Mini harvest at community’s edible garden

 

Spent the late morning at my community’s edible garden. We had our second mini harvest, this time of sweet potato & lettuce leaves!  One of the neighbours kindly taught us how to cut the plants so that they can continue growing, and also how to cook the harvested leaves. :)

Learning how to harvest sweet potato & lettuce leaves

Learning how to harvest sweet potato & lettuce leaves. Photo credit: Lydia

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Every moment we have is a precious gift

There’s a wake at a house very near to my place. Plucked up my courage again, went up to give my condolences to the family. Because I feel it is the right thing to do. But because I have never met them before,even as I stepped up, I didn’t know what to say really, and who to approach.

Somehow I got their attention. The mum appreciated it very much when I said I am a neighbour who lives just down the street. The family later shared with me how the father, who is really still quite young, had passed away suddenly & unexpectedly, and no one really accept that he is gone just like that.

As we talked for over an hour, I sensed that this is a family who care for one another, & the parents worked really hard for the family business. They realised that every moment is really precious, one really cannot foresee when the end will come, and there’s time for work, there’s also time to rest – ultimately, health is key. All the money in the world cannot bring a person back; it is better to live life happily, rest well & be with love ones.

All good reminders really. All of us may know & understand them, but how often do we actually do them? Don’t wait till it’s too late to do what you want to do, or say what you want to say. Because the present is a gift, and the future is never guaranteed.

Edible garden outing & volunteering session

Open to all interested in growing your own food, sustainability, gardening, being in touch with nature…. 

Sat morning, ComCrop *SCAPE
Where: *SCAPE
Timing: 9.30am to 11am
Dress code: casual, no heels or tight skirts (you will be walking on the roof)

Meet at *SCAPE Toast Box. We will head up to the roof level, to help set-up a commercial edible farm in the heart of Orchard Road, on the rooftop of *SCAPE. This ComCrop farm is designed and managed by polytechnic students, and will grow fresh vegetables and herbs to supply to restaurants across the island.

We can help cut back basil and germinate seeds.

PM me if you are coming along!
Sunday, garden session
Where: Pavilion’s edible garden at Pavilion Playground park (beside Pavilion Park estate)
Timing: start 9.30am, end 12nn
Bring: garden tools

NParks’ workers will help us move bags of soil and gravel, and consolidate them within the allocated edible garden area. The bags had been deposited near the park entrance and in a grass area off the hard court, as vehicles could not enter the park. They will also remove a portion of the dug up soil.

We will transplant butterfly-attracting plants, given to us by NParks under the new NParks/SW CDC’S “Tengah Nature Way” initiative. The intention behind Tengah Nature Way is to create a green corridor for butterflies and birds, for that there are suitable plants connecting the Bukit Timah and Central Catchment Nature Reserves with the SAFTI Live-Firing Area.

The herb spiral is nearing completion, and we will also check in on the planted veggies and herbs.

Christmas dinner with St. Vincent’s Home residents

St. Vincent’s Home, a small sheltered home for the very poor elderly who have to rely on public assistance, but are otherwise able to manage their own daily activities and independence. I first went there a couple of years ago with my boyfriend, and have been back a couple of times since as the elderly are really friendly & nice. It’s also at an most unexpected place! It’s located at the roof of an old HDB that’s just behind the art museum.

Went this evening with the intention of giving them a simple Christmas meal and the gift of time and presence. As always, I leave feeling that I will come again, and I will come back soon.

It was really a small group of volunteers this time. Vivian, who’s done monthly group visits for the last 7 years. Alice, my dear PP friend. Iris, who messaged me in the evening that she’s bringing her keyboard & can sing some carols (I love her vocals!). Her husband, Raymond. Her friend, Gracy, who also came by at last minute notice.

The number of elderly in the home is also much smaller since my first visit. A reminder that time is of essence… Felt sad to learn that the oldest resident I met, Jane, who kept telling us she was 99 (she was really 100), has passed on. And also sad that Jane’s best friend, Peter, has also moved out to a nursing home. Amidst the smiles, there’s a layer of hidden sadness that no one really talks about.

But I hope in the 2 hours that we were there, we brought them some joy, laughter, music and hope. And I know I will be back. For the residents :)

Apparently, the residents love wanton mee. I was taking public transport, and wondered where and how I was going to buy 13 bags of wonderful tasting wanton mee, and deliver them to the home so that they are piping hot and tasty. My intuition told me to go to Tiong Bahru market. Found a stall that looked like it sold yummy food. Bought them, and felt "mission accomplished!"

Apparently, the residents love wanton mee. I was taking public transport, and wondered where and how I was going to buy 13 bags of wonderful tasting wanton mee, and deliver them to the home so that they are piping hot and tasty. My intuition told me to go to Tiong Bahru market. Found a stall that looked like it sold yummy food. Bought them, and felt “mission accomplished!”

Iris playing beautiful Christmas music on her keyboard. She has really beautiful vocals! Her friend, Gracy, and I later joined her in singing "O Holy Night"

Iris playing beautiful Christmas music on her keyboard. She has really beautiful vocals! Her friend, Gracy, and I later joined her in singing “O Holy Night”

blowing out the candle, to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and everyone in the room!

blowing out the candle, to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and everyone in the room!

 

 

 

Pavilion’s edible garden creation – 9 Nov

It’s been quite some time since my last update. I have been busy!

But there’s something I would really, really like to share on this blog – and that is…

On 9 Nov (Sat), one of my long-time dreams came true :)

9 months after I first shared my dream of creating an edible garden with neighbours to my estate’s neighbourhood committee, we have secured the necessary approvals, gotten the support of the residents, and started creating the garden.

It’s a lot of hard work before the garden can be fully created, but it is part of the process :)

Here are some photos – but for the details, do check out my other blog: Pavilion’s edible garden in the park.

Moments  before the garden creation

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What we really need to create a movement for change.

‘Can anyone here in this room convince me, and the ordinary housewives, in 2 mins what the (climate) problem is, why should I care; and if I do, what can I do about it?’, this lady asked this evening at a sharing session meant to ignite a new movement for climate awareness and action.

No one could take up her challenge. She stood up & spoke passionately a poem she wrote over the last 13 days, which is the length of time that she realised and decided to take responsibility for the problem for the very first time.

Her passion, her words, the stories that lie within moved & inspired me. Much more than any of the sharing that I actually came for.

Lili speaking passionately about the poem she wrote

Lili speaking passionately about the poem she wrote

Love organic vegetarian food & meetups? Check this out.

A friend of mine, Michelle, is hosting a special organic vegetarian dinner this Fri at a beautiful, secret location in Bishan. Michelle is one of the 2 key persons, editors and writers of the first edition of The Singapore Vegetarian Food Guide. Brought up by a Hokkien grandmother who was gifted at serving up scrumptious Hokkien dishes, Michelle soon developed her tastebuds for fine cooking. Her food and restaurant write-ups have been published in Cuisine & Wine Asia, Golf Asia, Flavours, Appetite and The Edge (Malaysia).

This event is part of a Meetup ‘Pop Up Veg Brunch & Supper Club Series’, and is an event promising good food, company & nutrition to kickstart the weekend.

the food:

Starter – Mich’s Salad
Mich’s concoction inspired by fresh veggies and fruits of the day.

Main
Every vegetable your Hokkien grandmother would want you to eat braised till it is melt-in-the-mouth (chap chye). Served with 4 grain organic rice and quinoa.

A home-brewed tea that is perfect for digestion will be served at the end of the dinner.

Meal will be about 70 – 80 percent organic.
Cost: SGD$30

Due to limited spaces, Michelle is collecting payment in advance (by 1 Aug, 11:59pm). Location and address will be disclosed only to diners who have paid up. For more details, pls msg Michelle at michelleleephotographer@facebook.com.