Featured Urban Gardener: Meet Alicia van Thiel!



We’re excited to introduce you to our new featured urban gardener and local Hong Kong artist, Alicia van Thiel, to share her growing journey with all of us! Not only was Alicia a student of our Grow Your Own Food: Online Academy, but she also purchased one of our curated Grow Kits to start her home garden. We’re so thankful for all the support Alicia has given to Rooftop Republic! 


Alicia started her urban garden earlier this year when her family wanted to explore the benefits of growing and harvesting their own nutritious food. 


“There is something magical about planting a small seed, watching it grow, and then enjoying a meal together with recipes created from fresh food we have harvested from our own garden… It truly has been one of the many great rewards starting our herb and vegetable garden as a family,” Alicia happily reflects.


Since then, she has grown a variety of veggies and herbs including, water spinach, peppers, okra, basil, tarragon, and many more delicious seasonal vegetables!



Like many Hong Kongers, Alicia faced the challenge of how to start her garden in her small outdoor space. There were many factors she had to consider, such as maintaining the amount of soil and choosing what kinds of vegetables to grow depending on the seasons throughout the year. Alicia kindly notes, “Rooftop Republic’s growing kits and online workshops about soil maintenance and fertilization management were a great support from the start.”



Gardening has also been an amazing learning experience for Alicia’s brave ten-year-old daughter who’s not afraid of any bugs in the garden! Her house has become her own little science lab as she experimented with making natural homemade bug sprays using various recipes. 



Alicia’s garden became a huge inspiration for her current painting project and for her first children’s book. Make sure to visit her Instagram to see more of her beautiful paintings at @aliciavanthiel.  


A big thanks to Alicia for sharing her amazing experience with us! We hope that her story has inspired you to start growing your own food, too.

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