Years ago, Hello Kitty notebooks and stickers and little doll houses were coveted by little girls, and not often found in American stores. Now, Hello Kitty is everywhere you look and as much beloved as she was years ago.  She’s also helping Raymond Cheng attract children to his community organic garden program in Hong Kong. Cheng was searching for a way to get more kids involved in his program, when he had the bright idea to employ one of the world’s most popular felines as his mascot. Now his farm has exploded as both a place for growing food and an attraction – all thanks to Hello Kitty.

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In Hong Kong, you can now explore, visit and participate in the Hello Kitty Go Green Organic Farm. Kids visiting the farm can take care of their own small 5 square-foot garden plot as part of the Hello Kitty Little Farmer Program that lets them come by anytime they want for two months or more to take care of their plants and feed the goats, sheep and a pig.

Adults may not get into the Hello Kitty theme (although we’re betting some of them do), but they can rent a plot of land from Cheng and unwind by caring for their fruits and vegetables. There are classes available for the beginner to the more advanced farmer as well.

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Cheng himself got into gardening as a way to reduce his own stress and eventually turned his land into a rentable community garden space. For him, bringing Hello Kitty into the mix was a way to attract more young children to the idea of gardening. Having a fun cartoon character greet them and give them directions around the farm can inspire them as well.

“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 told FastCoExist.com. “But after Hello Kitty, we can go to 500 and sometimes over 1,000 people coming in one day.”

Hello Kitty has found its way into other food products and offerings as well, including a Hello Kitty-themed food truck, a Hello Kitty Cafe, Hello Kitty wine and certified organic pasta.

Via Grist and Modern Farmer

Photos by Hello Kitty Go Green Organic Farm