16 Nov – 2nd day of garden creation

Look what came up after a day’s work at the Pavilion edible garden space! 1 complete wicking bed, 4 almost-there wicking beds, 2 more on the way… and 2 red-brick raised beds (not in picture). We are continuing next Sat to complete the beds, before starting work on other planned hardscaping in the garden.

1 complete wicking bed, 4 almost-there wicking beds, 2 more on the way...
1 complete wicking bed, 4 almost-there wicking beds, 2 more on the way…

2 workers from NParks’ contractor and their headman came. Our instruction to them was to focus on digging the deep trenches, so that we could start filling it up when the QC for these trenches is complete. It was really an iterative process because the workers would think that they are done, and we would tell them to dig deeper, etc. And after the trench passed QC, we still had to go in to level the ground, remove rocks, etc – this process took up the entire morning.

Not many neighbours came to help today (about 9, including 2 children and 1 visitor from Britain!). But it was OK, because we had work to be done! Originally planned to complete around lunch time, but the heavy rain that threatened to come, never did – and so we managed to do a full day’s work.

A little corner dedicated to essentials... what we are doing, insect repellent, sun screen, hand sanitiser, gloves, water
A little corner dedicated to essentials… what we are doing, insect repellent, sun screen, hand sanitiser, gloves, water
creating a red brick raised bed.
creating a red brick raised bed.
Creating a red brick raised bed
Creating a red brick raised bed
Adding soil to the wicking bed
Adding soil to the wicking bed

By lunch time, we had completed digging for the trenches of 7 wicking beds.

The weather was threatening to rain, but we stayed on because we wanted to complete at least 1 wicking bed.

That was when we realised that the amount of granite chips received from NParks’ contractor is actually not enough. We had pre-ordered 1 bag last week, and received additional sacks of granite chips from the contractor. The combined total was not sufficient to fill 4 of the trenches.

We also realised that the ASM soil received from NParks is not ideal for growing vegetables. While the soil looked black, it was actually lumpy, and was almost entirely made of clay. For the 1 completed wicking bed, we put in 4 bags of the soil, and filled the rest of the bed with compost – before mixing the entire soil and compost mix. But we felt mixed, because we spent so much energy and time digging out all that clay, only to put clay in the bed again. The ASM soil is received free from NParks as part of their support for creating new community gardens. But possibly, we may need to get our own, if we want to meet our original intention of creating a sustainable edible garden.

Very thankful to all who came. Special mention goes to one of the neighbours, who bought us breakfast (hot and fresh), and then brought a pot of home-cooked beehoon (and all the necessary utensils) and cold drinks during lunch-time. :)

Home-cooked vegetarian beehoon! A kind contribution by one of the neighbours, who also bought us breakfast :)
Home-cooked vegetarian beehoon! A kind contribution by one of the neighbours, who also bought us breakfast :)
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