The uncertainty that came with the COVID-19 pandemic raised concerns with food security in Singapore and overseas. For some, this piqued consumer interest in growing their own vegetables and edible plants at home. However this all takes time and it helps to know which vegetables you can grow and harvest in a short time span, and how long you have to wait before you can harvest fruiting vegetables. In this post I will cover the types of food you can grow at home, including fast growing edible plants in Singapore, Malaysia and other tropical regions of South East Asia and the world.
Community resilience is fundamental to surviving crisis on a large scale, and food growing is one way to build resilience. However, another way to do so is to share crops and skills. One important thing to note is that you don’t have to grow everything on your own, instead we can all trade excess produce so that we can diversify our diets without stressing ourselves that we need to be self sufficient.
We can also preserve food through fermentation and freezing meals to extend the shelf life of our produce. If we really want to stretch the value of our food and resources, we can make cleaning enzymes and/or compost using our food scraps.
Here are my recommendations of fast growing vegetables you can start growing today in Singapore. For a guide on how to start growing vegetables, please see here.
Growing Microgreens & Sprouts
Microgreens and sprouts take a matter of days to grow and requires minimal effort. While this isn’t really going to fill your belly, it is nutrient-dense and can easily complement your dishes at home.
Note that alfalfa and mung beans (bean sprouts) are quick to sprout and mature in a sprouter, and should be ready by the 6th day, but sunflower seeds will take longer and require soil planting and will mature just after 10 days. Research the growing time of microgreens and sprouts before you get hold of seeds.
This video by Jeremy Coleby-Williams gives a very thorough walk-through on the materials you need to create your own sprouter, choosing seeds and growing. Another fuss-free method of sprouting involves using a colander and kitchen towel, and a bowl to catch water run-off 👇