Image credits: Edible Garden City
In the final instalment of our mini-series on making things, we explore gardening and growing your own food in urban Singapore.
Through farming, children learn about different plant types and properties and soil preparation. Being outdoors also lets them develop observational skills by observing plant growth through charts and predictions.
Caring for plants teaches children responsibility, and they learn to experiment through trial and error. Kids learn that mistakes are part of the process and each process has its own lessons and learning points. What plants work well in Singapore’s climate? How much water do we use and how often do we need to water?
Edible Garden City is one company championing the ‘grow-your-own-food’ movement in Singapore. Natalia Tan, Urban Farmer at Edible Garden City, said that participants of its first Junior Urban Farmer bootcamp held over the December 2017 holidays enjoyed creating their own hydroponics systems and tasting vegetables for a three-course lunch they cooked.
“Kids also had a chance to brew tea with herbs from the garden while making garden-inspired suncatchers, and preparing mushroom bags and fruit to take home,” she added.
The organisation also conducts a popular beginners’ workshop on basic gardening techniques such as seed sowing and stem propagation.
On a workshop she conducted for teens with six autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their parents, Natalia shares, “We were initially quite apprehensive about whether they would be open to handling soil, water and plants but the response was very heartening as we saw each one of them opening up to the wonderful world of growing food – the parents enjoyed the session as well. Despite the short 2-hour session, we saw lots of smiles and some serious bonding between the children and their parents.”
At Kampung Kampus, Ground-Up Initiative’s low-carbon footprint campus in Yishun, parents and children become farmers for a day, treading ankle-deep in soil, harrowing the soil and planting the green seedlings. They also get to try their hand at harvesting the vegetables grown on the organic farmland and prepare the ground for next planting.
Through growing their own food, children will become more aware of where their food comes from and the work that goes into growing it. This makes them more appreciative of nature and the environment.
Grab your boots, shovel and farmer hats this March holiday and check out the following urban farming parent-child activities!
Kampung Programmes by Ground-Up Initiative - Harvesting Season
Ages 5 and above
What: Harvest vegetables grown on organic land and prepare the ground for the next planting. You can also enjoy delicious snacks made by the kampung chef.
When: March 11, 8.30am to 12pm (sweet potato) and various dates and times
Click here to register.
Junior Urban Farmer by Edible Garden City
Contact Natalia Tan at Nataliatan@ediblegardencity for more information.
Click here to view upcoming workshops.