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Practicing Permaculture in the City

[Milkwood PDC course outing with David Holmgren in Sydney, photo by Oliver Holmgren]

With more Singaporeans learning about permaculture, many wonder if a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) is relevant to them and how we can practice permaculture in Singapore given most of us live in apartments. In my previous post featuring reviews on PDC courses in Southeast Asia and Australia, I mentioned that the PDC is highly relevant if you wish to design a farm or any kind of space for growing crops because it is a design course. The course is currently not available in Singapore, and I would suggest getting acquainted with the ethics and principles of permaculture first, before deciding if you wish to proceed. You can even do an online Intro to Permaculture course like the one offered here (it started on 1 May but it looks like one can still enrol).

So how can we practice permaculture in the city, where it’s also relevant to apartment dwellers? In permaculture, the aim is to create a holistic design system for managing an ecosystem in harmony with nature, and can be scaled down to suit the size of our balcony, corridor, rooftop, courtyard, or backyard garden/s.

April Session of Soil Class

Soil Class is back again in April, join us!

Soil Class (Basic Level) by The Tender Gardener

Relatively new to urban farming, and looking to demystify the subject of soil? Through this talk, learn soil basics and what your plants need to thrive instead of just survive. We will cover what you need to know to gain confidence in growing healthy edible plants, so join us!

Date & Time: 15 April 2017, 10:30am – 12:00pm
Venue: NONG at HortPark (33 Hyderabad Road (off Alexandra Rd), Beside the lawn
Cost: $39 per person, with limited spaces available, so booking is essential
RSVP: Sign up here!

What you will learn in this session:

– Different types of soil
– Physical needs of plants
– Nutrient requirements of plants
– Fertilisation
– Tips on growing seedlings
[To learn about soil amendments and mixing your own soil, please join us for the intermediate soil workshop on a later date]

Garden Visitations with Mr Tang

You might recognise Mr Tang (pictured above) from a previous post. I had been wondering what he’s been up to, and interested to catch up after his two month stay in Taiwan. I found out that he had been working on different gardens, and he invited Chun Yeow and I to check out his garden project in the west of Singapore.

It’s a rather spacious plot of land, and the owners already have established trees of durian, rambutan, pomelo, mulberry, banana and I thought I saw a couple of loquat trees. Great bones to create a food forest! Mr Tang has planted chilli, okra, eggplants, pigeon pea, ginger, among others. He shared that wild chickens have been digging up his seedlings and snails have been a problem too, but he’s certainly enjoying himself.

February Workshops: Basic & Intermediate Soil Workshops

This month, I am holding two soil workshops at NONG at Hort Park. I have split my workshop into two separate sessions after receiving feedback from participants that they experienced information overload. To find out more, please see the event descriptions below.

Soil Class (Basic Level) by The Tender Gardener

Relatively new to urban farming, and looking to demystify the subject of soil? Learn soil basics and what your plants need to thrive instead of just survive. We will cover what you need to know to gain confidence in growing healthy edible plants, so join us!

Date & Time: 18 February 2017, 10:30am – 12nn
Venue: NÓNG at HortPark (33 Hyderabad Rd (Off Alexandra Road), #01-01 (Beside the Lawn), Singapore 119578)
Cost:  $39 per person, with limited spaces available, so booking is essential
Registration: Reserve your seat here

What you will learn in this session:

– Different types of soil
– Physical needs of plants
– Nutrient requirements of plants
– Fertilisation
– Tips on growing seedlings
.

Soil Mixing Workshop (Intermediate Level) by The Tender Gardener

Do you already understand the basics of soil but wish to learn to make your own seed raising mix and potting mix? There are many recipes out there, but it also depends on what you’re growing. Hear about the variations of soil mixes and participate in this hands-on soil mixing workshop. We will also talk about soil amendments, including compost.

Date & Time: 25 February 2017, 10:30am – 12nn
Venue: NÓNG at HortPark (33 Hyderabad Rd (Off Alexandra Road), #01-01 (Beside the Lawn), Singapore 119578)
Cost: $55 per person, with limited spaces available, so booking is essential
Registration: Reserve your seat here

What you will learn in this session:

– What soil amendments are
– How soil amendments can improve your soil
– How to mix your own seed raising mix and potting mix

What you will take home:

– A list of seed raising and potting mix recipes
– Notes from our workshop
– Seed raising mix sample
– Potting mix sample

 

18 Jan: Cultivate the Earth! Japan’s Agriculture & Biotechnology

WASABI Creation is primarily a consultancy bridging Japan and Singapore in areas of business and cultural exchange, but they also organise some interesting events. This one especially piqued my interest because it’s about farming and agricultural techniques – and Japan. Also I’ve sampled Chitose Agriculture Initiative’s produce before, and I found it very sweet and delicious.

According to the event write up, the speaker, Mr Kengo Fukui will cover the following:

  • Interesting trends and stories about agriculture in Japan
  • Introduce the “Farm-to-Table” concept, where each prefecture creates their own vegetable and fruits brand
  • Secrets of how famers in Japan can produce one of the best quality fruits and vegetable in the world
  • His observations in Singapore on Organic, Urban farming
  • Problems of agriculture & biotechnology in Singapore and SEA and experiences from their own farming in Cameron Highlands
  • This company’s philosophy and the latest biotechnology its has developed in bringing high quality produces from Japan to Southeast Asia and the rest of the world

This talk is happening next week and I’ve already booked my seat. The organiser, Tong, was kind enough to extend a special discount to urban farmers, so instead of the very early bird price of $40 or full ticket price of $50, pay $35 when you email him at hi@wasabicreation.com with the subject header “The Tender Gardener group discount“, remember to include your name and company name. The price includes refreshments of beer and wine, and there will be some Japanese food at the event, including onigiri, as well as fruit and veg tasting. To view the full event write up, see here!

If you’re going, see you there!

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