Community Organic Farming
Before the 70s, Peng Chau was self-sufficient in terms of the vegetable supply. The farming has been declining since then. The newly educated generation viewed farming as low-status and harsh works. The unwillingness to continue the farming tradition allowed the farming fields to become desolated. In fact, many Peng Chau farmers used only the underground water and natural fertilizers, avoiding the artificial fertilizers.

The Green Peng Chau Organic farm has managed to become fully operational. It was officially launched with an Opening Ceremony on January the 15th, 2006.  It was very successful and well received.  Hon. Mr Leung YiuChung, Mr. On Hing Ying, the Vice Chairman of the Peng Chau Rural Committee, and representatives from other organizations like Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Clean the Air, HKU and New World First Ferry have joined the ceremony.   
The 30,000sq.ft. farm combines an education centre, holiday farming plots and vegetable production. It showcases organic farming, renewable energy and waste reduction possibilities. The farm was established by leasing two plots from private landowners and a piece of government land that is leased to GPCA under a Short Term Tenancy agreement prepared by the Lands Department. The education centre was made available for a five year period (outside the project) by one of the association board members. Work on the establishment of the farm was hard and demanding. The area was abandoned for years and overgrown with climbers and deep rooted weeds. As the original work started in summer, progress was slow due to hot, wet and humid conditions. During the cooler months more progress was made. The establishment of the farm was a journey of discovery and learning on the way, but the result is attracting much attention and appreciation.

Over the last year the farm started to play a central role in educational activities (see table X), rented out 15 plots of 100 sq.ft to holiday farmers and produced HK$36,054 worth of produce. Although the farm had a hard time due to the extremely wet weather this year, the revenue generated through education activities, plot rental and vegetable sales prove it is part of a viable organisational set-up for the GPCA.
On the whole, we have created a very unique farm project that practices fundamental principles of sustainable development like cutting waste and cost, recycling, and promoting self-sufficiency: 

-We have recycled lots of waste and reused them as renewable energy and new materials and resources for our farm, in this way we save energy and cut cost for our project. For example, the government had cleared land for development in Tai Lei Island, we transported these cut-down trees, which would normally be treated as waste and rubbish, to our farm site and used them for the purposes of furniture, fence, road. We also reused construction wastes like granite rock for steps and platforms. Also, bamboo fences from Recreation and Leisure Dept. was reused for fencing our farm. ·We water the farm by operating a gravity based irrigation system based on a number of ponds and channels. In this manner, we do not need electricity-operated water pumps for irrigation. These water ponds could store water for the whole year long.

-We exercise good farming practices such as making organic fertilizers and implementing integrated pest management in our farm such as crop rotation, intercropping and planting specific plants to discourage the emergence of pests and encourage the emergence of beneficial insects. In short we prevent pest rather than to kill which is the main factor for the development of resistance of pest in many bad practices. ·

-We compost the leftovers of the organic farm and market wastes and use fish market leftover to produce organic fertilizer. This is the central idea for sustainable agriculture which does not rely on outside resources and chemical production, in this way, we could protect our water and soil and organisms that live in the ecosystem. We created multiple purposes of resources in the ecosystem of the farm (agro-ecology), for example, our lotus crop and its pond and the fishes in water ponds will generate food; materials like pit soil and fibre for income generation and that for enhancing balance and biodiversity in the whole system.
We are looking for new partner to run a new small scale organic farm for education purpose. Any one or party who are interested in set up an organic farm please contact Ms Sannie Chan at 95594334 or email [email protected].