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Urban cropland springs up in Xi'an
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A girl bends down to watch plants in a small cropland in downtown Xi'an, the capital of northwestern China's Shaanxi Province, on Monday, May 5, 2008. [Photo: hsw.cn]

A Xi'an recreational farmer and his wife have chosen an unlikely spot to raise their crops – a miniscule plot in the center of the city.

A 2.32-square-meter cropland in downtown Xi'an, the capital of northwestern China's Shaanxi Province, has drawn attention within the city and even on the Internet.

A 70-year-old man surnamed Lv and his wife are planting crops near their home in central Xi'an, Chinese Business View reported on Tuesday.

The couple started building their mini-field when the street in front of their house was reconstructed and trees were removed eight years ago.

They first grew wheat, sorghum and maize, then added mint, beans and even persimmons. The elderly couple hopes to help modern citizens distinguish between different crops by getting closer to nature.

Lv's neighbors share in his happiness, as Lv always shares the harvest with them. Passers-by also like the mini- cropland because the beautiful cole flowers provide an interesting change of scenery. Even students are interested in observing the plants to enhance their agricultural knowledge.

Lv's actions have also won applause from the online community. Many netizens say the small field in downtown Xi'an aroused their own yearnings for the countryside.

An official with the forestation department of the local construction bureau said that planting crops is forbidden on first- and second-level roads in Xi'an. However, the department has given Lv the green light.

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