An Urban Farm In the Most Unlikely Location: A Shanghai Mall

We’re smack dab in the middle of a golden age when anything you could possibly want can be ordered online and delivered straight to your door. Even if you dare venture beyond the sofa to shop, your first stop probably isn't that stifling bastions of oppressive consumerism (and zombie flick backdrop)—the mall! In Shanghai, however, one mall is bringing a bit of outdoor life to the indoor scene.

It's called K11, and in addition to rotating art exhibitions and a rooftop terrance, this Shanghai shopping center is home to a soil-free, LED-lit farm producing seasonal veggies like tomatoes, eggplants, and hot peppers. Rather than simply function as a clever landscaping element, the impact of these small-scale farming methods is meant to extend beyond the confines of the site. Visitors can catch a horticulture expert lecturing on tips and techniques for developing a little domestic plot of their own, and there’s even opportunities to sow a few seeds in a custom planting box to take away and nurture into something special.

However! The fine print, according to Inhabitat, says that in order to participate in the program you have to provide proof of purchase from the mall to the tune of $150. What's more, the somewhat stark display doesn’t quite have the appeal of getting your hands dirty in a proper garden. But in a city where pollution is a serious problem, encouraging more people to grow their own fresh air is a positive step towards sustainable living. [Inhabitat]

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Images by Helen Morgan for Inhabitat

An Urban Farm In the Most Unlikely Location: A Shanghai Mall

An Urban Farm In the Most Unlikely Location: A Shanghai Mall

An Urban Farm In the Most Unlikely Location: A Shanghai Mall

(Tough not to feel sad for these indoor oinkers...)

An Urban Farm In the Most Unlikely Location: A Shanghai Mall