31 Aug – Update

Today, there were so many activities happening at and around the garden. It was a busy day! :)

Steven Ng and his team from The Nature Company came with bags of organic compost and fertiliser. The company had selected to provide Pavilion’s edible garden with technical guidance, advice & sponsorship over a 6-month period.

It was their first “official” visit, and Steven and his team were eager to share tips on  how to use the compost & fertiliser correctly.

Unfortunately, the timing of the visit was confirmed quite late (only the evening before), and only neighbours Mr. Teo and Cuifen were around when they came. Undeterred, Steven proceed to share tips on how to use the compost & fertiliser with Mr. Teo.

Bags of organic fertiliser

Bags of organic fertiliser

***

In the mean-time… the pavilion beside the garden was getting a little busy! Neighbours gathered to prepare photo booth props for our estate’s “Pavilion Celebrates!” this coming Sunday. As there is no table at the pavilion, they made do by sitting on the floor & benches, and started using art craft tools to cut out interesting designs for the photo booth.

Neighbours coming together to help create photo booth props

Neighbours coming together to help create photo booth props

Happy neighbours :)

Happy neighbours :) (photo credit: Ka Gek)

Even the little children got into the act!

Focusing on cutting...

Focusing on cutting… (Photo credit: Ka Gek)

Neighbours who were busy with the arts & crafts also ended up walking into the garden, to check it out.

Love how the edible garden creates a interesting community space for such bonding activities to take place.

***

We also welcomed 2 special visitors – students from Singapore Poly!

Well, they are part of a small team of SP students who came up with a mobile Android app (A.S.K.) which aims at bringing communities together through asking, sharing and konnecting. The app was apparently created when one of their seniors noticed how his mum always have plants to give away.

The students came because they would like to enter a video for a Samsung challenge to students – how technology can be used to resolve social issues, and create a better tomorrow. Neighbours Steven, Cuifen, Dennis & Lydia have a very small part in this video. We will share it if it ever comes online :)

Printscreen of the mobile app

Printscreen of the mobile app

By the way, this app is not in Play Store as yet, but we have received a working demo copy for sharing with our neighbours. Do write to us if you are interested to get a copy!

***

Time just seems to fly when we are at the garden!

Some of us left the garden at ~3-4pm… It wasn’t that we were gardening all the way from morning to mid-afternoon… There were the many happy conversations… the crafts… the video play acting…

Joyful, joyful. Looking forward to our garden launch this coming Sunday!

 

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 :)