New competition for community gardeners

SINGAPORE - A new competition will encourage amateur gardeners to grow fruits and vegetables in their homes and neighbourhood community gardens.

The National Parks Board (NParks) will launch the Community Garden Edibles Competition on Saturday at the HortPark in Alexandra, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in a blog post on Friday.

"It is a competition, but a friendly one, with fun and good knowledge sharing," he said, adding that the competition is yet another step to keep Singapore a Garden City.

A clean and green Garden City was founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's vision, said Mr Khaw.

Under its Community in Bloom initiative, NParks brought the green movement to the grassroots level by encouraging community gardens.

Last year, residents of Mr Khaw's Sembawang ward grew 250kg of fresh vegetables, such as kai lan, chye sim and lettuce, at their community garden. They sold these for charity, raising $6,000 for Man Fut Tong Nursing Home.

Other community garden harvests have also been outstanding, Mr Khaw added, citing a 14kg "giant winter melon" that West Coast GRC Member of Parliament Foo Mee Har harvested with her residents.

"The Community Garden Edibles Competition is a little contribution towards Mr Lee's vision, involving everyone in the creation of our city in a garden," said Mr Khaw.