Benefits of having more community gardens

The National Parks Board has expanded the allotment gardening scheme, allowing the public to rent gardening plots in parks (Gardening fans snap up 330 allotment plots; Nov 8).

While this is a commendable initiative, more effort should be put into setting up community gardens around public housing estates.

Currently, there are many underutilised plots of greenery which can be converted into community gardens. Having such gardens at the doorstep of residents of public housing estates would help to sustain the interest of beginner gardeners, rather than letting their initial enthusiasm wither away.

Running a community garden together with neighbours would give enthusiasts something more to look forward to, as opposed to the solitary nature of running a gardening plot alone.

The process involved in setting up community gardens, which includes getting permission from various government agencies, should be streamlined and made easier.

Also, subsidies or grants should be given to both new and existing community gardens to promote a robust gardening culture.

In the long run, these gardens, if they include edible plants, will not only bolster Singapore's food security, but also help residents to bond, beautify the landscape and educate people on food wastage.

As people see the tremendous amount of effort required to produce food, I believe they will think twice before wasting it in future.

Tan Tao Yang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 13, 2017, with the headline 'Benefits of having more community gardens'. Print Edition | Subscribe