We’ve been driving for an hour and a half since leaving central Beijing when the car suddenly slows to a halt. “This isn’t exactly where the GPS told me to go, but I think it’s the place,” says the driver.

I look out and see a simple wooden archway leading to a plain, one-storey building. The façade is bare except for some words painted in black capitals. “Who is your farmer? Where does your food come from?” it reads.

“Yes,” I reply. “This is definitely the place.”

I’ve arrived at Shared Harvest, a 2.6-ha farm 70km north of the Chinese capital, to meet Shi Yan, its founder and chief ...


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