30 Nov – Update

It was a quiet day today, just 4 of us in total. Still, we were productive!

First off –  the 3 Sisters Bed. The corn are really starting to gain height now. Even though the rain has managed to thin the number of pumpkins, the survivors are doing well thanks to the shelter provided by the corn and bean leaves.

Corn are really starting to grow now.

Grow corn, grow!

So we got to work trimming the bean plants and harvesting more of the ripened pods.

Trimming bean plants

Trimming bean plants

Harvested more green beans!

Harvested more green beans!

Next, the garlic and onion bed! This bed was made on top of where our compost pile used to sit before we upped and flipped it to the left. We planted the garlic and onion bulbs about 2 weeks back and now they are doing relatively well despite the wet weather. 2 onion bulbs have disappeared, but it’s all good.

Onion and garlic doing well

Onion and garlic doing well

Third – The herb spiral!

We did some moving here and there on the spiral to tidy up the place. For example, we have moved the oyster plant/boat lilies out of the spiral, into a new spot along the walls. The laksa leaves were moved into the chilli bed, as long as along the walls. We are also testing out a new spot for the borage, by transplanting some cuttings one level down from where it sits now. And if all goes as planned, that’ll become its new permanent home and we will move everything else on the bottom level (mint, oregano, creet and indian coriander) to the right, or up the spiral.

Variegated Borage planted in a new spot in the spiral

Variegated Borage planted in a new spot in the spiral

Transplanted herbal leaves

Transplanted herbal leaves

The Chilli Bed!

We’re finally putting our own compost to good use – by topping up the soil in the wicking bed with all the chillies. We also tidied up this bed and sowed some fresh Chilli Padi seeds into the soil. Hopefully we well be able to start replacing the old chilli plants with these new ones.

1st batch of compost from our compost pile being used in one of the wicking beds!

1st batch of compost from our compost pile being used in one of the wicking beds!

Chilli Padi seeds sown into the bed

Chilli Padi seeds sown into the bed

A cause of concern – It seems like we might be facing a grasshopper infestation. A large number of them were seen on the back of the borage leaves. Hopefully our garden doesn’t disappear when we visit it next weekend.

Grasshopper infestation.

Grasshopper infestation.

And lastly, why waste what has fallen from the trees? This is as close to autumn as we get here in Singapore. The park was littered with many dried leaves. So we armed ourselves with tree branches and swept as many off the hardcourt as we could. The dried leaves are now put to use in the compost pile.

Armed with a tree branch, we swept the dried leaves and added them to the compost pile.

Armed with a tree branch, we swept the dried leaves and added them to the compost pile.

And so, such was what went down at the Pavilion Edible Garden this fine Sunday. :)

mu cai ~ delicious vegetable for stir fry

The edible leaves of “mu cai” are ready for harvesting! Have not been able to find English name, “mu cai” is the Mandarin name. I believe it is a type of lettuce.

mu cai

mu cai

Neighbour Mr. Teo encourages neighbours to harvest the leaves, and said the leaves when stir fried are really tasty.

Must say that this isn’t a vegetable that is readily available in the markets – so much so that we tell neighbours that the leaves are ready for harvesting, no one says a word! (Compared to say, the “cai xin”)

Anyway, I decided to harvest some leaves, and give the stir fry a try.

Here’s a little recipe:

  • harvest the leaves.
  • trim away the middle stem if one doesn’t like the harder stem portion.
  • slice the leaves into smaller pieces.
  • heat the wok with some oil
  • add dried shrimps or dried silver fish, and minced garlic
  • stir fry the above until there is a nice fragrance
  • add in the leaves
  • mix well
  • add a bit of water as needed
  • wait a few seconds… done!
  • enjoy the dish :)
mu cai stir fry

mu cai stir fry

15 Nov ~ Update

This week’s group session was supposed to be Sunday, but we decided to change it to Saturday to follow Nature Co’s monthly visit schedule. Steven, their main representative, was not feeling well. A company representative came to deposit more bags of organic compost and organic fertiliser. He observed that we had not used completely the bags that were given to us earlier, and hinted that they may stop providing more bags in the next visit.

Organic compost & fertiliser

Organic compost & fertiliser

In the mean-time, we got busy tending to our garden.

Tending to our garden

Tending to our garden

Neighbours Sharon and Annie came armed with a little fig tree sapling. We identified the area between the “3 sisters” bed and the “banana circle” as a suitable place for 4 to 5 small trees. So, in goes, the little fig “tree”!

Fig tree sapling

Fig tree sapling

Pumpkin seeds went into the “3 Sisters” bed. If you recall, the 3 Sisters are the corn, bean, and pumpkins. Corn for providing support, bean for providing nitrogen to the soil, and pumpkins to protect the top soil. The bags of organic compost and fertiliser came in useful.

The organic fertiliser comes in useful

The organic fertiliser comes in useful

We took time to check in on our food compost barrel too. It’s wonderful that there have been neighbours who contribute food waste every week.

Contents of our food compost barrel

Contents of our food compost barrel

The mung beans which were planted in the circle beds reserved for fruit trees and the “3 sisters” are about 40cm tall now. The pods are turning brown, and ready for harvest. These beans can be extracted to cook (e.g. as green bean soup), or to keep as seeds for growing more plants. Dennis shared that the soil condition in the beds has improved since the bean plants were planted.

Green beans

Green beans

Also, we harvested our first (and only) 2 passion fruits from the garden!

Our first 2 passion fruits!

Our first 2 passion fruits!

26 Oct ~ Update

It was time to harvest some sweet white potatoes. Dig we did… Neighbour Dennis guided us on how to follow the search for sweet potato tubers that were buried in the clayey soil below the surface.

Searching for sweet potatoes

Searching for sweet potatoes

White sweet potatoes

White sweet potatoes

The red amaranth (locally more commonly referred to as spinach) was also ready for harvesting.

Red amaranth

Red amaranth

The children had fun helping us cut garden waste into smaller pieces for addition to our compost heap.

Helping to trim garden waste for our  compost heap

Helping to trim garden waste for our compost heap

Neighbour Mr. Teo said the winter melon’s “time” was up as the fruit stalks were yellowing. We had harvested at least 3 batches of melons from these plants. So we harvested 12 melons of various sizes, to be distributed to neighbours who have been supporting the edible garden project. Mr. Teo selected 2 of the largest melons – and he truly deserves them. For it is him who has been tending to the winter melon plants almost every day, caring for them from seed, and generously giving away almost every melon that we have harvested. Much kudos to him for his dedication.

Last look at the winter melons before they are harvested

Last look at the winter melons before they are harvested

9 Nov – Garden’s 1st birthday!

A garden is truly the community’s when it is nurtured, cared for and celebrated by a community.

It was always in the back of our minds that we started creating the garden in Nov 2013. On double-checking our photo records, we realised that the date for the garden’s 1st birthday was on a Sunday, and in less than a week!

Some quick discussions in our Whatsapp group channel later, we decided to have bread-fast in the park. :) Nothing too formal, just a good excuse to gather neighbours together, and enjoy food and drinks prepared by neighbours. At least 17 adults & 5 children from 11 households came, and at least 4 individuals contributed food & drinks.

We had really yummy breads from Better Breads. Four loaves of onion / dill bread, and six loaves of gula melaka dessert bread. Three loaves of each disappeared really quickly, with neighbours mentioning that the gula melaka bread is surprisingly nice.

Photos below!

Bread-fast is ready!

Bread-fast is ready!

Conversations

Conversations

Neighbour Mr. Teo sharing his knowledge with other neighbours

Neighbour Mr. Teo sharing his knowledge with other neighbours

Conversations

Conversations