We all need to find a little sanctuary from time to time… and what better way to get away from the hustle and bustle than by going down to the farm! We’ve explored our top five organic food farms in Hong Kong, all located in the New Territories, to help ease your mind with their beautiful surroundings and revive your body with their yummy organic goods.
Mapopo Community Farm
Mapopo Community Farm, a stone’s throw from the Fan Ling MTR station, is located in Ma Shi Po Village. The farm produces a variety of vegetables including lettuce, tomatoes and choi sum to name a few and can be purchased at their on-site Farmer’s Market every Sunday and Wednesday, for very reasonable prices. Members of the community also host workshops on organic farming and sustainable living, guided tours and bread-making classes.
The bread-making class was conducted in Cantonese but our teacher helped translate the important parts for us into English. During the class, we made both brown bread rolls and cinnamon buns, whilst learning about the importance of ‘going organic’. With our bread safely in the outdoor ovens, we were then given a guided tour of the farm and community that, despite its close proximity to urban Fan Ling, is very peaceful. Our baked goods were waiting for us on our return and the cinnamon buns in particular, served up with some organic whipped cream, were a real treat!
Free entry (bread-making course $300); open daily 9am-4.30pm
Mapopo Community Farm Ma Shi Po, Fan Ling, Hong Kong, 6121 8961
It’s hard to know where to start with Kadoorie Farm as it is quite simply enormous, spanning 148 acres of land! A short bus ride from Tai Po Market MTR, the farm features various nature trails, animal spotting, picnic spots, vegetable patches… oh, and a waterfall running through the entire stretch of land (which acts as a useful compass)! We chose to hike up to the Kadoorie Brothers’ Memorial Pavilion lookout point and passed plenty of beautiful distractions on our way including The Butterfly Garden, The Orchid House, The Fruit Forest, Parrot Sanctuary and Raptor Roost. The views from the top were breathtaking and well worth the trek!
If walking to the lookout point sounds a little ambitious, there is also a mini bus to make the trip easier and plenty of charming picnic spots along the way to help break up the journey. Down on the lower levels, you can find plenty of peace and quiet exploring the Kwun Yum Garden, spotting crocs in the Reptile Lookout or sampling some of the farm’s delicious produce from their farm shop or café.
Entry fee $20; open daily 9.30am-5pm (last entry at 4pm)
Kadoorie Farm Lam Kam Road, Tai Po, Hong Kong, 2483 7200
HKFYG Organic Farm
Located close to Yuen Long, HKFYG Organic Farm is part of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, which provides extra-curricular learning for young people. The farm however, welcomes visitors and volunteers of all ages. As part of a volunteer group, I embraced my green-fingered side and helped tend to some of the tomato beds. Between getting our hands dirty, the guides took us on an extended tour of the farm, stopping at various points to talk about their produce or introduce us to some of the resident animals – which included some friendly looking turtles and a not so friendly-looking black cobra (he was waiting to be taken away to a proper home!).
The highlight of the tour was exploring HKFYG’s cactus field and then sampling some of the aloe vera juice in the farm’s café afterwards. The café did not offer a great deal of fresh produce when I was there, but this could have been due to the season (I visited in May) – although there were some delicious traditional Chinese snacks available! Once you’re finished at the farm, the market at nearby Kam Sheung Station MTR is well worth a look too. There is also a picturesque riverside walk if you want to continue the tranquillity before boarding the train back to the city.
Free entry; open daily 9am-5pm
HKFYG Organic Farm No. 1 Family Walk, Ho Pui Reservoir, Pat Heung, Yuen Long, Hong Kong, 2838 4808
Zen Organic Farm
A short bus ride and scenic walk away from Fan Ling station is the Zen Organic Farm, which (as its name suggests!) is perfect for a little escapism. Producing organic greens for the likes of the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong and Posto Pubblico, the owners pride themselves on the quality of their produce. Having sampled their figs, lettuce and homemade bread, I can certainly vouch for their fresh taste (and my wallet can vouch for their quality!). There are plenty more fruits and veggies sold on-site and the staff will happily pick and wrap any in-season goodies for you to take home.
With an outdoor wood oven, the farm plays host to pizza and bread-making workshops while also providing tours if you contact owner Joey before you visit. The publically accessible areas of Zen Organic Farm can be explored in less than an hour, so I recommend taking part in a workshop or tour to make your trip out there worth the journey. If you have young children, they may be interested in meeting ‘Ham’, the resident pet pig who is very friendly and more than happy for passers-by to offer a green bean through the sides of his pen for him to nibble!
Free entry; open Tues-Sun 10am-5pm
Zen Organic Farm Ping Che, Ta Kwu Ling, Fan Ling, Hong Kong, 6692 2671
Rainbow Strawberry Farm
Situated close to Zen Organic Farm in Fan Ling, Rainbow Strawberry Farm will be a hit with the sweet-toothed among you – its core produce is strawberries! Even better is the fact that you can pick your own! When you arrive, simply grab a basket and help yourself to the rows of mouthwatering, juicy berries. Once you are all picked out, the staff will weigh and box your goods and then all you have left to do is resist eating the whole box before you arrive home!
Ordinarily, a box will set you back around $60 per pound, which may sound a little pricey but these really are exceedingly delicious strawberries. The farm also produces corn and tomatoes, if you fancy stocking up on veggies. Note that strawberry season is December through to May, so make sure you go when strawberries are in season!
Free entry; open daily 9am-6pm
The Rainbow Farm DD, 76 Hok Tau Village, Fan Ling, Hong Kong, 9302 0258
Fenella is a British expat from Hertfordshire (think Darcy and Lizzy!) eager to discover new sights and sounds in Hong Kong. Follow her musings on Twitter @fenelladale