Balcony orchards: a new way for Chinese people to be self-sufficient during the epidemic
Published: Apr 11, 2022 09:25 PM
Zhong Liu is in her balcony orchard. Photo: screenshot of website

Zhong Liu is in her balcony orchard. Photo: screenshot of website

In the face of strict prevention and control measures, such as quarantine, management and screening, currently implemented in some Chinese cities, many people have become interested in growing fruits and vegetables on their own balconies to avoid the inconvenience of buying them.

32-year-old illustrator Zhong Liu from Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province has recently gone viral on Chinese social media platforms for pioneering the "balcony orchard scheme." On a 5.9-square-meter balcony, Zhong grows a variety of vegetables such as tomatoes, lemons and blueberries, which became useful when she was working from home in March.

From March 14 to 20, local authorities in Shenzhen  ordered a halt to all non-essential personnel movements. In an interview with the media, Zhong said that she was not alarmed by the sudden arrival of the epidemic, because she believed that the Shenzhen government would guarantee the timely supply of daily necessities. At the same time, the dozens of plants she had planted at home could guarantee at least half a month's supply for her family.

Zhong said her plan to grow fruits and vegetables on a balcony began in the spring of 2020 when she was home in quarantine for two months because of the epidemic. The urge to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and the dull boredom at home made her to device the plan. 

Later, she set up several WeChat groups for netizens to exchange their experience of growing vegetables and fruits. 

Currently, this trend is also gradually becoming a new way for people living in the city to be self-sufficient during the epidemic in China.