SMU launches Grow initiative: Other places in Singapore where urban farms can be found

On Jan 6, 2015, SMU launched GROW, an environmental initiative that promotes green and sustainable efforts both inside and outside of the classroom. -- ST PHOTO: DANIEL NEO
On Jan 6, 2015, SMU launched GROW, an environmental initiative that promotes green and sustainable efforts both inside and outside of the classroom. -- ST PHOTO: DANIEL NEO

SINGAPORE - A new urban farming project took root at the heart of the city on Tuesday morning, as the Singapore Management University (SMU) launched its Grow initiative.

Staff and students at the university are tending to a herb, vegetable and fruit garden as well as planter boxes in the library and administration buildings.

Here are some of the other urban farms to be found in Singapore.

Edible Gardens

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An urban farming consultancy that helps design and build vegetable gardens for restaurants, schools and homes. Co-founded in 2012 by Mr Bjorn Low, 33, and Mr Robert Pearce, 37, the firm has a 30,000 sq ft garden on the roof of People's Park Complex carpark. It also plans to develop an urban farming school at Rowell Road this year.

*Scape in Orchard Link

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Singapore's first commercial rooftop farm run by social enterprise Comcrop. The 6,000 sq ft rooftop space at youth hub *Scape was converted in June 2013 into an aquaponics farm that grows produce such as sweet Italian basil, heirloom tomatoes, peppermint and spearmint.

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

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A rooftop farm at the Yishun hospital, where patients can take part in gardening therapy. Residents nearby volunteer to maintain the farm, which has more than 100 types of vegetables, herbs and trees, such as Chinese kale, corn, okra and fruit trees such as custard apple, papaya and banana.

Bars, restaurants and hotels

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More restaurants and bars here are growing their own vegetable and herb gardens. They include Middle Eastern cafe Artichoke at Sculpture Square and garden bar The Green Door at Dempsey Road. Meanwhile, hotel chefs at the Fairmont Singapore and Swissotel The Stamford have been getting their greens from the hotel's private herb and vegetable garden since 2008.

HDB corridors

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Hawker Derrick Ng, 33, grows vegetables such as kai lan, xiao bai cai (little cabbage), kangkung and tomatoes in planter boxes lining the 10m-long corridor outside his HDB flat in Tampines.

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In Punggol, Mr Donald Tan has about 40 types of herbs planted neatly on the ledge of his flat's corridor. He also grows medicinal plants and microgreens.

oliviaho@sph.com.sg