NParks launches new "Gardening with Edibles" programme to encourage home gardening
18 Jun 2020
- Public can register to receive free seed packets to grow edibles at home from 18 June
- Part of growing our City in Nature to strengthen social resilience and community stewardship for nature
The National Parks Board (NParks) today launched the Gardening with Edibles initiative to encourage the public to grow edibles at home. This initiative brings nature into homes and is part of Singapore’s vision of Growing our City in Nature, where the community plays a key role in the ownership and stewardship for nature which will bring forth benefits of health and well-being. The Gardening with Edibles initiative will be implemented through the distribution of free packets of leafy and fruited vegetable seeds to interested members of public, and complemented with a wealth of online resources. As part of Gardening with Edibles, and to strengthen the interest in growing edibles, NParks will also be expanding the allotment gardening scheme, and the Community in Bloom (CIB) programme when the Covid-19 situation improves. The Gardening with Edibles initiative strengthens social resilience. It also contributes to food resilience, aligning to the “30 by 30” goal of the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) which aims to produce 30% of Singapore’s nutritional needs locally by the year 2030.
Distribution of seed packets
Today, many community and allotment gardeners across the island enjoy growing edibles. They use their harvest to cook their favourite dishes, with some coming together to partner grassroots organisations to grow edibles in larger quantities to distribute to the community. To meet the strong interest in growing edibles and to bring the love of gardening closer to the community in their homes, NParks is distributing free seed packets to interested households for them to start home gardening. Members of the public who are interested to receive the seed packets are invited to register on the NParks website (www.go.gov.sg/gardening-with-edibles) from 18 June 2020 to receive their seed packets through mail. Gardening with Edibles is an initiative jointly supported by founding partners DBS Bank and Tote Board through the Garden City Fund. Details of DBS’ support for the Gardening with Edibles programme and other related initiatives are found in Media Factsheet D.
The seed packets contain seeds for one type of leafy vegetable, one type of fruited vegetable, and a plant care sheet in four languages. The plant seeds include species commonly used in local cuisine such as Xiao Bai Cai, Cai Xin, Kang Kong for leafy greens, and Tomato, Brinjal, Lady’s Finger for fruited vegetables. From sowing seeds and caring for the plants, to harvesting and cooking, the public can learn to appreciate the gardening process and share their harvest and interest with their community. Details of the Gardening with Edibles initiative are found in Media Factsheet A.
Free online resources for home gardeners
To introduce and guide the public on how to garden with their edible seeds, NParks has put together a series of videos from sowing, to harvesting and finally to cooking. The videos are available for free on the NParksSG YouTube channel and the NParksBuzz Facebook and Instagram platforms. Catering to the needs of the entire family and the community at large, these short DIY videos are designed for children and adults with differing skill levels including the more advanced gardeners who wish to grow more challenging herbs such as thyme and rosemary.
For more information, the public can tune in to regular Facebook Live sessions from July hosted by NParks staff where they will be conducting live demonstrations and sharing tips and tricks on gardening, and answer horticulture-related queries.
These resources are available on Facebook (@nparksbuzz), Instagram (@nparksbuzz), YouTube (@NParksSG) and our website (www.nparks.gov.sg). Details of the free online resources are found in Media Factsheet B.
More spaces for community gardening
The Gardening with Edibles programme is part of a larger effort to build stronger social resilience and wellbeing among our community and to boost interest in community or allotment gardening. Launched in 2005, the Community in Bloom (CIB) gardening movement has grown to a strong network of more than 1,500 community gardens with about 40,000 gardening enthusiasts islandwide. To meet the needs of the growing gardening community and rising trend of growing edibles, the Edible Horticulture Masterplan was launched in 2017 to promote growing of edibles through introducing more spaces for gardening, raising horticulture skills through training, introducing new species of plants and technology, and expanding the gardening community through outreach programmes. As part of this Masterplan, NParks has made available more than 1,000 allotment plots in eleven parks across the island which are fully subscribed.
When the Covid-19 situation improves, NParks plans to roll out more allotment gardens and continue to encourage the setting up of community gardens among gardening enthusiasts so that the community can come together to grow a wider variety of edibles, including herbs and spices.