Singapore kitchen garden improvements “best Christmas present ever” says charity

9 Jan 2023

The Marine Crescent Kitchen Garden in Singapore came into being some two decades ago when a determined group of neighbours transformed a car park into a garden…

It’s been providing the residents living in the surrounding high-rise flats with fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices ever since.

In October, we facilitated a Splash Project with 33 students at INSEAD Business School’s Singapore campus who, in one day, gave the garden a new lease of life, ensuring it continues to be the hub of the community for years to come.

Looking ahead to what the upgrade will enable her volunteer gardeners to do throughout 2023, below, Gina Ong, Kitchen Garden volunteer coordinator, describes the impact the project is having on the community…

All of us here are truly grateful for the great work which was completed in such a short time frame.

Not only did you listen to our needs, you came up with the design and all the preparation work and materials needed. It was amazing to see the INSEAD team transform the place in just a day’s work! 

We are now blessed with a beautiful edible garden with a learning hut for an outdoor learning classroom.

It was the best Christmas present for Marine Crescent  Ville and we cannot thank you enough! 

 

Impact

  • Our kitchen garden is now ideal for seniors and those with dementia as we have now wider pathways for wheelchair bound visitors.
  • In future, we have plans to create a therapeutic section for dementia patients.
  • The outdoor classroom is providing an ideal place to hold simple gardening workshops or sharing sessions for seniors.
  • Understanding the use of scent, sight and taste is very important for people with dementia and we have many plants which are igniting their memories: we had visitors who exclaimed that a scent of herb reminded them of their childhood days, and another visitor who said our cabbages reminded him of being in the Cameroon Highlands, not knowing they could be grown here.
  • Nearby students are also benefiting from our upgraded outdoor classroom.
  • We hope to educate our younger generation on sustainability and that food doesn’t come direct from the supermarket shelves to the table, teaching them the process from seed to harvest.
  • Through growing their own food young people will gain more responsibility, through the care of their plants, and vigilance, keeping a watch-out for pests! They will also experience joy through harvesting the fruits of their labour!
  • Besides just growing food, our garden encourages biodiversity on our doorstep.
  • We have plans to organise zero waste projects to educate residents and anyone who is keen to learn.
  • We upcycle many materials in our garden besides composting through our weekly vegetable rescue projects. Our food and vegetable rescue project benefits around 40 – 50 of our residents weekly. This is in line with the sustainability theme our country is championing.
  • Foo Hai Elderly Lodge, which houses about 50 – 60 seniors, will continue to get pesticide-free vegetables from our garden. Currently, our garden donates about 15-20kg of vegetables every cycle and with the new bigger planter boxes, we hope to provide more than our previous harvests.
  • The raised beds help our elderly gardeners, while solving the waterlogging issues we face.
  • Of course, the project has given the garden a great new look; after the upgrade, we had the admiration of many visitors to our garden!

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