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growing vegetables Singapore

City, Guides

Fast growing Vegetables & edible plants in singapore

The current uncertainty that comes with the COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns with food security in Singapore and for some, this has piqued consumer interest in growing their own vegetables 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.

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

Microgreens take a matter of days to grow and requires minimal effort. While this isn’t really going to fill your belly, it contains a good amount of nutrients, 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 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 microgreens 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 👇

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City, Garden Stories

Garden Stories: Ong Chun Yeow, the Community Rooftop Farmer

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In Yishun, you will find one of only a handful of rooftop community gardens in Singapore, built atop a HDB car park. Ong Chun Yeow is one of several estate residents with a garden allotment, growing lots of leafy greens like purslane, swiss chard, and amaranth, herbs, galangal, as well as fruiting vegetables like bitter gourd, okra and tomatoes.

Opened in 2014, this rooftop garden features 30 garden allotments, which residents ballot for. The diversity of plants in this garden is incredible, I saw corn, broccoli, kale, and strawberry plants, a papaya tree, different varieties of eggplants, gourds, beans, herbs and spices. Through clever space stacking and bio-intensive growing methods, one can maximise their yield, however limited the space, as can be seen in this garden. I also noticed many ladybirds, a beneficial insect and wonderful pest control agent, always good to have them around!

I got to know Chun Yeow through my circle of environmentalist friends and we have been Facebook friends for years, but I don’t recall actually meeting him in person till this year. He is keen on heritage and environmental issues, desires to have a low-impact existence, and practices intentional living. He recently received his Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) and is looking forward to more hands-on permaculture experiences locally and overseas. Whenever I ask him what he’s doing on the weekend, it seems like he’s usually involved in at least one urban farming-related event. As a lover of plants and nature, he’s also passionate about community building activities, such as those organised by Foodscape Collective.

Find out more about Chun Yeow’s journey in this interview, and check out the photos of this marvellous rooftop community garden!

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