The Stamford Organic Garden

It all started in July 2016 in the Primary 5 classroom. The very first chapter of their science topic is on “The Life Cycle of Plants”. Quite naturally, it involved a series of experiments that the students have to run in order to verify facts and hypotheses. One fine afternoon, their science teacher (that’s me) decided to prepare several plant samples that they will need for the experiments.¬†

The students were naturally excited to have the class outdoor. What was unexpected, at least to me, was their level of enthusiasm in digging up dirt to prepare them for sowing the seeds. In this day and digital age, it really was surprising that these students love to get their hands dirty and reconnect themselves with mother earth! What I saw was perhaps a glimmer of hope for planet Earth!

Having an inherent interest in botany in indeed special and should be developed further. The primary 5 interdisciplinary project was therefore built around this interest with the end objective being to infuse the knowledge and proper techniques of organic farming.

The knowledge and expertise of Mr Soeparwan Soeleman & Ms Donor Rahayu of FamOrganic (founders of an internationally certified commercial organic farm in Indonesia) were tapped to instruct our bright young minds with the correct practices of organic farming. The intensive workshop covers the full workout: from preparing dirt, right up to the transplanting process and care for the plants.

Needless to say, it takes a lot of sweat and tears to get our organic garden going. Here are some of the activities that the students did for their organic garden.

The morning lecture with Mr Soeparwan

Preparing the dirt to ensure that they are of the correct composition and moisture level.

Preparing their mini-greenhouses and sowing the seeds inside.

Second lecture about transplanting and care for the plants.

Working together as one to get the rest of our farm ready for planting.

Obviously, our hard work paid off, as we recently had our first harvest of bak chois¬†which we sold to raise funds for the class’ overseas field trip. We had good reviews on the vegetables and we are eager to plant more vegetables after the holidays.

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We also plan to set up an informative web page in relation to the organic gardening where we will discuss our success in planting various varieties of vegetables and plants. Do look out for the web page!

Last but not least, here are the cool people behind the Stamford’s Organic Garden.

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Written by Dr. Peter Darmawan

Dr Peter received his PhD degree from the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University of Singapore. Having spent 23 years in Singapore, he has been through the rigorous and robust Singapore education system with exposure from primary school right up to university education. In addition, he has spent 2 years of post-doctoral research fellowship in National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) Japan and another 3 years as a Research Fellow in Singapore under the NEW-CREATE Programme. As a scientist, Dr Peter has written numerous peer-reviewed research papers, book chapters and filed a number of patents.

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