Farm at your desk

Home-Decor | Ivy Ong-Wood 17 Oct 2019

Working and living in Hong Kong can be stressful - especially given the ongoing unrest. So it's no wonder we're falling sick so much. An AIA survey of 2,187 employees from 41 organizations in Hong Kong found that, on average, 78.5 productive days were lost to sick leave last year. Work-related stress and unhealthy diets were cited as top reasons.

Gardening has been hailed as a good way to de-stress. And if you grow your own food, that will tackle the top two problems in one go.

However, in our tiny homes, it's difficult to find the space for it. That's where co-working space theDesk can help.

The homegrown company has launched one of the largest urban farms among co-working spaces in Hong Kong at theDesk Strand 50.

Rooftop Republic Urban Farming, a social enterprise which has set up more than 50 urban farms in the SAR and the mainland, will help the firm convert 1,600 square feet of outdoor space at its Sheung Wan location into an urban farm that allows individuals and teams to take a break from their hectic schedules and grow their own organic produce.

"Our urban farming initiative is the latest in our efforts to help strengthen the bond, productivity, and well-being of those in our community. This is part of our Co-work 2.0 concept of going beyond a provider of space and focusing on creating real business value for our members and neighbors," said theDesk cofounder and CEO Thomas Hui.

"People are the greatest asset to any company, be it employees, partners, or neighbors. By building a community that offers channels for people to connect in different social settings, we help them to better understand each other, discover ways to collaborate, play to each other's strengths and uncover business opportunities together."

The urban farm will initially offer 30 planters, available to individuals, businesses and restaurants. Subscription for each planter is HK$4,000 every four months or HK$12,000 per year.

Members can tap on value-added services such as one-on-one workshops with urban farming experts on Saturdays. Each session is dedicated to a different urban farming-related topic to help their gardens grow to its full potential. They will also have access to other resources needed for a successful harvest and other community events that are happening at theDesk.

Rooftop Republic cofounder Pol Fabrega said: "Through urban farming, participants will be able to get hands-on experience in growing their own crops and understand the positive impact that growing food in the city can have on our environment and our own health.

"Not only is urban farming a great educational and interactive tool, but it is also the perfect activity to bring the community together."


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