A Sustainable Kampung, Singapore

There is a community called Ground-Up-Initiative (GUI) and their initiative is Sustainable Living Kampung, a tranquil place to stop and breathe, think and live life in a different way.

It brings a bit of nostalgia to my mind as we took a little journey on a Saturday morning in Singapore.

‘Sustainable Living Kampung’ (Kampung is a local term for ‘Village’ and symbolises ‘community’) is located in the north area of our sunny island, in a park with a famous bottle tree, just one, Australian, planted as a landmark and also bearing its namesake. (Bottle Tree Park in Yishun.)

There is something in the soul that gets awaken when we have those moments of serenity, a peaceful minute in a hectic world, no longer struggling but just finding solace in working the ground. It was said that being in touch with the earth – planting, harvesting, farming, and just walking surrounded by nature, brings us back in touch with ourselves, maybe finding that we can be kinder, gentler, happier versions when we do not care about facades, about the dirt on our faces and just cross the stream to work with the other happy humans that make up the community of Ground-Up-Initiative (GUI) and of course, their initiative being Sustainable Living Kampung.

There is something that awakens a girl’s heart when she sees a flower. Imagine a flower that just blooms for you, something you have nurtured yourself. I saw the most perfect bloom in a bright shade of fuchsia, hiding amongst the tall shoots. It seems so fragile and so calm, just waiting for a moment to be discovered.

We walked through tumbling herbs and flowerbeds, spotted a handsome farmer, learnt what barley really looked like besides the homemade drink we Asians are happy to order at some of the coffee shops that sell the cloudy white drink that tastes like, according to an American I know, ‘liquefied wheaties’. Barley is a grain and it looks very much like what I imagined a stalk of rye or any other grain plant to be, a tall shoot. What was interesting was that the pods came in different colors; deep yellow like ripe corn, black, and white as the individual pods go through various ripening stages on the same stalk.

There were several experiments taking shape around the area – all in the aim of providing an alternate, healthier way of doing things. Besides the usual suspects of vermiculture – worm composting, water recycling, making use of wastage materials from other industries; there were several interesting thoughts that could be used, for instance trying to cook from solar energy, that was only possible on a sunny, cloudless day using a paraboiler and a black tin and cooking-wear sunglasses – if one day we could all cook like this how cool it would be. Also, having different usages for materials that we easily throw away, such as orange peels, dried and spread on the garden, keeps pests away. My family eats a lot of bananas so I was wondering if someone could find an interesting way of making the peel into something useful? Now, that is a step to foster innovation in sustainability, indeed, does it not? Best of all, a place like this is needed in our often, too productivity-driven and cosmopolitan outlook.

I like this movement, I think. Remembering precious happy memories from our childhood, watching television shows that aimed to raise a generation of more environmentally-friendly citizens. I believe we all do our small part to make the earth better. It is difficult, but as Captain Planet and the Care Bears have shown us, having a bigger heart for the ecosystem around us is a step we can take for the future. This place may be facing extinction soon, like our beloved pandas and sea creatures, because here in land-scarce Singapore, our land lease will always go back to the government after several years’ of lease. Facing the impending expiry on the lease, the community’s biggest fear is for the survival of its current, and only, location. But like a fragile flower that only lasts for such a short moment in all it’s beauty, all things have their season and time, and now we must appreciate and honor those who have helped us along the way with their passion for sustainability, to enable us in small actions to be gracious and magnanimous, and being positive always, in living through the daily grind that is our everyday life.

Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) is located within the Sustainable Living Kampung at 81 Lorong Chencharu, Singapore 769198. Starting 30 June 2012, a Lab Experiential Tour is organized every Saturday from 10am to 11am. Photos taken using Superheadz camera (Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim) with 35 mm Lomography Chrome XPro.

(Spanish translation)

This is the Spanish version of my article, translated by Trasgu, his “environmentalist site:”http://cantabriaaltermundista.wordpress.com/.

Trae un poco de nostalgia a mi corazon un pequeño viaje en un sábado por la mañana en Singapur.

El Sustainable Living Kampung (‘Kampung Vida Sostenible’) – Kampung es un término local para ‘aldea o pueblo’, que se utiliza aquí y simboliza la “comunidad” – se encuentra en la zona norte de nuestra isla soleada, en un parque con un árbol famoso con forma de botella, sólo uno, el australiano , plantado como un punto de referencia y que da nombre al parque. (Botella Tree Park, en Yishun.)

Hay algo en el alma que despierta cuando tenemos esos momentos de tranquilidad, un minuto de paz en un mundo agitado, ya no luchando, sino simplemente encontrando consuelo en el trabajo de la tierra. Durante la visita a este bello lugar nos dicen que el estar en contacto con la tierra (la siembra, la cosecha, la agricultura) y sólo caminando rodeado de naturaleza, nos lleva de nuevo en contacto con nosotros mismos, tal vez la búsqueda de que podemos ser más amables, más dulces, las versiones más felices de nosotros mismos cuando no nos preocupamos por “fachadas”, sólo hay que cruzar el arroyo para trabajar con los otros seres humanos felices que componen la comunidad GUI y su aldea sostenible.

Hay algo que despierta el corazón de una chica cuando ve una flor. Imagine una flor que se abre sólo para ti, algo que te has alimentado. Vi la flor más perfecta en un tono brillante de color fucsia, escondiéndose entre las ramas altas. Parece tan frágil y tan tranquila, a la espera de un momento a ser descubierta.

Caminamos a través de hierbas y flores que caen, vemos un agricultor guapo, aprendí lo que realmente se parecía a la cebada.. La cebada es un grano muy parecido al centeno o cualquier otro grano de plantas. Lo interesante es que las vainas tienen diferentes colores, amarillo intenso, como el maíz maduro, negro y blanco como las vainas individuales pasaron por las distintas etapas de maduración en el mismo tallo.

Hubo varios experimentos que se van conformando alrededor en el parque – todos en el objetivo de proporcionar una forma alternativa, más sana de hacer las cosas. Además de los projectos habituales como la lombricultura, reciclaje de agua, haciendo uso de los materiales de desperdicio de otras industrias (reciclado), hubo varias ideas interesantes que podrían ser utilizados, por ejemplo, tratando de cocinar con energía solar, que sólo era posible en un día despejado soleado utilizando una parabola y una tartera oscura y por supuesto, unas gafas de sol – si algún día todos podemos cocinar de esta manera seria excelente – también vemos que reciclan otros productos que fácilmente acabaria enla basura, como son las cáscaras de naranja, que se secan y se extienden en en el jardín para mantener alejadas las plagas. Mi familia come plátanos, me pregunto si alguien podría encontrar una manera interesante reciclar la la piel en algo útil? Ahora, esto es un paso para fomentar la innovación en materia de sostenibilidad. Lo mejor de todo, un lugar como éste es necesario en nuestro para valorar otros puntos de vista, pensamiento y accion, también impulsados de una vida mas cosmopolita.

Me gusta este movimiento,
Recordando los preciosos recuerdos felices de un niño, viendo la televisión, estudiando y jugando con el objetivo de criar una generación y ciudadanos más respetuosa con medio ambiente, creo que todos podemos aportar nuestro granito de arena para hacer de la tierra mejor lugar para vivir. Es difícil, pero como Capitán Planeta y los CareBears nos han mostrado. Nuestro planeta puede estar en peligro de extinción en breve, al igual que nuestros queridos pandas y criaturas del mar, porque en un lugar con escasez de tierra como Singapur, nuestro contrato de arrendamiento de la tierra siempre vuelve al gobierno después de varios años. Frente a la próxima expiración del contrato de arrendamiento, el mayor temor de la comunidad es para la supervivencia de esta corriente, y sólo la ubicación,. Sin embargo, como una flor frágil que sólo dura un breve momento en la belleza todo lo que, todas las cosas tienen su temporada y el tiempo, y ahora tenemos que apreciar y honrar a aquellos que nos han ayudado a lo largo del camino con su pasión por la sostenibilidad, que nos permita en pequeñas acciones a ser misericordioso y magnánimo, y de ser positiva siempre, para vivir a través de la rutina diaria que es nuestra vida cotidiana.

Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) is located within the Sustainable Living Kampung at 81 Lorong Chencharu, Singapore 769198.

Starting 30 June 2012, a Lab Experiential Tour is organized every Saturday from 10am to 11am.

written by spiritedly on 2012-07-18 #places #farming #yishun #sustainability #escape-from-the-city #kampung #select-type-of-location #xpro #bottle-tree #singapore #location #ecofriendly

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