Browsing Tag


City, Farm Stories

Farm Stories: Derrick Ng of Generation Green and Wang Yuan Fish Soup


Last week, I went with my beloved friend Bhavani Prakash to visit Derrick Ng at his spray-free farm space in Neo Tiew. He’s an inspiring, enterprising young man with a vegetable farming business and a fish soup stall, and has an impressive corridor farm at home. He’s determined to improve Singapore’s food security, and has a strong desire to bring healthier, pesticide-free food to Singaporeans. He is one of a collective group of people who have adopted farm plots on this property.

Derrick explained to us that he uses a closed loop system to ensure no waste is created in the process of growing vegetables and fish. The vegetables that don’t make to it the market or his fish soup stall, Wang Yuan Fish Soup, end up as compost. The fish he farms is for the purpose of making fish emulsion, an effective fertiliser for plants.

After showing us around his three greenhouses, he was kind enough to give us some freshly harvested Purple Chye Sim to take home. I cooked it that evening in a soup, and it was very delicious. During our time with Derrick, he dispensed lots of growing tips related to vegetables and fruit trees. He also shared that he favours permaculture as a farming practice, and he uses resources that are readily available to him, and makes the best of what he has.

I can’t emphasise enough, the importance of knowing your farmer, where possible, because there’s an assurance that the food you’re consuming is safe. Also, it’s been said that eating locally and seasonally is healthier for us because we follow the rhythms of nature.

Here are photos of Derrick’s farming plots, and an interview where he shares details of his journey so far.

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Urban rooftop farms in Singapore


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.

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Me in my city garden

Here are some photos of me in my garden, in Singapore. These were taken last month by little red ants creative studio for promotional use in a brochure by the National Environment Agency. I recently received them and feel pleased enough to show them off.

Not much of my plants can be seen, but the highlight would certainly the bantam chickens. They were rather afraid of the cameras but dropped almost all of their defences once they saw me holding half an ear of sweet corn.

Corporate photography for Ecofriend AwardCorporate photography for Ecofriend Award

Through these pictures, I also realise that I have a bit of a hostile gardening face. The photographer kept telling me to smile, and now I know why. I think I need a “Go away, I’m gardening” t-shirt to complete my wardrobe of gardening attire – pyjamas, really. My boyfriend calls me the pyjama gardener. I could even possibly make my own by up-cycling an old t-shirt, with some handy hints from Agatha.

Corporate photography for Ecofriend Award Corporate photography for Ecofriend Award

In a couple of months, I hope I’ll have a lot more to show for in my city garden. At the moment I have some of the usual herbs, such as curry leaf, rosemary, mint, lemongrass and basil, and I am growing organic seedlings that include kale, mibuna, coriander, tomatoes, winged beans, okra, eggplant, and rosella. But for now, it’s time to play the waiting game.


Where you can grow your own food in Singapore

With Singapore’s space constraints, green-fingered apartment dwellers and landed property owners aren’t always able to carve out enough space to grow all the herbs, flowers and food that they desire. As people become more conscious about Singapore’s food security, the healing nature of plants, and the connection between food and health, an increasing number are making a choice to move away from food which has been chemically fertilised, and the interest in growing one’s own food is on the rise.

My friend and urban farmer, Bjorn Low from Edible Gardens adopts a plot of land at Green Valley Farms, a 2.5 hectare area in Sembawang that has also been adopted by some members of the public. I went to visit Bjorn’s plot last week, and also have a look at what the community has been growing. I was so impressed.


There is a wide variety of plants being grown here by people for a variety of reasons. I saw melons and pumpkin plants, and even cauliflower, which is quite incredible since it prefers cool weather and is not fond of humidity. Each plot is separated with netting, and some are not as easy to peer into, so I peeked through the gap in the gate to get a better look.

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This plot below uses reclaimed wooden bases from the older style of pick-ups, I was told. A great example of upcycling! I also heard from Bjorn that all farmers have been asked to farm organically, which is wonderful, because it is a considerate act, not just for the soil and one’s neighbour’s soil, but it also avoids pollution of ground water and waterways. All plot adopters also have to be responsible for their water usage, and usually have a well on their plot, which is naturally filled when it rains.

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If you are interested in adopting a plot, check out their website. While you are there, you may also be interested in purchasing local and organic vegetables.

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For those who do not have any experience of farming, and live in the North-eastern part of Singapore, Community Farmsquare might be a better option. Located in Hougang, this pilot project involves the adoption of a 1m x 1m planter box, at a cost of $50 a month over 6 months, and the space will be tended to by residents living nearby. The founder, Soh Ju Hu is looking for 100 early adopters, and he hopes that it can be launched in early 2014. See below for what this farmsquare looks like.


For more information, download this brochure, or get in touch with Ju Hu at If you are keen, you can sign up here.

And if you are not ready to commit to a farming plot, why not get your hands dirty at Ground Up Initiative‘s Sustainable Living Centre in Bottle Tree Park? Visitors are welcome each weekend, for more information, visit them on their Facebook fan page.


Happy farming!!

Community Farmsquare images courtesy of Soh Ju Hu