The plot to get Singaporeans gardening and harvesting is off to a flying start.
Two days after the National Parks Board (NParks) announced it was making available 330 allotment garden plots, all have been snapped up.
Gardening enthusiasts formed long snaking queues around the Allotment Garden Booth at the second Community Garden Festival in HortPark last weekend. By the end of Sunday, all 110 plots in Punggol Park, 60 in Clementi Woods Park, and 160 in HortPark were taken up.
The 2.5 sq m plots allow gardeners of any skill level to grow their own plants, with soil and water provided by NParks. Individuals simply need to provide their own seeds and tools.
One household is entitled to one plot, costing $57 a year. Leases are for three years.
Housewife Kelly Orozco is eagerly waiting for the upcoming opening of allotment garden plots in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.
NParks plans to open 70 plots there by the middle of next month, which the public can sign up for on its website or at the park's site office.
The 53-year-old housewife, who lives in Toa Payoh, has her own garden at the back of her first-floor HDB flat. But her plants, especially the edibles, sometimes get stolen by neighbours or eaten by pests.
"I want to have the freedom to plant what I want, without it getting stolen," she said.
The allotment gardens are considered "a novelty" to her in land-scarce Singapore. "Gardening helps me destress, so the individual lots will be very useful to me," she said.
The allotment gardening scheme aims to increase spaces provided to garden and promote edible gardening, in line with NParks' Edible Horticulture Masterplan.
The plan taps the hot trend of planting edibles: 80 per cent of over 1,300 NParks' public estate community gardens grow their own fruits and vegetables.
The public can expect more than 1,000 allotment garden plots in 11 parks across the island by 2019.