Saturday, May 1, 2010

Vegetable Garden in our neighbourhood

The recent weather has been very hot although it is raining almost once every other day. Just a few weeks ago there is no rainfall and the dry spell causes the trees to shed their leaves.

PHOTO: This tree shed all its leaves just weeks ago. All the vehicles that parked beneath it are covered with its dried leaves. Now it has new ones and new shoots.

The sudden rains enable the trees to quickly grow new leaves and recover back their original green. It is very amazing to see how nature can grow thousands of leaflets within a short time and still able to maintain their grow rate under such harsh condition. What is needed is plenty of water. The nutrients and sunlight are also provided for naturally.

The lighter shade of green leaves makes us experience the feeling of having spring time. We are so used to having summer all year round and a sudden change tends to bring certain unexplained excitement.

PHOTO: Some lighter green parts bathing in the morning sunlight appears yellow in comparison.

I walk along the side of the car park and cross a main road to visit the neighbourhood vegetable garden. Two elderly aunties are too engrossed in their work to notice me. There is also one elderly uncle who setup the wire mesh with the support of thin bamboo poles, for the long-bean plants to twin around. This uncle is not around today.

PHOTO: The neighbourhood vegetable garden with different types of plants.

The senior citizens are very active in this type of activities. I believe most of them are previous farmers in the kampong time (Malay word for village). After resettlement and retirement, they choose this hobby to remain active. They work mostly in the morning and for just half a day. Later on in the day they are busy with some other things, like shopping at the NTUC or the nearby Ang Mio supermarket. The uncles may head to the many coffee shops to have a cuppa, and to catch up with the news.

PHOTO: The crisscross strings and wires provide supports for the plant to crawl upwards.

When the plants starts to grow and when the pests are under control, farming can bring a lot of satisfaction. Having the fruits of the labour could be a long wait and may not be successful. We must therefore appreciate the tough life of farmers by firstly, not wasting food.

PHOTO: The lady's finger already have some fruits. Last week while my bus is passing by, I saw some with yellow flowers.

PHOTO: These lady's fingers fried with prawn chillies are very tasty.

This auntie is oblivious to the surrounding. She is fully concentrating on her tasks and has the strong determination to accomplish her target!

PHOTO: Onions leaves and sun-flower (flower that opens when there is sunshine. Some more long bean plants at the top-right.

For those who have lived in the kampong before will notice that all the plants and flowers are very familiar. Even the planting methods are still the same, using the old heavy "changko" to plough the soil. The unwanted weeds are painstakingly removed by hand, one by one.

PHOTO: The fenced up area is the actual allocated space for gardening. But the enthusiastic uncles and aunties have already extended the area by more than 2 times.

PHOTO: Very soon the long beans will grow and we can expect a plentiful harvest.

PHOTO: Gardening as well as Farming requires hard work, especially physically. Maybe this is one way of keeping fit and at the same time as a hobby.

PHOTO: This is the beginning of the long Avenue 8. The other end is about 7 bus stops away and ends at Punggol Park.

Both these avenues are full of vehicles during the weekdays. Today is quite empty. Hopefully the serenity, peacefulness and quietness can last. This is something money may not be able to buy.

PHOTO: This is avenue 2, with many bungalows and terraces across the opposite side.

The residence buildings are very nice to have but are still out of my reach. More bungalows will be coming up around this place. Soon the playground, just over the planted fence, will be filled with young children laughter.

Not available.