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Meet the New Zealander who discovered a passion for gardening in Toyko

If you take a look around Tokyo, you’ll find lots of technicolour.

Grey, grey and grey and a little cherry blossom pink.

But there's a Kiwi who wants another colour on the city's palate.

Jon Walsh’s mission is to turn Tokyo green one garden at a time and with space being tight, it’s no easy task.

In the suburbs they do lots of flowers but they don't make for a good dinner.

“Hardly anyone grows vegetables but they could do,” he says.

His lightbulb moment came after Tokyo's 2011 earthquake.

“It really made me think, if a quake size of the one that hit northern Japan hit Tokyo, roads would be blocked, supermarkets destroyed... where would the food come from? I had no answer, it freaked me out massively," he said.

It was then he decided self-sufficiency was absolutely critical.

So with a back garden a little bigger than a Kiwi front porch, he set to work.

And when flash floods caused a massive vege price hike, Jon felt he’d hit the jackpot.

“I grow about 25,000 to 30,000 yen fresh veg a year,” he says.

The self-taught grower has now turned his hand to teaching, planting ideas in young, fertile minds.

“I’m not a gardener not a teacher, I just pushed myself and never said no and become the only English-speaking urban farming consultant possibly in the whole country,” Jon says.

As well as getting kids to dig in, he sets up gardens for offices and hotels - even getting a contract with the Hyatt.

Watch the full story above.


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Jon Walsh moved to Tokyo to work as a translator, but instead found his true calling. Source: Seven Sharp