His effort to educate Britons on the satisfaction of cultivating backyard vegetable gardens is putting a positive face on the influx of Hongkongers, some 144,500 of them, who are on a special British National (Overseas) visa category
Feb 26, 2023
Wong dug in, learning about the growing conditions, vegetable varieties and marketing in the U.K. while developing a neatly plowed plot, known in the U.K. as an allotment. He is now on a mission to turn Britain’s backyards and allotments into vegetable gardens, teaching fellow Hongkongers, and anybody else who’s interested, how to grow their own food.
Given that the U.K. is cooler than Hong Kong, Wong has found he can cultivate a wider variety of vegetables, but he must do so during a shorter growing season.
There have been hiccups. Some Hongkongers just starting out noticed that vegetable seedlings disappeared soon after planting. The newbie farmers are now protecting their crops from thieves that turned out to be insects, snails, foxes and sparrows.
Wong told VOA Cantonese that farming helps Hongkongers communicate with one another and with local British people, which in turn helps speed the immigrants’ integration into local life. He said the bonds forming over farming show that Hongkongers want to contribute to the U.K.
Hongkongers are not in the U.K. “to take something,” Wong says in the video, which has elicited online comments for and against the policy to admit Hongkongers on special immigrant visas. “I would like to use what I know and share with U.K. people.”
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