Upcycled - Can of Food.

July 13 ,2017 BY Gita Stubbs

Recycling and upcycling, words we are hearing more and more.  

We wanted to encourage others to recycle and get creative while growing food. Use what we have at home, such as used food cans, as containers. Save us from buying new plastic pots!

So we got started on our Can of Food project. We collected used food and formula cans, gave them a wash, drainage holes and a few coats of paint. Next goes in our soil and edible plants. Simple. 

Each Can of Food is unique because we upcycled them by hand for The Good Garden. To jazz them up, I created some Peranakan-inspired stencils for flat surfaced cookie tins and stripe patterns on grooved milk formula cans.

Cultivate ideas and community

Yes, the process took time and effort, but it brought us closer to the community around us. Neighbours, friends, family, karung guni uncles and aunties, teachers, students parents and children collected cans for us. Speaking of children, this makes a good DIY project with kids. Imagine how much fun they'll have painting on the cans?

Can buy, ah?

Caaaannn. For a limited time only, our Can of Food will be available for sale at The Good Garden located at The Artground, Goodman Arts Centre. The Good Garden is our newly opened space (officially launched on July 8th, 2017) where we run workshops for children up to 12 years old.

You can meet the hands that upcycled these Cans of Food when you visit The Good Garden. They may be covered in soil, though!

At Cultivate Central we are constantly trying to find fun and creative ways to recycle and upcycle. We hope these Can of Food inspires you to create for your garden. 

Can of Food - care and tips.

Because of constant contact with moisture, these metal tins will rust, but they are not meant to last (neither would those plastic pot plants actually). When a “Can of Food” container has reached the end of its (second) life span and gone all rusty, it can go in the recycle bin as part of your earth care effort. 

We've made a soil mix suitable for the cans and plants grown in it. A mix that is light, remains aerated, retains the moisture your plant needs and fortified with organic fertiliser and compost. We chose some of our favourite edibles suitable for our Can of Food - Sweet Basil, Oxalis, Mint and Mexican Tarragon. Click links below for our favourite care tips, curated for you. We think these care tips are great and we've given them a try ourselves.

Sweet Basil 

Oxalis 

Mint 

Mexican Tarragon 


Gita Stubbs

When I’m not stepping on toys & busy answering “what does mother nature look like?” kind of questions from my child, I spend my time perfecting the art of composting on my balcony and building a graphic design portfolio. I love food but living in a city that relies on imported fresh produce, I realised how detached we are from our food source. Composting and playing with soil is an important way for our children to appreciate the natural way of creating abundance from the earth and growing fruit and vegetables.

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