Community Garden @ HortPark

Have you ever visited HortPark Singapore? If not, you should!

We visited our hobby farmer friend, Yew Boon one Sunday morning last year. Yew Boon grew up in a kampung in Malaysia,surrounded by nature. She spent a lot of time outdoors and her parents grew edibles such as winged beans, corns, tomatoes and guava back then. Besides that, they also grew ornamental plants such as oleander, dahlias and marigolds. This explains Yew Boon’s love for plants since she was a child.

Why do you grow your own foods?

“I like to experiment and if I grow my own food, I know what I put or don’t put into it – no pesticides and only organic fertilizers.”

Yew Boon

Passionate Hobby Farmer

We think most of us can resonate with this “WHY”.

Yew Boon has been growing edibles for more than 10 years. It started with just herbs like mints at home. Now, she loves growing edibles associated with her childhood. For example, winged beans, wild pepper leaves, torch ginger, cekur, laksa leaves, lemongrass and kaffir lime, all from which her mum whipped up delicious dishes. Most of these were found in her allotment garden.

Besides that, she grows passion fruit, Brazilian spinach, butterfly pea, pandan, mint, Mexican tarragon, pineapple, mani vegetable and basilShe thinks garden-to-kitchen foods generally taste better probably because they are fresher. She also grows ornamentals like confederate rose hibiscus, gardenia, portulaca and adenium.

According to Yew Boon, she works on the allotment garden at least twice a week and her fellow gardeners will help to water her plants when she is not able to tend to her plot. She also shares with us some challenges she is facing such as not knowing the growing conditions of some plants and killing them in the planting process. Getting rid of pests without having to resort to chemical pesticides can really test one’s patience. Uncooperative weather has ruined many of her vegetables, making her empathise with farmers who depend on their crops for their livelihood.

Any advice for beginners who are interested to grow their own foods?

“Be adventurous. Read up on what you want to grow and just do it. Always remember: ‘There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments’ by Janet Kilburn Phillips.”

Yew Boon

Passionate Hobby Farmer