Peter Yeung, a farmer from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, had a little trick to make his flowering cabbages better known in his home city — he named them after the TV drama The Dance of Passion.
In 2008, he traveled to the landlocked Ningxia Hui autonomous region in Northwest China to grow vegetables and sell them in Hong Kong.
Shedding more light on his unique idea, Yeung explained that the popular TV drama was filmed in Ningxia, so by using that name, people would instantly recognize that his vegetables were grown there.
The gimmick is now no longer needed, as "Ningxia flowering cabbages" have become a signature product widely recognized for their superior quality.
"If customers learn that the vegetable is from Ningxia, they will buy it without hesitation, even if the price is higher," Yeung said.
Located in the Yellow River Basin, Ningxia has a long farming history and boasts fine irrigation conditions.
"Ningxia has the longest frost-free season, abundant land resources and sufficient irrigation from the Yellow River, making it an ideal place to realize my dream," Yeung said.
Born in the 1970s, Yeung developed an early interest in vegetable farming because of his father.
Yeung's father was among the first people from Hong Kong to establish vegetable production bases that cater to the Hong Kong market in Guangdong province following the beginning of reform and opening-up in 1978.
After graduating from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, he came to Ningxia with the dream of mechanizing the vegetable farming process.
Today, his vegetable production base in Zhongning county in the city of Zhongwei covers over 267 hectares, and produces flowering cabbages, beans and bitter gourds sold to Hong Kong, Macao and other places.
With the growing reputation of vegetables grown in Ningxia, an increasing number of investors are discovering the potential of the region. The number of vegetable production bases in the region has surged from under 10 when Yeung first came to Ningxia to over 100 now.
With support from the local government, he is on the cusp of realizing machine harvesting.
Yeung said that manual vegetable picking is undesirable in terms of both labor and efficiency, as any delay can adversely affect the taste of the products.
"With the machines, we can harvest vegetables even in bad weather," he said, adding that they have been leveling the fields and improving land management to create favorable conditions for further promoting the technology.
After spending 15 years in the field, Yeung has formed a profound bond with Ningxia.
"It has become a second home for me," Yeung said. "I love this place with its comfortable climate and vast landscape. I will continue to devote myself to this industry."