time mother Yang Shuqing bought a set of vegetable planting tools and harvested a plate of vegetables with a piece of A4 paper, a handful of peas, and a watering can.

"The seeds of all kinds of cereals, beans and trees can be cultivated. Just soak and germinate, sow them on paper, and spray water two or three times a day. After 10 days, you can taste early adopters." Yang Shuqing said, growing vegetables on paper The operation is simple, and it can also let children experience it.

  Citizen Hong Weidong is a senior "urban farmer".

In order to grow vegetables at home, he bought a house with a 30-square-meter open-air balcony on the first floor, and divided half of the area to grow vegetables.

The reporter saw on his "farm" that more than 10 kinds of vegetables such as lettuce, green and red peppers, cabbage, eggplant, and tomatoes were planted under a row of green cucumber racks.

In order to ensure the survival rate of vegetable seedlings, he also created a set of greenhouse environmental control system.

Mainly based on the intelligent control system, additional equipment such as wet curtains, water pumps, nozzles, exhaust fans, security systems, and light-enhancing lights are added to control temperature, humidity, and illumination.

  Growing vegetables on the balcony creates new business opportunities

  Taobao recently released the "2022 Balcony Vegetable Growing Report", showing that in the first quarter, the sales of various vegetable seeds on Taobao and Tmall platforms soared year-on-year, and the number of purchasers increased by more than 100% for three consecutive years. up to tens of billions of dollars.

  Taobao shop owner Ma Weiming is good at growing vegetables. Vegetable farming is an important industry in Yuanmou County, Chuxiong, Yunnan, his hometown.

A few years ago, Ma Weiming and fellow villagers opened a Taobao shop selling seeds and taught netizens how to grow vegetables online.

  "Our brand entered the Tmall platform in the second half of 2020, and the business volume has grown very fast. In March this year, the online store's turnover was only 50,000 yuan, and in April it reached 80,000 yuan. This month, we have achieved nearly 120,000 yuan. "Ma Weiming told reporters.

  The pictorial guide of the balcony vegetable growing industry released by a short video platform shows that the most popular balcony vegetables are all kinds of sprouts, and cucumbers and leeks are also very popular.

The top three most popular fruits to grow on the balcony are strawberries, watermelons and persimmons.

  The "urban farmer"'s enthusiasm for growing vegetables has also stimulated the decoration of the balcony.

In the past few days, Ms. Hu, a citizen, is "dressing up" her small balcony of about 10 square meters. The walls are decorated with blue bricks and a tatami is placed below. Later, she plans to buy several vegetable planting troughs, iron flower pots, wooden The tricycle flower stand turns the balcony into a leisure area.

  "In recent years, landscaping has become popular in balconies, terraces and yards, interspersed with plants and vegetables." Li Jia, sales director of Kunming Dodge Decoration Engineering Co., Ltd., said that natural materials such as stone, wood, Iron art, fences, bamboo weaving, etc., combined with flowers and trees for design.

If space permits, flowing water elements can also be added to make the entire vegetable garden closer to nature.

  Reap the joy in the process of planting vegetables

  "Vegetable growing on the balcony did not emerge during the epidemic. With economic development and consumption upgrades, people have more spiritual needs. This is a major background for the rise of vegetable growing on the balcony." National Agricultural Market Research Center, China Agricultural University Director Han Yijun said.

  Han Yijun said that urban agriculture and balcony agriculture are important ways to ease the anxiety of urban people.

Growing vegetables on the balcony plays an irreplaceable role in horticultural therapy to a certain extent, allowing people to gain a sense of pleasure, work and responsibility in the process of planting vegetables.

  In Han Yijun's view, growing vegetables is also a kind of natural education and labor education.

"Growing vegetables can enhance children's sense of responsibility and test their attentiveness, learning ability and management ability. These are actually qualities that contemporary society needs."

  In fact, growing vegetables on the balcony cannot meet people's daily vegetable needs.

According to an analysis by industry experts, at present, it takes 20 square meters of sun-drenched land and an average of two hours of daily work to supply vegetables for a two-person family, but the balcony of an urban apartment often cannot meet these needs.

Of course, with the evolution of vegetable varieties and the improvement of space utilization technology, the future may be satisfied.

  Wu Di, an assistant researcher at the Environmental Resources Research Institute of the Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said: "The cost of growing vegetables on the balcony is often higher than the cost of grocery shopping, and the cost of hydroponics is even higher. The cost of a pound of vegetables is even more than 20 yuan. In fact, people do not pursue the amount of vegetable output, but enjoy the process of flowering, fruiting and harvesting."

  Wu Di said that the balcony vegetable growing business needs to meet the characteristics of fashion, technology, convenience, operability, safety and so on.

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