1. 稻香 by Jay Chou
2014 Update- Are you looking to buy organic produce in Beijing? With so many new ‘organic’ choices around with expensive price tags, which ones can we trust? Well after having visited several organic farms and hours of research, I want to share with other foodie friends in town my own updated organic food guide in Beijing. I hope it’s helpful to you ☺
You can read detailed list of places you can buy organic fruits and veggies from my first organic post – Buying Organic Food in Beijing?
Over the past 12 months, I’ve been to a several organic farms ( CSA Harvest Farm
, God’s Grace Farm (天福园)
, Little Willow’s Farm is next on my list) and made friends with a few local organic farmers.
A lot of high-end supermarkets now have separate organic section but with the price tags often 5-10 times more than the regular veggies, it’s hard to go all organic in China. But don’t be discouraged, there are some more affordable options! 🙂 There are many organic specialty shops as well as online organic markets that deliver to your homes, some expensive, some more affordable.
Personally, I’m ‘allergic’
to big corporations so I buy most of my veggies directly from small farms, farmer’s markets as well as non-organic seasonal produce from local wet markets. Below is a list of places both small and big where you can buy organic produce in Beijing, the information provided below is either from my research and/or from my personal experience.
Direct from farmers:
Little Willow Farm (小柳树农园)
Who: A small organic farm in Shunyi started last year by a first time farmer – Mr. Liu who always dreamt of having his own farm. Before starting his farm, he used to work in the import/export business between China and Japan. That may explain why he has many hard-to-find Japanese veggie varieties. A very passionate and friendly farmer I met at Beijing’s sustainability fair last year. He can communicate in Chinese, Japanese and some English. I’ve used his service twice, fully satisfied both times, I highly recommend this farm. I will be planning my visit to his farm in the near future! 🙂
Produce: 70 kinds of vegetables (60% are imported non-GMO seeds, some hard to find Japanese vegetable varieties)
Pros: -many hard to find top quality vegetable varieties (like Japanese eggplants, kohlrabi, kale, shiso, swiss chard etc)
-no need to sign-up for a membership
-weekly detailed email with vegetable list for the week sent on Mondays (in English, Chinese, Japanese), you place an order by Monday night, get free deliveries by Tues/Weds
-very flexible and easy ordering system, you can select between regular (4kg, 10 kinds, 120rmb) and small package(2.5kg, 6 kinds, 80rmb), can choose up to 2-6 veggies
Cons: -it’s a new farm, they only have veggies at this point but will expand in the near future to include poultry and eggs
Contact: Mr.Liu / you can sign up for their weekly mailing list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (if you tell him Musichef TJ referred you, he may add a free corn or two to your first order)
(Community Supported Agriculture) Shared Harvest
Who: a group of young college graduates and Ph.D students working with local farmers, you can sign-up with them to get your weekly fresh veggies delivered right to your door! (very passionate group of young foodies whose mission is to bring healthier lifestyle to people living in BJ) read about my farm trip to CSA Harvest Farm
*I personally visited the farm and worked on the farm with the team of passionate young people who work hard to connect consumers directly with local farmers, I personally trust and recommend them
Produce: seasonal organic veggies, fruits, fresh eggs, pork, chicken
Pros: – know where your food come from and have a connection with the farmers who grow your food
– can schedule a farm visit to meet with the team, connect with the farmers and have a tour
– very active on social media and organic food scene in Beijing
– Receive a box of fresh, seasonal, local and organically grown food each week (150-170rmb about ~5kg of produce/week)
– your membership and donation will benefit and support local agricultural community and farmer educating program
– can order pork and chicken (English okay)
Cons: – need to become a member by buying a pre-deposit card 3000 or 8000rmb
– fixed schedule, veggies will be delivered each week, cannot choose your veggies (5kg can be too much for 1-2 people), can temporarily suspend your membership
You can also order a la carte from their taobao shop – http://fenxiangshouhuo.taobao.com
Here is their membership application form
Contact info: By phone：010-61551165（Village）13910693567（Bob） By email： email@example.com
God’s Grace Farm (天福园)
* I also visited this farm for cherry picking (you can read my blog post – Cherry Picking
) and worked with an honest and hardworking farmer named Theresa. I haven’t ordered veggie package from here but have bought milk, honey and eggs from here before. This is another organic farm that I personally recommend.
Who: Beijing God’s Grace Garden Plantation, member of IFOAM, has been dedicated to organic farming for over 9 years. It’s the first farm with self-sustaining ecosystem, biodynamic farm in China. Chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical or synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, honmones and GMO products are prohibited in our farm.
Produce: organic grains, seasonal vegetables, fruits (apricots, cherries, peaches, pears etc), eggs, meat, dairy products, honey
Pros: – self-sustainable bio-dyamic farm, very well managed
– Christian farmer Ms.Theresa is a very knowledgeable and passionate farmer (speaks English too)
Cons: – need to sign up for a prepaid membership, deposit of 1000 will hold your share in the farm and will be applied to your purchase
– ordering information not as clearly described as other sites (mostly in Chinese)
Contact: 张志敏 tel： 13701277398 (not sure if this is Ms. Theresa’s phone but you can ask for her) E-mail：firstname.lastname@example.org
Beijing Farmer’s Market – a “floating” market of venders selling organic fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, poultry, as well as artisan cheese, jam, baked and dried goods. Beijing’s organic farmer’s market first sprang into life in 2010. At first it didn’t get lot of attention but now the market which is held about 7 times each month at various venues around the city attract a large number of health conscious loyal fans.
*Personally recommended because you can meet with local foodies and connect with local farmers here
I heard the organizers have been trying to arrange a permanent venue but at the moment they’re still negotiating for a lease. Generally, the market is held in one of the six locations (below) on the weekends but sometimes on Tuesdays/Thursdays as well.
1. Sanlitun – Nali Patio/那里花园 (between 3.3 mall and Sanlitun Village South)
2. Sanyuanqiao – Phoenix City / 凤凰城
3. Olympic Park – North Star Plaza, aka, “The Legend Mall” / 北辰时代生活广场 (Line 5Huixinxijie exit A)
4. Shunyi – Daystar Academy Campus 启明星
5. Chongwenmen – Beijing Shishang New World Department Store / 新世界女子百货一层南门东侧 (1st floor, near south entrance)
6. Near 798 Art District – INDIGO Shopping Mall 颐堤港商场 （B1 Floor）
**Before you go, make sure to check their weekly market location and time on their Facebook page (English), Weibo page or even on WeChat! (info below)
WeChat (Weixin) official account ID – countryfair
Organic Online Markets
Too Too Farm / 沱沱工社
Who: TooToo farm is a big online mart that supplies organic produce, both locally grown and imported, year round. The farm is located in Pinggu District in Beijing which has been approved and granted by EU Organic Certification and the Green Chinese Organic Certification.
Produce: locally grown veggies, fruits, grains, meats, eggs, drinks, breads, even fish!
Pros: – largest selection of both locally grown and imported produce I’ve seen
– no need for membership (just need to register an account)
– free next day delivery service on orders over 98rmb
– many payment options (cash at delivery, prepaid, debit card)
– easy-to-use online shop in both English and Chinese)
Cons: – seems like a large corporation operated online supermarket with many imported products from all over the world
*I have been looking for a place to buy organic fruits other than high end supermarkets and even though I haven’t yet used their service yet, their online market (both English and Chinese) look promising. I will try ordering fruits from here next time.
Beijing Organic & Beyond
Who: Beijing Organic and Beyond Corporation (OABC) was founded in 2007. The company has set up organic farms in Beijing, Shandong, Shanxi, Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia for organic vegetables, fruits, grains, Chinese lake crabs and eggs, etc. They have home delivery services in 6 metropolitan cities including Beijing, Shanghai,Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Tianjin.
Produce: organic fruits, veggies, grains and eggs
Pros: – can choose your own organic produce from weekly updated product list and have them deliver to your door the next day
– can order by phone 7 days a week 9am-5pm (tel:400 650 1001)
– free delivery if ordering over 300rmb and within 5th ring road
Cons: – their online store seems to be under construction and seem a little complicated
– need to become a member by buying a prepaid membership card (10,000 – 50,000 rmb)
some other organic online market info from other websites:
– Organic Farms around Beijing that Deliver to Your Door
– LOHAO City /乐活城
(specialized stores selling organic produce and products, since last year, a few of its stores have closed down but still have a few stores around the city, at their stores, you can order specific produce and meat from their farm
Did you know that many of the local farmers in China grow organic produce but are not marked ‘organic’ because for small farmers to get organic certification, they have to pay a LOT for EACH vegetable variety they grow and thus cannot afford it? Did you also know that some of the so-called ‘organics’ you buy from supermarkets have fake labels to mark up the price?
That’s why I personally recommend buying directly from farmers (small farms) for two reasons- by buying locally produced goods you not only support local famers but also get the freshest (and safe) produce delivered straight to your door! I also recommend you to visit the farm to see where your food actually comes from, labels can lie but your eyes won’t.
this week’s vegetable list, names of veggies in English, Chinese and Japanese from Little Willow Farm
recipes for healthy Korean style summer dishes coming soon
Lastly, let me note, you don’t have to eat all organic food to stay healthy, just try to eat more REAL, Seasonal, and many VARIETIES of whole foods. More importantly, try to lead a worry free life and try to smile three times a day. Cheers to healthy life style! ☺ If you have any other relevant info (farms, markets) or questions, please share with us 🙂
I’m on Instagram – @Musichef_TJ
. come check out Musichef TJ’s daily happenings 🙂
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