Touch the Soil News #748 (feature photo – Children learn to grow food at Pocket Greens – photo courtesy of Pocket Greens)
Singapore is a City-State (its own little country) on the far Southern tip of the Asian Continent. Surprisingly its primary language is English and the small nation has a land area of only 178,000 acres and a population of 5.6 million people. Singapore has one of the highest standards of living in the world – ranked 3rd globally.
In 2005, the nation through its National Parks department launched a “Community in Bloom” initiative. The goal was to turn much of the city into a garden. Fast forward to today and there are over 1,000 community gardens that engage 20,000 people.
One of the largest gardening enterprises is what they call Hort-Park – a gardening and urban agricultural mecca that sees over 1 million visitors a year. The park recently opened up 80 small plots for rent to gardeners. The plots are a modest 27 square feet and rent for $57 a year. All the plots were immediately rented and there is now a waiting list.
D’Kranji Farm Resort in Singapore is a place where folks can have a farmcation (farm vacation). D’Kranji rents out plots for urban farmers that range from $500 a month to $10,000 a month (for 2.5 acres) – which is astronomically high compared to other nations.
Capitalizing on the urban food craze is Pocket Greens. The company rents out growing racks in a vertical farm setting to people to grow greens. A typical vertical rack plot comes with four levels with five trays on each level. Most of the vertical rack renters are parents who want their children to learn how to grow edibles and not take food for granted. They also take their children there to grow vegetables as a family activity.