July 11 ,2017 BY Nova Nelson
We have a home - The Good Garden Revealed.
We've been working on stealth mode the past 6 months. Dreaming, designing, planning and creating for The Good Garden, a children's urban food garden for The Artground-a curious place to be at The Goodman Arts Centre. We launched the space on 7th July and can't wait to share stories, lessons, experiences and bounty from The Good Garden with you.
What is the Good Garden?
The Good Garden came to be because of The Artground. It is an urban food garden for children and their communities located at The Artground, a free access play space for children up to 12 years old. The Artground commissions and presents interactive art installations/exhibitions that children can run around, go through, over and under. These are suitable for all children. Along with the free access play space, The Artground runs weekend programmes which parents can join in with their children. These include dance/yoga, music, storytelling, arts/crafts workshops and gardening inspired sessions.
For more on the prices and timings for these weekend programmes please visit The Artground. Cultivate Central runs the gardening and Permaculture inspired sessions at The Good Garden. We designed, created and care for The Good Garden.
Why an urban food garden at a children's art space?
Luanne Poh, "Chief Worm" at The Artground had the vision to integrate a food garden at The Artground. To have nature inspire the artistic and creative play at The Artground. To create a space children could simply get their hands in soil, observe nature and play with worms! By the way, this whole idea was inspired by worms! But more on that another day.
When Luanne shared her vision for The Artground I literally jumped onboard. We agreed - let's work together, show kids our worms and create a whimsical urban food garden. A garden children and their communities can shape and connect with nature in. A space that’ll cultivate food, artistic expressions, collaboration, communities, diversity and earth care together. A place to nurture a sense of what it means to help things grow. A food garden to explore, be curious and create in.
One of the design principles of Permaculture is to integrate rather than segregate. By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between them and they support each other. And The Good Garden really is an example of that. The Good Garden is the welcoming entrance for The Artground and it will be a dynamic space not only buzzing with activities but also a place for children and their communities to ponder in, observe and be in no hurry.
What goes on at The Good Garden?
This is an evolving space. Right now, you'll find garden features such as our GrowTongs, which are raised beds we built our own soil in. We also compost
on site, there are terrace planters, a Dye Patch to inspire future workshops, some nifty sub-irrigation planters we made ourselves to showcase different ways to water plants, plenty of whimsical garden features, a patch filled with our Seedprise! seedballs,
a banana cycle and plenty of recycling and upcycling ideas. Also proudly displayed are our GrowStacks which we designed and created to help you grow food in small spaces.
We just started so more garden features will be integrated. And we will call on parents and children to join in to create more features.
Workshops and classes Beyond Gardening.
We will be offering Little Green Thumbs sessions for children accompanied by parents every Saturday mornings. As part of our opening month, The Artground will offer these sessions for free in July 2017. More information on those sessions here. Besides that, we offer Learning Journey sessions for preschools and primary schools at The Good Garden.
Permaculture design guides our process and programming. Therefore, our workshops and classes really go beyond gardening and growing food to cover various aspects such as design, making and DIY, upcycling, collaboration, artistic expressions, nature observation and much more. In short, this will be a vibrant space with plenty in the pipeline for your children.
Please follow us on Facebook (CultivateCentral) and Instagram (cultivate_c) to stay connected and get access to the latest happenings at The Good Garden. We hope to see you there soon!
Nova NelsonNova Nelson started Cultivate Central in 2013 after transitioning from a career in Corporate Communications, content creation and community engagement. As a Permaculture Designer she believes a city filled with vibrant, ecological and compact urban gardens will create socially and environmentally connected communities. As a mother she is passionate about exploring Permaculture with children and their communities. She serves clients and communities in Malaysia, where she was born and Singapore where she currently resides.