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Self-Improvement & Hobbies

Community gardens help charity to bloom

Home grown vegetables promote healthy living as well as helping the needy
The Straits Times - April 7, 2014
By: Priscilla Goy And Joanna Seow
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Community gardens help charity to bloom Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan (third from right) posing for a photo with volunteers from the Woodgrove Community Garden and their locally grown fresh produce. -- ST PHOTO: MATTHIAS HO

FRESH vegetables grown by Sembawang residents in their own backyard were sold for charity, raising $6,000 for a nursing home which cares for sick and needy senior citizens.

The sale of vegetables was a first for Sembawang GRC's annual community sports festival - one of at least two such events which took place islandwide yesterday - to promote healthy living.

The funds were raised from the sale of 250kg of vegetables such as kai lan, chye sim and lettuce, and donated to the Man Fut Tong Nursing Home in Woodlands.

The fresh produce was grown at five community gardens managed by residents and two PAP Community Foundation kindergartens.

Mr Ho Kee Swee, chief gardener of the garden formed by the residents' committee of Sembawang Zone E, was proud of the variety of vegetables grown near a housing block in Woodlands Avenue 6.

"Our half-hectare garden has everything - corn, kai lan, sweet potato, passionfruit, eggplant and winter melon," he said.

Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan said in his Housing Matters blog on Saturday that community gardens in Woodlands had been successful.

He wrote: "Every four to six weeks, there is so much harvest that the residents have been able to share them with needy families." He said community gardening had also been extended to the young "to nurture a new generation of 'green thumbs'."

Mr Khaw was guest of honour at yesterday's event, organised by Sembawang GRC's community sports clubs and held at Republic Polytechnic. Earlier in the morning, over 2,000 residents in the GRC took part in a mass workout and 1.6km brisk walk.

Concurrently, some 2,500 residents in the West Coast cluster took part in a mass zumba warm-up and 2km brisk walk around Jurong West Stadium.

The activities were organised by community sports clubs for residents in West Coast GRC and Pioneer SMC. The sports festival saw residents trying out scaled-down versions of sports such as archery tag and floorball.

Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang, guest of honour at the event, tried his hand at sports such as football and table tennis.

He said the event served as a good introduction for people who are not used to playing sports.

Responding to comments by Member of Parliament Hri Kumar Nair about Singaporeans lacking confidence in articulating their views, Mr Lim said "there is no lack of people speaking up and giving their opinions".

"We don't have to trumpet what we've done. Let our actions speak for ourselves," he added.

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