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Singapore Garden Festival Horticulture Show back with a bang

Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development, with Ms Whang Lay Keng, Deputy Director (National Orchid Garden), Singapore Botanic Gardens, National Parks Board, viewing the award-winning orchid varieties at the SGF Hort Show.

The Singapore Garden Festival Horticulture Show (SGF Hort Show) returns with a second edition from 9 to 31 October 2021. It comprises a wide array of online activities this year, such as talks, demonstrations and Facebook live panel sessions.

Organised by the National Parks Board (NParks), SGF Hort Show was officially opened by Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for  National Development (MND) on October 9 morning.

Mr Dennis Lim, Coordinating Director of the Festival, Events and Exhibitions at NParks, said: “We are grateful for the community and industry’s support to enable the return of SGF Hort Show. Many in the community have picked up gardening and are eager to see new ideas and learn from others, and we are excited to be able to present this event for them in a safe and entertaining way.”

Members of the public can look forward to a range of online programmes, including talks, demonstrations and Facebook Live sessions providing gardening tips and sharing on how to create stunning floral displays. Videos will also be released every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday for the duration of the Show on various topics,  including gardening, aquascaping and floral arrangement.

Visit the Festival website NParks.gov.sg/singaporegardenfestival or Facebook.com/SGGardenFest for the online programme schedule.

There are also online activities organised for the Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Festival, which this year is held in conjunction with the SGF Hort Show. Visit https://go.gov.sg/sbghf21 for more information.

As with SGF Hort Show in the previous years, there are also various competitions to be won, such as the Horticultural Competition across nine categories – air plants, aroids, begonias, carnivorous plants, edible plants, ferns, flowering plants, gesneriads and succulents; and an Orchid Competition, jointly organised with the Orchid Society of Southeast Asia (OSSEA).

There are also competitions categories including Edibles, Bonsai, Nano Tank Aquascaping, Balcony Gardens and Vertical Greenery Competitions. Participants include hobbyists and professionals.

Virtual viewing of the competition plants is available with videos of the plants on the SGF webpage https://nparks.gov.sg/singaporegardenfestival.

Visitors can also book a timeslot via https://booking.sgfhortshow.com to view the horticultural and orchid competition submissions at the Singapore Botanic Gardens (9 to 17 October) and the remaining competition entries at the Jurong Lake Gardens (23 to 31 October).

Members of the public are also advised to check the Safe Distance @ Parks portal (safedistparks.nparks.gov.sg) for the latest update on visitorship levels before heading to both Gardens.

Gardening enhances mental resilience

Under the Edibles Horticulture Masterplan, NParks launched the Gardening with Edibles programme last year with the support of our founding partners DBS Bank, Tote Board and NParks’ registered charity Garden City Fund. Through the programme, NParks aims to encourage people to garden at home or in community and allotment gardens, as well as give them the opportunity to play a key role in the ownership and stewardship for nature as we grow our City in Nature, which will bring forth benefits of health and well-being.

Mr Tan Jiew Hoe, Chief Judge of the Horticultural Competition and President of the Singapore Gardening Society, Muhammad Rizal (Winner of the Best of Show – City in Nature Challenge Cup at this year’s Horticultural Competition) with Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development.

NParks will be distributing 400,000 seed packets of edible plant varieties to interested members of public this year as part of the Gardening with Edibles programme. The seed packet will contain one type of leafy vegetable from among 10 varieties and a plant care sheet in four languages.

Members of the public who are interested to receive the seed packets can register on the NParks website www.go.gov.sg/seed-pack-registration or call 6499 1099 from 10 October to receive their seed packets through mail.

This brings the total number of seed packets distributed under the Gardening with Edibles programme since its launch in June 2020 to about 860,000, complemented with a series of free online resources and workshops catering to different skill levels.

The programme is also aligned with Singapore’s national strategy to strengthen its food resilience and reach the “30 by 30” goal led by the Singapore Food Agency.

This round of seed packet distribution is made possible through the Garden City Fund and in partnership with Singapore Post Limited.

The importance of this programme can be seen in the results from a recent study by NParks on the effects of gardening during the pandemic. The study, which was conducted between May and July 2020, involved around 5,700 participants from the Gardening with Edibles programme.

It discovered that those who gardened regularly – and especially those who gardened for about one to four hours in a week – showed higher mental resilience when compared to the general community. The findings also suggest that people who gardened regularly are able to better regulate their emotions, maintain good relations and cope with stress during challenging times. They also reported greater confidence and positive thinking.

With this next tranche of seeds distribution, NParks hopes to extend these benefits to more people as they garden at home.

Launch of the Social Enterprise Community Urban Farm Grant

To encourage the setting up of community farms for edibles gardening in the heartlands, NParks will be launching the Social Enterprise Community Urban Farm (SECUF) Grant. These community farms are part of the Gardening with Edibles programme and aims to create more spaces for recreational gardening as well as community engagement through gardening-related activities and the provision of micro-employment and volunteering opportunities to residents.

There are two components of the grant available to social enterprises that are members of the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise:
1. The Programming Support Grant, which provides funding support for costs incurred in the conducting of hands-on edible gardening workshops for
seniors and less advantaged members of the community to promote more social outreach activities.
2. The Infrastructure Support Grant, which provides support for the infrastructure costs involved in the establishment of SECUFs. Applicants must have
successfully tendered for pre-identified sites for SECUF usage.

Registration for the Programming Support Grant begins on 15 November 2021. More information on the pre-identified sites for SECUFs and further details on the Infrastructure Support Grant will be shared when ready.

SGF Marketplace is now virtual

For the first time since SGF started in 2006, the Marketplace has moved online. In partnership with Shopee, leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, the SGF eMarketplace can be found at https://shopee.sg/m/gardenfestival to facilitate the shopping of plants and gardening and horticultural products.

More than 20 retailers selling plants, gardening, horticultural products and arts and crafts will be hosted on SGF eMarketplace. Shoppers can also look forward to an easy, secure and engaging experience with the convergence of shopping, livestreaming and entertainment, along with freebies and attractive deals on Shopee.

SGF’s foray into e-commerce caters to the changing consumer behaviour, where Singaporean consumers have increased their online shopping activities as a result of staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With this trend expected to continue post-pandemic, the partnership with Shopee aims to unlock the transformative power of technology to advance local communities while helping businesses digitalise and adopt sustainable ecommerce strategies.

For the first time, SGF Marketplace is now virtual. More than 20 retailers selling plants, gardening, horticultural productsand arts and crafts will be hosted on SGF eMarketplace, in partnership with Shopee.

Chua Cheng Xun, Head of Marketing, Shopee Singapore, said: As more consumers stay home amid the ongoing pandemic, we are happy to be the official e-commerce partner for the Singapore Garden Festival (SGF) to make shopping for horticultural and arts and crafts products more convenient and engaging for users pursuing their interests. This partnership will allow a new online experience for the SGF community to reconnect with nature and plants and retailers to tap on our in-app features like Shopee Live to enrich the user shopping experience by integrating entertainment and exclusive deals on our platform.

“We are confident of helping retailers capture more opportunities on our platform and we look forward to supporting more brands as they scale their presence on ecommerce.”

Find the latest updates and details on SGF Hort Show at: NParks.gov.sg/singaporegardenfestival and Facebook.com/SGGardenFest.

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