• Shoppers pass by almost empty shelves in a supermarket in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province.

Shoppers pass by almost empty shelves in a supermarket in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province. (Photo : Getty Images)

People in Beijing can now buy fresh vegetables through an initiative called "Farm to Neighbors." This is an initiative that puts farmers' markets to shopping malls in China.

During the Lantern Festival Market, many locals came to this initiative to either purchase food or enjoy interesting activities.

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The Lantern Festival Market was held from Feb. 11 to 12. It is an event where people eat Yuanxiao and other dishes with their families to celebrate the first full moon after the Chinese New Year.

An elderly couple made Yuanxiao with two different fillings on one of the farmers' market sites, which attracted many customers.

A Yuanxiao roller said: "Because our Yuanxiao are made of organic glutinous rice flour, they are more expensive than those in supermarkets. In fact, the numbers of Yuanxiao I rolled can't meet the demand, and many locals, especially foreigners prefer this healthy food."

Bread, noodles, vegetables, meat and sauces are sold by producers that have their own farms or factories.

The farmers' market initiative was founded by Erica Huang, a Taiwanese girl, in 2015.

She has suffered from a skin ailment due to her work in Beijing when she was 24 years old. In order to improve her diet, she looked for organic food, visited many ecological farms, and interviewed many experts around Beijing.

Huang said: "I had to take some medicine that was forbidden in many countries. Then I asked myself what made me like this. After many research, I finally learned that what you eat greatly influences your body."

Huang quit her job in 2015 and started organizing the farmers' market. She added: "I was eager to build the relationship between farms and me just like neighbors, then the name, 'Farm to Neighbours' came to my mind when it started at that time."

Huang believes that the initiative will soon gain popularity locally.