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Aloe Vera assault

I haven't had much luck with growing food this past winter/monsoon season in Singapore. Weather aside, my plants have been on the receiving end of avian assaults, some have been pecked at, some even uprooted. This is the first time it has ever happened in our garden. I was already pretty miffed when I had lost some nasturtium plants, a baby winged bean, rosella fruits and seedlings, and a cos lettuce plant. The initial suspects were the chickens, but the lack of footprints conveyed that we have a light-footed thief on our hands. Recently, I realised that a band of mynahs enjoy loitering in that area, and I would see the odd spotted necked dove, plus there's this solo friendly bird...

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Farm Box review: SuperNature

For my birthday last month, I was pleasantly surprised with a delivery of one of SuperNature's Farm Boxes, kindly sent by Blackberry Singapore. I hear from them time to time, and occasionally they give me phones to test out. While I don't celebrate my birthday anymore, I found this to be so thoughtful. Sometime back, I remarked on this blog that I had not yet tried SuperNature's produce, finally this day has come. Here's what was included in the Farm Box. I think this was the Baby Farm Box. It contained my favourite fruits and vegetables, ones that I grow in Australia or buy regularly, and they all looked very fresh. The first vegetables I tucked into were the leeks, carrots and...

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The charm of Pulau Ubin

A familiar haunt for Singaporeans, Pulau Ubin is a green idyllic space a hop and a skip from the mainland. I was there a few weeks ago with my artist/curator friend, Jacquelyn Soo, to view its vegetable, herb and spice garden and other nature spaces as inspiration for our upcoming joint exhibition project for Sum > Parts: When Artists Meet the Public. There's a carefree vibe on the island, and the sensible pace of life there made time seem slower, giving us time to appreciate each moment we had. There are more bicycles than cars and people, and the dogs here are so friendly and seem so happy, they look like they are smiling. There's greenery everywhere, and even on the roof of...

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Urban rooftop farms in Singapore

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My gardening and environmentalist friends, Bjorn Low and Allan Lim, have been working on their new rooftop farming spaces in recent months. Bjorn and his team at Edible Gardens were recently given a temporary space at People’s Park Complex, which they have named Nong (agriculture), a pop up farm concept that is certainly one to keep an eye on, while Allan Lim, one of the founders of The Living! Project, and his team managed to secure a space at *SCAPE. What I find exciting is that both are rooftop farms in the city; the former in the heart of Chinatown, and the latter in the heart of Orchard Road.

Nong is located on the 6th storey of People’s Park Complex, and Edible Gardens has collaborated with online retailer, Naiise, to create a shop selling stationary, home decor pieces, and gardening wares. Haystakt, an online maker marketplace has also moved in, and gardening and farming installations by Greenology, Sky Greens and Homegrw also have a presence. Other than its greenery, Nong features a strong design, as well as handmade theme. But the space is only half the joy; there will be workshops held on weekends, check their Facebook events page for more details. The upcoming session of Green Drinks will also be held there on the evening of 27 February – the focus being urban farming in Singapore. Come on down, I have organised this session!! The most straightforward way to get there is via the lift located near KFC.

Building a herbal garden

The plan is to have a garden apothecary and to go outside and get medicated naturally, rather than buying pharmaceutical products in a box. Since medication is mostly derived from plants, we might as well go straight to the source!

When I had first watched an episode of River Cottage where Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall visits a herbalist of sorts, and she draws a bath for him using flowers and herbs from her garden, I was smitten with the idea of one day having a romantic looking garden full of magical plants and know-how. It wasn’t until I’d watched Grow Your Own Drugs by James Wong, that I had grown to realise how within reach that dream was; as long as I did proper research and tried not to be too ambitious immediately, that I would get there. It wasn’t as painful and clinical as I had always thought it to be; it’s kind of like cooking, isn’t it?

But where does one start?