By Wariya I.
We’ve heard of the word “sustainability” for decades but in Bangkok, it appeared people didn’t take it too seriously. However, in London, the United Kingdom, GrowUp Urban Farms founded by Kate Hofman and Tom Webster, produces sustainable salads and herbs using vertical growing technologies and through the use of Controlled Environment Production (CEP), they can harvest all year-round and can be placed in almost any environment.
A Japanese multinational corporation, Pasona Group grows vegetables inside its own office building in Tokyo. In Detroit, Michigan, there’s a non-profit organisation called Michigan Urban Farming Initiative seeks to empower the urban community by using agriculture as a platform to promote education, sustainability, and community while simultaneously reducing socioeconomic disparity.
Sansiri, one of Thailand’s leading real estate companies, dreamed-up the “Sansiri Backyard” project with the first modern farming in Thailand from Petchaburi, Kamnan Chul Farm around 2018. Together, they intend to create sustainable urban communities in Thailand.
City dwellers have often depended on groceries carrying a high carbon footprint, that was until COVID-19 broke out earlier this year which affected some of the cargo of imported products but have encouraged others to look to local resources. In the case of the Sansiri project, there is no need to seek out imported produce from supermarket chains, wrapped in layers of plastic film, instead, you can walk a few hundred meters to the Sansiri Backyard community farm.
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The first Sansiri Backyard is 24,000 sqm. The urban farm behind T77 Community stands blocks of residences under the name of Sansiri which anyone, including the public, can access the tiny farm. Visitors or residents can harvest the agricultural products such as lettuces like Red Oak, Green Oak, Frillice, Butter Head etc.; bell pepper; chill; pumpkin; melon; watermelon; tomato; local herbs; corns.
All of which may be plucked directly from their roots or vines, placed in the designated baskets to carry home. There is even a pond teaming up with robust ruby red tilapia fish that people can feed, along with a chicken farm with happy plump hens providing the freshest eggs ready for a breakfast within moments of the hens hatching.
The self harvesting starts at 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm every day. The price of the self harvest is 149THB while egg hunting is 99THB which you can take 6 eggs home and feed hens, and you can carve your melon and wait until it grows at 299THB. Residents may often receive free products sent to their room when there is plenty of harvest available.
The farm needs only 4 farmers maximum to take care of it’s entire produce as Sansiri Backyard uses a technology Intelligent Farm or iFarm to manage and control the water springers, the environment inside their greenhouses. Circulating the farm is also an exercise lane where people can stroll along with their family, jog or ride a bike. Sansiri also has a plan that within 2020, there will be 165 Sansiri’s new residences with Sansiri Backyards.
Urban Farming is slowly but surely becoming a thing in Bangkok, one of the first leaders in finer farm-to-table restaurants is the long-standing Bo.Lan, and since a new era of concepts have popped up around the country, such as the farm to table cafe in Phuket We Cafe Phuket, and the more recent Haoma, with their groundbreaking hydroponic, aquaponic and composting urban farm restaurant concept.
For those less inclined to self harvest under the scorching Bangkok sun, you can chill comfortably at the My Backyard Farm & Bistro for some hot or cool beverages and ready-to-eat dishes. Sansiri Backyard @T77 Community is also a market where you can buy organic and non-organic produce from their farm and Chul Farm, their partners.
Recently, the café just launched their new beverage menu, Yuzu x Lemon Coffee (80THB), an Americano layered on top of yuzu and lemon juice. This is a rather energised yet refreshing drink full of vitamin C perfect for hot weather.
The food menu is fresh and tasty, My Backyard Salad (200THB), is a sweet and tangy dish that contains firm but creamy avocados, sweet yellow mangos, cherry tomatoes, red onions and passion fruit dressing. This salad is sharp and vibrant and the combinations work in harmony together.
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The “main” dish, Beef Bourguignon Served with Multigrain Toasts (320THB) comes with a thick diced chunk of chewy yet juicy meat, stewed in a brown well-seasoned red wine stock. You can replace the toasts with butter rice, either way, you can enjoy the beef bourguignon at a reasonable price.This dish is more targeted to local tastes.
Not all vegetables from the Sansiri farm are available at the cafe, but Sansiri Backyard supplies the residents in T77 Community with other producers products, through their market place which is a convenient way to avoid crowded supermarkets.
Particularly when there is a city lockdown, and transportation and cargo transportation across the regions is difficult, having food available next to your door or behind your door is the ready solution modern city dwellers may be looking forward to. Sansiri Backyard will officially open their second farm in Hua-Hin city and Prajuab Kirikhan in the near future.
Urban farming will not only be found on large plots on the city outskirts or deep into the suburbs, but right in the city central districts, changing the lifestyle and behaviour of cities people universally.
Sansiri Backyard T77 Community
354 Sukhumvit 71 Rd, Phra Khanong Nuea,
Watthana, Bangkok 10110
Apartment prices starts at 3.59 M THB
Tel: 02 027 7888
Facebook: Sansiri Backyard
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Wariya has a strong passion for cocktails, and you may have met her several times but she likes to keep it casual and low-profile. She also likes