24 Aug – Receipt of Pavilion’s Community Garden Award :)

The Community-in-Bloom Awards ceremony was held at a closed event in the Singapore Garden Festival.

Somehow the process of bringing neighbours together to create an edible garden feels more meaningful than actually receiving the Silver achievement band award. Still, it was a rather exciting experience of collecting the Award plaque on behalf of neighbours and the edible garden group.

Celebrated with neighours who came along for the Garden fest. We walked and walked and walked… Super tired but happy!

Before the award collection. Neighbours Steven. Cuifen, Dennis, Lydia.

Before the award collection. Neighbours Steven. Cuifen, Dennis, Lydia.

Group photo part 2. Neighbours Steven, Sharon, Annie, John.

Group photo part 2. Neighbours Steven, Sharon, Cuifen, Annie, John.

17 Aug – May’s family joins the edible garden team

For at least a couple of weeks now, we noticed a happy extended family playing badminton at the hard court next to the edible garden. The grandfather would walk around the garden, and feel the plants growing around him… The daughter would also come by and check it out…

In at least one of these occasions, we started chatting with them. May, the daughter, shared that the family used to live in a kampung (village) and they wanted to grow lettuce in their home garden, but the conditions at home are not ideal (not enough sun, etc). So, they were interested to grow lettuce, etc in the garden.

So, the entire family came down again this weekend, and this time – their focus was on the garden!

They were allocated the wicking bed next to the raised bed with Butterfly Blue Pea plants. The family was very “on”, the grand dad most so, for he straight-away took out the existing plants, asked for the code to the tool box, and got out a large spade to start digging!

After assessing the soil level, etc – the entire family trooped off to buy more soil, compost, vegetable seeds, netting…

It is really amazing to witness how the entire family of 3 generations planned & got into the act together.

May's family in discussion

May’s family in discussion

Red Okra

Harvest from the garden this morning! Upon posting this photo on FB, the comments came in fast.

“Nice! And the ladies finger is really unique!”

“Lady finger got pink colour? 1st time see it.”

Harvest from the garden :)

Harvest from the garden :)

Interesting how no one seemed to comment – “First harvest for the long beans!”

The red okra (aka. lady finger) caught the eye of people because it’s something that most people have not came across before. It’s certainly not something we can buy off the shelves in the supermarkets!

Neighbour Mr. Teo knew this, and deliberately planted the red okra plants. He got the seeds from Malaysia.

The red okra, he shared, is not so tasty as the green okra. But the red pigments are good for your health, and the benefits are more when you eat it raw. When cooked, the red colour actually disappears!

“Magic okra”, commented neighbour Sharon.

 

 

18 Jul – corn & maize, ladybirds & aphids

The maize plant in the 3 Sisters bed has started flowering! :)

The maize plant has started flowering!

The maize plant has started flowering! (Photo credit: Dennis & Lydia)

Do you know what’s the difference between maize and corn? Well, I didn’t.

Neighbour Dennis explained that the maize is the plant, and corn is the yummilicious yellow fruit that we are familiar with.

Dennis & his sis also reported seeing quite a number of ladybirds in the garden. We have at least 3 types! Red dots on black. Orange dots on black. All black.

Lady birds are very welcome in the garden, as they are very active predators on aphids and ants. In fact, Dennis was even considering allowing one of the plants to become infested with aphids, just so that we have a larger population of lady birds!

Check out this Youtube video of lady birds in action :)

Lady bird :)

Lady bird :)

 

 

16 Jul – Our garden has won SILVER in the CIB Awards!

The results of the 2014 Community-in-Bloom Awards were released quietly on NParks’ website in early July.

Pavilion’s edible garden has won the SILVER award (under the private housing estate category)!

CIB Awards - Private housing estates awarded SILVER

CIB Awards – Private housing estates awarded SILVER (image from NParks pdf on the results)

Looking at NParks’ summary on the Award achievement bands for the winning gardens, it appears that many community gardens have also done well in the awards.

Couldn’t help wondering what aspects helped us win the SILVER award, and what we can do better to achieve the PLATINUM. and GOLD bands. Would be nice to have a detailed report of sorts!

Summary of participating gardens & achievement bands

Summary of participating gardens & achievement bands

Here are some responses of neighbours when we shared the results on Whatsapp and Facebook:

Teck Lee – “Cool! Rewarded for your rewarding spirit and effort.”

Kristy – “Awesome news, congrats”

John – “Well done those with green hands ! The best is yet to be :)”