Green Drinks @ Luminance 2012: Urban Farming – A Possibility in Singapore?
We have two sessions of Green Drinks next week! This is a special session that is held at the Luminance! Festival 2012, and looks at urban farming:
As the world faces increasing food and environmental issues, urban farming is gaining traction in many global cities in an attempt for city dwellers to access to fresh and safe local food.
Is this possible in land- scarce Singapore for time-scarce city folks? In this Green Drinks session, Bjorn and Rob from Edible Garden City Project will share their experiences and how you can be part of this revolution and social community.
Date: 27 June (Wednesday) 2012
Time: 7.30pm – 9.30pm (talk will be followed by Q&A, then mingling)
Venue: SCAPE Gallery, #05-01, 2 Orchard Link (Next to Cathay Cineleisure, Orchard)
We hope to see you there!
About the Speakers
Bjorn Low, Founder, Edible Gardens
After spending the last half decade working on organic farms around Europe, Bjorn returns to Singapore with a wealth of experience in agriculture.Having lived and worked on community farms in the United Kingdoms, he sees the value and beauty of a system of mutual care, respect and sharing being practiced by members of the community and is constantly being inspired by the energy of these places . After meeting Rob and Grace and hitting it off immediately his dream of building a collective of urban farms in Singapore is slowly becoming a reality. Bjorn holds a diploma in Biodynamic agriculture and strongly believes in a sustainable natural farming system andadvocates the use of food as a medicine to heal the body, mind and soul.
Rob Pearce, Co-founder, Edible Gardens
Rob was brought up on a farm in the rural english countryside. He comes from a long line of builders, farmers and horticulturist, armed with a astro physics degree it puts him in a very unique position to build and construct show vegetable gardens. Rob has won awards for his garden designs in the UK and has 10 years experience running a garden design and construction business.
Having been brought up on a farm, he has been refining his craft as a farmer for the last 30 years, Rob brush with stardom came when he worked on Singer Sting’s country estate as a farm manager. He is based in Singapore and will lead the design and construction work on our farming project.
About Edible Garden City Project
We’re a team of young and aspiring Singaporeans who are searching for a way to address our food security issue. Our project is located in tropical Singapore where 5 million people live somewhat harmoniously together on a 699 sq km space. We import 93% of our food from our gracious neighbours while we try to grow 7% of it locally. As you can imagine we are not in a very favourable position and the edible garden city project seek to change some of that. We are motivated by the belief that urban farming should be a common and accessible livelihood in land scarce Singapore and hope to encourage dialogue about the role of agriculture and labour in our culture and to strengthen a movement towards the re-valuation of agriculture, the true value of food and the power of the community.
Our History: For the last few months we have been steadily building a small farm in Tampinese a small space of 40 square meters, where we grow Chinese greens, and medicinal herbs. We sell weekly to the community and to visitors that have come from all around the island to partake in our organically grown vegetables. We also host tours, discussions, and workshops about our urban food system. Our farm is centred on a community of 2000 residents; We try and support the terminally ill and socially disadvantaged residents by providing them with free herbs and vegetables. Currently, we are running our farm and educating community member full time and are trying to survive on what little we have.
How You Can Help Answer our Question: Now we want to expand! In order to truly gauge the potential of a successful urban farming operation we need to cultivate a larger land area and commit ourselves to the pursuit full time. We aspire not only to manage and expand our urban farming operation, but also to keep detailed, transparent records of our budgeting and our process. In doing so, we will contribute concrete information to the local, national, and global dialogue about growing food in cities. We are currently in search of vacant land around the city to realise this.
The Context of Our project :We are young farmers in a nation with a food system gravely out of balance. Currently the scale and dominance of industrial agriculture creates harsh economic realities and health problems. The social and environmental implications of these realities are dire. Our food systems are dependent on large corporate interest and are fueled by petrochemicals. We are witnessing the rapid and irreversible erosion of topsoil, pollution of our water sources, and loss of biodiversity.
We need to get creative. We need more small farms, both urban and rural, in order to regenerate healthy local economies. That’s why we are working towards an urban farming business model that makes up for its small scale by recycling urban resources, eliminating transportation costs, and enlivening new forms of community support. We are applying our creativity, determination, and hard work towards a re-visioning of our food system.
Help Us Continue to Build Innovative, Collaborative, Local Food Systems! Your support gives us a real shot at establishing a successful urban farm business model. We believe that by engaging with our neighbors and forging positive relationships with chefs, government agencies, and community leaders, we can widen the opportunities in the market economy, allowing for others to follow suit. When we are seasoned urban agriculturalists we will train others to start their own iteration of a collective of farm business. Join us in establishing the path of urban farming as a career!