This entrepreneur is bringing farming to Dongguan with hands-on agricultural education making him the king of farming.
Elvis Wong offers agricultural experiences with WOW Farm in Qishi. Wong was born in Dongguan but grew up in Hong Kong. He remembers the early years of his life on his family farm.
“I just played and enjoyed that time. After I immigrated to Hong Kong, I didn’t have the chance to play or work in the farming business. I missed playing on the farm,” he said.
Parents who visit have similar experiences and want to share the farm life with their children. Wong was not originally interested in agriculture and worked in factories and manufacturing. He got into agriculture after he met his wife.
“I saw new opportunities for me to start a new business in (mainland) China, which was the agriculture business,” he said.
He spoke with his friends in Dongguan with similar backgrounds to him. His friends were shocked, but after explaining, they were interested in being part of Wong’s new business venture.
“I made a BP, a business plan for them. After they watched it, they just gave me the answer and said, ‘yes, let’s do it’,” he said.
It took him two months to find the land andthe workers, and they opened in 2018 after the Chinese New Year. WOW Farm had a high response from locals after opening because it offered a space for children to relax and run while learning about agriculture.
“These activities they (children) cannot do in school or do in their home. They can only do it on a real farm, so they are interested,” Wong said.
The farm grows organic fruits and vegetables in their controled greenhouses. Wong is experimenting with different ways to grow produce, such as not using dirt to grow tomatoes, but a special foam block instead.
The block holds more water and nutrients than dirt and minimizes space. He uses bees to naturally pollinate the plants.
“Some of the investors talking to us want us to help improve their old farms or start new farms in other places,” he said.
Wong is working on expanding WOW Farm in Dongguan and has interest from a company to build a similar operation this year in Hong Kong. He said the fruits and vegetables grown in Dongguan are sold to Hong Kong, too.
He gives visitors tours and is excited to teach children and families about the growing process. He often offers freshly picked samples. Wong said most are shocked when he offers them a freshly picked vegetable.
“I will pull an ear of corn (Japanese snow- white corn) off the stalk and offer it to someone. They always say ‘no’ because it has not been cooked, and do not think it can be eaten. They see me take a bite and it convinces them to try,” he said.
Wong installed team building areas, such as the War Game Zone for paintball and a mini-spartan racecourse for adults and children. He also has farm animals: chickens, three goats and two cows. He plans to get an alpaca later this year.