Saturday, 21 April 2012

What's growing on in the city?

According to guidemesingapore, 90% of food is imported into Singapore. Not surprising given the available land versus the high population. One way of reducing the environmental impact of the food we eat is to reduce the distance it travels from farm to plate, otherwise know as food miles. In fact, instead of reducing it down from 3,000 miles (perhaps importing from Australia) to 300 miles (from Malaysia), is possible to reduce it down to 30 miles or even 30 centimetres?

In the UK, many people grow food in allotments and countless more in their back garden. There doesn't seem to be the same provision for allotments here is Singapore. Please correct me if I'm wrong. It's one great way of reducing those food miles to food metres.

However, not everyone can get an allotment, so creative ways of growing your own food are sprouting up all over the place. Landshare is a scheme which connects people with land to spare to people who want to grown their own.

There are also whole towns which are growing food in the containers around town - like in Todmorden, Lancashire, UK. It started when someone adopted an uncared for bed outside a college and started growing leeks, in a guerrilla gardening style.

It's not just community groups who grow food like this. One office in the UK has started a city allotment.

More commercial ways of urban farming are happening too. Take the FARM:shop in London. They grow vegetables using hydroponics, with the water filtering through fish tanks.
The local government in Singapore has started to get in on the act now with AVA's recently published advice on how to grow food in vertical pipes.

So what am I going to do about growing my own food? Well, after I've moved out of my temporary accommodation into somewhere more permanent, I'm going to investigate how easy it is to grow food here and what kind of food can be grown in the home and, maybe, even see if I can grow something in the condo's communal garden (probably a no-goer but we'll see). Keep your eyes open for updates on this blog and through twitter (@livinggreeninsg).

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