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The Harvesting: An Urban Farming Initiative, part of CITIES FOR PEOPLE NTU CCA Ideas Fest 2016/17

13 Jan 2017, Fri - 22 Jan 2017, Sun
Various locations

The Harvesting serves as an overarching platform for knowledge exchange on food, facilitating a debate concentrated on the Singapore domestic sphere. Over two Sundays during CITIES FOR PEOPLE, the project will catalyse discussions examining the larger socio-political conditions surrounding personal control of the food system, as well as looking at how locally grown food and small-scale and urban agriculture can be an agent for self-expression and assertion.

Part of the project initiates a small urban farm outside of NTU CCA Singapore’s Research Centre and Office in Gillman Barracks, where it serves as the hosting ground for a series of workshops and events. The workshops, conducted by local urban farming groups, will impart practical knowledge and skills useful for anyone interested in setting up an alternative, personal food source within a compact urban space, and outside of mainstream provisions. Parallel to the workshops are screenings of international films related to urban agriculture. These films present a more varied and metropolitan perspective on the relationship between food and personal politics, and the struggle towards complete food sovereignty that is currently ongoing in many parts of the world.

At its culmination, The Harvesting will host an outdoor farmers’ market featuring organic produce from independent urban agriculture practitioners and farmers in Singapore. This market will serve as a celebration of independent food sources, grown in respectful and sustainable manner, highlighting the autonomy of its makers as a powerful tool for the reiteration and marking of small sovereign units within the larger networked, multipolar urban context.

The Harvesting programme schedule

Registration for all workshops is required. For enquiries, email

Sunday, 15 January 2017
Outside Block 6 Lock Road

2.30 – 3.30pm
Workshop: Farming: Basics of Organic Growing by Edible Garden City
Learn how to grow your own food organically as well as other knowledge about planting such as soil fertility, watering, and pest management. Participants will also be propagating plant cutting that they can bring home and nurture a pot of their own creation.
Register here.

4.30 – 6.00pm
Workshop: Composting Made Easy by Michelle Lai, TANAH
Learn the basics to making good, rich compost for your garden, using resources from around the neighborhood.
Register here.

7.00 – 8.30pm
Screening: Growing Cities: A film about urban farming in America, Dan Susman, United States, 2013, 97 min
A documentary film that examines the role of urban farming in America and asks how much power it has to revitalize our cities and change the way we eat.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

9.30 – 10.30am
Workshop:Urban Foraging by Michelle Lai, TANAH
Various locations at Gillman Barracks. Meeting point at Block 6 Lock Road.
Go on a trail around Gillman Barracks, identifying local plants, as well as explore their culinary and other functional uses.
Register here.

11.00am – 5.00pm
Sunday Market at Gillman Barracks
Along Malan Road
A Sunday market of all sorts of barang-barang (wares). Expect street eats, creative arts, fresh produce, and nothing but good vibes!

2.00 – 5.00pm
Workshop: Pixel Walk by Foodscape Collective and Victoria Marshall
Various locations at Gillman Barracks. Meeting point at Block 6 Lock Road.
The pixel is the basic unit of data that makes up a satellite image. Our physical pixel allows us to be in much closer proximity than what satellites can provide and gives us a different imaginary of what mapping could be. It offers a more intimate encounter with the pixel as a tool, giving physical form to the invisible data. It makes satellite imagery more approachable and allows it to be sensed emotionally. In this workshop, participants will make a pixel by hand and take it for a “walk”. In Pixel Walk, participants will be  taken around Gillman Barracks. Each will be given a white string to make their personal pixel which they will then take for a walk and document in pictures. A particular area of interest will be mapped for participants’ interaction along the way. Photographs participants take will be pinned to a map of Gillman Barracks revealing a positionality as seen from the lens of a different kind of pixel.
Register here.


Edible Garden City (Singapore) is dedicated to the "Grow Your Own Food" movement in land-scarce and import-dependent Singapore, advocating the use of under-utilised urban spaces such as rooftops and sidewalks for growing food. With more than 15 years of farming and construction experience, Edible Garden City designs, builds, and maintains food gardens in tropical urban Singapore, using sustainable growing methods, resource recycling, and waste minimisation.

Michelle Lai (Singapore) is an urban farmer interested in issues related to the local food system. She is also interested in exploring community-driven innovation and community engagement practices. She is part of TANAH (Singapore), an interdisciplinary collective that playfully questions urban living via site specific interventions within and around the city.

Foodscape Collective (Singapore) is a community centred on growing food well, cooking well, eating well and living well. Some are growing food, some choose to cook and eat better meals, others bring food to where it is needed, tackle surplus food or food waste issues, or simply want to tell the stories of our foodscape better. The community at Foodscape Collective envisions to grow and foster compassionate and resilient networks integral to our local food ecosystem, and explore better approaches to food and sustainability. They believe that the future needs better agro-ecological systems; better use, selection, and dissemination of information; and a more inquisitive, adventurous spirit in everyone to ask better questions on our foodscape(s).

Victoria Marshall is the founder of Till Design ( She is currently a President's Fellow at the National University of Singapore, where she is pursuing a PhD in Geography. Marshall is also an Urban-Rural Systems researcher at the ETH Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore.

Image credit: Courtesy NTU CCA Singapore.