URBAN CO-OP FARMER
“I always have this dream where I can’t find my way home. Always searching, always trying, but I can’t ”, says Ben. “I probably still find it difficult to put my heart into the city.”
Ben was born in Huang Gang, a small village in Wuhan. He left home and attended university when he was 18. Afterwards, he spent his career as an ad man for 13 years. Pretty nice salary with a stable job, Ben was still thinking of his hometown now and then.
“I wanted to apply to an agricultural university when I was in middle school. I told my father when we were both planting rice in the fields. He got furious and kicked me out of the field. ‘Are you kidding me? I let you spend so much time and money on studying to get out of countryside, and you still want to learn about agriculture to come back here?’, my father shouted at me. ” Most traditional Chinese parents in the countryside expect their kids to achieve a stable career in cities. It’s regarded to be more successful and honorable.
However, Ben did quit his job in the end. Maybe Eva was the only reason he didn’t leave the city completely. He is working with local farmers to breed chickens, ducks, cows, and pigs in a more organic and healthier way. He is personally supervising every food category to make sure it’s safe and up to his standards. Through his efforts, he helps the local farmers earn more and live better. Young couples are more willing to stay in the countryside with their kids, instead of leaving for the city for a so-called “decent” job.
Eva was born in the city. She is not satisfied with only being an ad (wo)man, but also yearns for other quirky creative outlets. She has been developing a food-themed fashion line, with fried egg embroidery on cotton made dresses, rookie printing socks and other weirdly funny wearables. Ben and Eva opened this social kitchen for friends and everyone to gather around, enjoy nice food and nice clothes.
“I believe an unreasonable person is brave enough to follow his heart, to pursue his goal ” Says Ben.