Farm visits nowadays are different. Urban farms have evolved and under the right controls, everything can be cultivated.
Green Choice (in collaboration with Jarta, a Singapore based travel agency) hosted a few of us at Woodlands earlier. I was curious about how farming in Singapore can level up and be more efficient and productive.
Green Choice is situated next to a multi-storey carpark (Industrial building). It is still hard for me to conceive the idea that a farm can exist in a building (vertical farming).
Although the ecosystem (and environment) might have changed, “farmers” still need three main processes, i.e. seeding, germination and harvesting.
Think hydroponic or soil-less. You might have come across news articles about re-purposed open spaces (like carparks or roof tops) or perhaps hotel and F&B outlets who grow their own organic crops and herbs.
Our group started by spreading the seeds evenly across the tray.
The magic is happening behind this room.
Artificial lighting ensures seeds and crops will grow day and night. Employees will monitor the health of crops regularly.
Singapore intends to produce 30% of our food needs by 2030.
Considering Singapore’s small land space, farming always has to fight for land space with industrial, housing and even road usage (just some examples).
You can imagine policy maker and farmers’ challenges:
-Where should new farms be located?
-How do farmers recoup investment when lease duration is hard to guarantee?
But I truly believe farming is evolving and garnering more interest. The next generation will ensure Singapore can self sustain when it comes to our nutritional needs (vegetables, poultry and even fish).
Just imagine how farming will transform a few decades from now.
We are already seeing fishes bred in high rise buildings!
All sorts of fruits can be cultivated under the right climate control.
Urban farmers no longer toil under the sun or work with mud and insects.
Irrigation, fertilisation, harvesting and packing processes will be automated.
I guess the challenge for farmers and Singapore is scaling up production to meet local and overseas demand. And more importantly, how do we convince Singaporeans to buy made-in Singapore food products.
Back to our mini farmers. We were busy harvesting trays of greens and plucking the roots.
Microgreens are harvested between 12 to 14 days, seedling stage.
Even though urban farmers work in aircon, plucking of roots is still laborious.
Kids should be proud of their efforts.
Currently, Green Choice can harvest up to 8000kg of greens every year.
To quote them “We adopt soilless cultivation methods and grow hydroponically in environment-controlled green rooms, ensuring the consistent and quality production”.
Green Choice’s target audience is more F&B establishments rather then residential. But you can order your greens through their website.
Kids (Steven’s babies) deserve their merit award. They will be the generation which will drive Singapore’s sustainability efforts, be it farming, water, or energy.
Presenting your healthy and fresh Green Choice selections.
No sunburn, cooling aircon, and organic salads. Anyone keen to be a farmer?
The above engagement and tour can be booked through agency Jarta.
Contact: 9737 5494 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
(*Booking requires 7 days in advance, and $28 per pax apply)
Thank you Green Choice for exposing us to urban farming processes. I have a better appreciation of the efforts needed to bring green produce to our table.
*Singapore SFA 3030 initiative.