This is a special post, for two reasons.

First, it’s the inaugural post on Even Distribution, my new blog. Hooray!

I’m super excited to kick this off. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

I’m still not entirely sure what shape it’s going to take. My (very vague) plan is to write about things that I think are interesting. An admirable goal – let’s see how it pans out.

The second reason it’s a special post is because this story is cracking. It takes place on Quora.

If you love geeking out on niche topics, like I do, then sign up for a free account and follow a bunch of topics you’re interested in. There’s so much interesting stuff on there. And people go to incredible lengths to share useful information and cool stories with one another.

Case in point, this thread:

How is China able to provide enough food to feed its population of over 1 billion people? Do they import food or are they self-sustainable?

Using a combination of Google Earth imagery, stats pulled from Wikipedia, first-hand experience and photography, Quora user Janus Dongye Qimeng takes us on an epic visual tour of China’s agricultural industry.

From the freshwater ‘seafood farms’ of coastal Zhejiang province…

satellite imagery of Zhejiang seafood farms

To the mind-bogglingly vast tomato fields of Xinjiang province…

Yep, those red areas are tomatoes. And that’s satellite imagery. Which makes that a whole lot of tomatoes.

I find the scale of China awe-inspiring. In terms of the physical landmass but also in terms of the processes required to support the population.

What do you think those strips are?

google earth imagery of rows of greenhouses

They’re greenhouses. Thousands upon thousands of them, neatly arranged into rows as far as the eye can see.

image of interior of greenhouse

You can check out the thread here. If you can spare 10 minutes or so, give it a read.

And if you haven’t already got one, sign up for a free account and take a look around.

In other interesting news from China – leaping from the sublime to the ridiculous here – a Chinese vlogger pulled off the largest catfishing in internet history then declared her intention to become a rapper. Incredible scenes.