Learning to live with plants

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“When we understand how our food is grown, and how producing it creates so much environmental damage, it keeps us conscious of the reality of our food system, and how we must best act in the interests if not for our planet, but also for our health.”

Michelle Hong, WEGCA 2020 Winner
Co-founder, Rooftop Republic Urban Farming

Raised in Singapore and having spent the last 10 years in Hong Kong, Michelle has worked in the communications and advertising field in the corporate and NGO sectors before she co-founded Rooftop Republic Urban Farming in 2015, committing to a cause close to her heart - food and sustainability, and to promote the urban farming movement.

Rooftop Republic is a social enterprise that envisions a future of sustainable cities and communities powered by urban farming. The social enterprise has transformed under-utilised areas into sources of nutritious organic food, and engage communities to lead sustainable lifestyles. With multi-disciplinary expertise, their team has transformed more than 70,000 square feet of urban spaces into 65 productive farms.

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Rooftop Republic brings a unique approach to farming, which they have termed “Farming as a Service”. This means focus is not on the production of the organic vegetables for the client, but rather engaging the client in the process of their vegetables being grown. Urban farming projects are thus more deeply into their business operations.

 

Ownership is given to city-dwellers on their produce. Rooftop Republic believes that it is by experiencing the process of seed to harvest that people will truly appreciate the wisdom, experience and value of organic and regenerative farming, and while they may not become full time farmers, they will have a new perspective of the value of organic farming as well as understand the true price and true cost of their consumption habits.

“We want to create a community around these urban farms”

GGEF applauds Michelle's effort in reconnecting humans with nature through the use of urban farms, and hopes for more individuals and communities to share Michelle's vision in the greenification of urban spaces in a way that benefits those who inhabit those spaces. We hope for the continued expansion of this meaningful cause.