City, Country

Making cordage from plants

Making cordage from backyard plants is a skill that enriches our appreciation for the natural world. This activity is not just fun and rewarding, but it teaches patience, respect for natural resources, and the ingenuity to utilise available materials effectively.

Many plants in your backyard contain fibrous material that can be turned into strong, durable cordage when processed correctly. Pictured above is what I made using my homegrown Ramie plant, which some use as a food colouring agent or to make dishes like Hakka Ramie Leaf dumplings.

If you live in a tropical climate, plants such as sea hibiscus, jute, kenaf, banana, bamboo and sugarcane are excellent sources of fibre after retting. The long, tough stalks or bark of these plants are what you are after.

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City, Country

How to grow pineapples at home

If you have been wanting to learn how to grow pineapples at home, I’d say go do it because it is a highly rewarding experience. All you need is a bit of patience, since it can take around 15 months or more to yield fruit, depending on where you live.

Belonging to the Bromeliaceae family, which includes Tillandsia or air plants, the pineapple is a ground-level shrub which grows to around one metre high. The fruit is a result of the merging of 100 to 200 small florets that, once fertilised, produce individual fruits and swell. This results in a unified fruit when matured. A fully ripe pineapple typically weighs around 2kg or more, although this varies by species.

Photosynthesis for the pineapple takes place at night. The plant possesses Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM), an adaptation that enhances water utilisation efficiency and is commonly observed in plants that thrive in dry environments. These include cacti, orchids and terrestrial bromeliads.

how many pineapples grow on one plant
Image by Rushay Booysen

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Edible flowers you can grow in Singapore

Have you ever considered growing edible flowers at home? Incorporating homegrown edible flowers as part of your garden not only adds beauty but can also enhance the flavours of your culinary creations. In this post, find out which edible flowers you can grow in Singapore.

Edible flowers have diverse culinary applications and these days it is not uncommon to find them used as garnish on or around food in cafes and restaurants. Add them to salads, desserts or beverages for an attractive and flavourful touch. A word of caution, do choose edible flower varieties that are safe for consumption and if you are planning to grow them at home, avoid spraying chemicals so there is no risk of contamination.

edible flowers singapore
Edible flowers that adorned my wedding cake

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How we planned a green wedding in Singapore

As someone deeply conscious about how we need to reduce our impact on the environment, I embarked on the mission to create our wedding with a minimal carbon footprint. With a bit of creativity and a lot of help from God, we made our green wedding in Singapore a reality. Today, I’m excited to share how we managed to plan a sustainable wedding and inspire others to do the same.

We had our The Starry Night themed wedding at The Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator, also known as The Armenian Church, the first ever church planted in Singapore. Located at 60 Hill Street, it is a central location for many and conveniently located near City Hall and Clarke Quay MRT Station. We opted for a garden lunch reception on the premises, under an open air tent which comfortably accommodated 180 guests.

Organising lunch outside an F&B establishment certainly meant greater logistics management and higher costs, and we did not use a wedding planner in order to save money. However as a whole we tried to keep the day’s proceedings as minimal as possible by omitting practices we deemed unnecessary. Such as the “gatecrash”, flower children, confetti, bridal car, groomsmen and bridesmaids. We did have a simple tea ceremony on the premises before the church wedding though.

In total we spent just under $35,000 (including attire, hair and make up), which is a bit on the high end considering the number of guests and how church weddings are typically cheaper to organise. But renting a national monument comes at a cost, however it was the tentage and furnishings that were the largest cost, followed by food. There was also a last minute add-on of flooring due to the muddy grounds, which set us back around $3,200, but one must always expect the unexpected when organising events outdoors.

wedding at the armenian church Singapore
Photo by Joshua Pwee
worship musicians at armenian church SIngapore
Musicians (from left): Valerie Yeo, Miss Lou, Adele Wong, Isaac Ong, Grace Notes, Daniel Chia (not in frame). Photo by Joshua Pwee
garden wedding the armenian church Singapore
Photo by Joshua Pwee

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