The Long Valley Ecopaddy Co-operative Society
An interactive conservation model project between city and rural area
Long Valley, an undeveloped plain, is still maintaining the traditional wetland farming practice. The huge wetland habitat attracts numerous wild birds and amphibians, foraging and inhabiting here. It is not only one of the most important local ecological hotspots, but also a milestone of rural conservation work. The ecological value here possesses a close relationship with the wetland agricultural practice. Although Long Valley is zoned as Nature Park in the North East New Territories New Development Plan, Long Valley is still under threats such as incomprehensive agricultural policy, the shrinking local industry and the aging farming population, etc. In order to conserve the ecosystem and the agriculture in Long Valley, we have to explore a new action model to reactivate the wetland agricultural industry in Long Valley for farmers and the wildlife.
Local /Conservation /Rural-city connection
The Long Valley Ecopaddy Co-operative Society was born to reconnect the local ecology, farmers and the cityaltogether. With ecological conservation and local productionas the key idea, we cooperate with farmers in Long Valley to manage the paddy fields. Following traditionalrice farming practices, our paddy fields yielded two harvestsof rice (early season: Apr-Jul, late season: Aug-Nov). We invite publicparticipantsto join our membership program. Members are engaged in different rice cultivatingprocedure including rice planting, fertilizing, harvesting, granule drying, rice milling as well as the ecological monitoring tasks. Long Valley Ecopaddy supportsfarmers with man-power, equipment, techniques, sharing the weather risk and hoping our farmers can focus on thericequality and taking good care of the ecological environment. Apart from self-planted rice as rewards, members can also enjoy different farming experiencesand activities. We hope to reconnect people with the naturalenvironment.
Yellow-breasted Bunting, a key protected species of Long Valley, is a conspicuous species closely associated with rice farming culture. It is over exploited as a cuisine, with their favor habitat dramatically decreasing too, consequently leading to a big drop in the population in the past decades. In 2013, Yellow-breasted Bunting was up-listed to Endangered (EN) in the IUCN Redlist. Conservation work is in urgent need to strike for the species’ survival.
In 2012, CA initiated a rice reintroduction program in Long Valley named as the Long Valley Ecopaddy Co-operative Society. The project aimed at reconnecting the local ecology, farmers and the urban together. Participating in the program, the public can experience rice farming procedure and support the production and the sales of eco-rice. The Long Valley Ecopaddy Co-operative Society is the first farming membership program in Hong Kong themed on rice planting.
We welcome all of you to join our membership program, showing your love towards the nature and famrning. Workingwith farmers in Long Valley, you will be engaged in a series year-round rice planting tasks, givingtwo harvests of rice andlearning to manage agricultural ecology. From rice planting, fertilizing to harvesting and milling, we learn every single step in whicha granule becomesour food. We would also lead you through ourscenic agricultural wetlands in Long Valley, exploringthe beauty of diverse wild bird species and visitingthe well conservedheritages. Various types of seasonal fresh crops are also available. Moreover, we havedifferent activities like farmland construction tasks, ecological monitoring, traditional snacks workshops, handcraft workshops and the wetland Olympics, etcin different seasons. Last but not the least, a tradition village festival dinner to celebrate our fruitful harvestis held in the year-end, with the fresh crops made in Long Valley .