One of my most salient memories of early childhood was a small plastic Hello Kitty house. My sister and I did have to share (read: do battle over) the thing, but I still remember that the COOLEST part was that Hello Kitty had a car — a little car and garage with a yellow swinging door that you could open up and slide the car into, inspiring all little girls to dream of individual car ownership in a world based on fossil fuels. (Of course, it could have been way worse.)
But now, little green-minded children, rejoice!: Hello Kitty has been officially invoked in the name of organic farming. Specifically, by the Hello Kitty Go Green Organic Farm in Hong Kong. The farm, as befits its name, features a) 50,000 square feet of fruits and vegetables and b) Hello Kitty paraphernalia everywhere.
Founder Raymond Cheng says he got into gardening as a form of personal stress reduction, but eventually turned his veggie patch into a community garden with rentable plots. The Hello Kitty part came later, when he was pondering ways to attract more families — and more impressionable little children, mwa ha ha. The farm now has goats and sheep and even a Hello Kitty Little Farmer Program. It’s been so successful that Cheng already has plans to expand the idea to mainland China.
It makes sense: If you’re trying to spread the gospel of organic gardening to a whole new generation, kids are going to care a heck of a lot more about a cute cartoon cat than they do about organic vegetables. As Cheng told Fast Co.Exist, he saw a big difference on the farm B.H.K. (Before Hello Kitty) and after:
“In the past … during the weekend we got around a maximum of 100 customers coming to my farm to rent a piece of land or grow or buy some organic crops,” Cheng explains. “But after Hello Kitty, we can go to 500 and sometimes over 1,000 people coming in one day.”
Indeed, Mr. Cheng, let the truth be uttered:
“The power of Hello Kitty is very great,” he says.