Singapore Organic farms | Singapore organicIn a corner of Bukit Panjang Park, a pocket-size organic garden is taking root. The plot, the size of a couple of ping-pong tables, is the first of five community crop farming (ComCrop) projects to be set up in the neighbourhoood by next year, and the first such neighbourhood project islandwide.

It was launched yesterday by North West District Mayor and Member of Parliament for Bukit Panjang Teo Ho Pin, to teach local community
gardeners new farming techniques and boost both community spirit and food security.

Unlike conventional community gardens, which are fenced and locked, the ComCrop garden of lemongrass, pandan and dill is open to the elements, including neighbourhood troops of monkeys.

And it should be open to all comers. That is the vision of The Living Project, a joint venture between Apha Biofuels and landscaping firm Garden Asia, which started the CompCrop programme early this year.

Any Bukit Panjang resident who wants to take part can sign up with this community club or residents’ committee.

Alpha Biofuels chief executive Allan Lim said one key challenge was persuading community gardeners to work on a shared plot. But they were won over – now, 10 of the 80 resident gardeners in Bukit Panjang will tend the ComCrop plot as well as their own. They will harvest the produce to share with fellow gardeners and neighbours.

The new plot also uses organic compost, made from tonnes of used coffee grounds and brewery hops donated by Starbucks and Brewerkz.

It is built as a “keyhole farm”, an enclosed farm with plants at thigh level so elderly residents need not bend down to garden.

Also present at the launch was noted British primatologist and conservation advocate Jane Goodall. She urged people to eat less meat and more organically grown fruit and vegetables.

Dr Teo, meanwhile, encouraged people to use organic compost and cut back on synthetic fertilisers, which can cause pollution.

Article Source: The Straits Times 26/June/2011 – By Grace Chua