Farming in the densely populated city of Seoul is nothing new.
Many urban farmers make use of vacant spaces on top of apartment buildings, schools and public buildings to grow vegetables. Some rent privately owned spaces to start their own green experiments.
As of 2017, Seoul had 170 hectares of these farms, about the size of 238 soccer fields combined. In 2011, the figure was 29 hectares.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government is a key backer of this growing urban farming trend.
Earlier this year, it announced a plan to inject 4.9 billion won ($4 million) to create 44,636 square meters of vegetation in the city, by turning some 205 empty rooftops and vacant spaces at schools and welfare centers into urban farms.
The city runs the Seoul Agricultural Technology Center, which provides farmers with financial and professional support. It provides one-on-one coaching on topics ranging from environmentally friendly pesticides to ways to improve soil productivity. These personalized classes take place at some 7,000 urban farm sites in Seoul’s 19 districts.
Residents can also take programs that offer some hands-on gardening experience at community farms. For more information, visit agro.seoul.go.kr.
Photographed by Park Hyun-koo
Written by Kim Da-sol