Amid the backdrop of an increasingly eco-conscious Singapore, the National Parks Board (NParks) will for the first time be leasing out garden spaces in their parks for anyone to grow their own plants.
These 2.5 square metre plots can be rented at a price of $57 a year, for up to three years. Users can use the space to grow any plants of their choice, from blooms to vegetables. NParks provides the basics – a raised garden plot at waist-level, soil and water – all you need are your own seeds and tools.
This move is part of the broader Edible Horticulture Plan that also spells out training initiatives and ways to support gardening in Singapore.
In recent years, more community gardens have sprouted islandwide – in residential estates, schools, and even indoors – reflecting a keen interest in gardening beyond the professional sphere. Gardening enthusiasts also say that they have observed more aspiring green thumbs.
In a pilot allotment garden scheme that started in 2016, 80 allotment plots that were made available in Hort Park were quickly snapped up by those interested in growing their own crops.
By year-end, new allotment gardens will be available for rent at Punggol, Clementi and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Parks; a total of 1,000 of these “allotment gardens” will be built in 10 parks by 2019.
Mrs Emily Fong, a retiree in her 60s, owns a plot in in HortPark. She said of the plots: “There’s a sense of ownership. It’s a bit hard in the shared community gardens, because how do you determine what you own?”
As part of the Edible Horticulture Plan, NParks aims enhance training schemes from the current basic training needed to be a CIB gardener.
The new three-tiered training scheme sees a basic level, an advanced level for decorative plants, edibles and pollinator-attracting plants, as well as a final level to become a CIB ambassador who will groom a new generation of gardeners.
By Raffaella Nathan Charles, The Straits Times, November 2017
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