Bringing people together over fruit and spice and all things nice

INSEAD | Marine Crescent Kitchen Garden

The Marine Crescent Kitchen Garden in Singapore came into being some two decades ago when a lady called Gina Omg instigated the transformation of a car park into a garden for her neighbours.

It has been providing the residents living in the surrounding high-rise flats, not only with fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices, but with a social hub, ever since.

But, in order for it to continue being the hub of the community, the garden has been in desperate need of an upgrade. Cue, a Splash Project.

We linked a business team on an executive education programme with INSEAD at the business school’s Singapore campus, with the not-for-profit organisation and in one day, a 33 strong team replaced a series of aging structures including planters, trellis and seating, giving the precious space a new lease of life.

Steve Johnston, Splash project planner and project leader on the programme, said: “Gina told us that no one had faith in the garden when it first started. She said people thought no one would want to use it, but 20 years on and it’s more loved than ever.”

The garden also has an outdoor classroom so people from the surrounding communities can come and learn about how to create and maintain their own kitchen gardens.

A Splash team, led by Programme Director Colin Robertson who was the project manager, arrived two days early to prepare the site for the project build. And there was no way they were going to let near constant heavy downpours, flooding, and hot humid conditions, stop them from getting the site to where it had to be for the team’s arrival.

On the project day itself, the weather was perfect. Whether this was due to one of the residents carrying out an ancient Singaporean custom of placing an onion adorned with chilis on the site to ward off bad weather, will never be known.

The enthusiasm and dedication from the team and the support from the garden’s volunteers, was just phenomenal,” Steve added.