Connecting Growers and Chefs

Foodscape Collective connects growers to chefs and designers creating experiential events for others. But it’s not always easy going from one part of the island to another to deliver fresh produce. So why do it?

In a conversation one day, Cuifen and I realised that it was probably a good idea for me to share more about why I’ve decided, on several occasions, to spend good parts of my time delivering produce from gardens to kitchens. I stick to the route of ‘doing it myself’ because only by experiencing it and putting in the time for it, can I really know the value of this work that customers at the end will not see. And we would like to involve others in this, someday soon.

You can join us as a volunteer in being a Connector – to learn more about what farm-to-table really means, and to get to know the individuals that are building the momentum for a real food revolution, right here on this island. For now, read more about our experiences in Connecting others!

On 21 February, we helped with friend’s brunch event by sourcing for edible herbs and leaves that could be used in the food itself. Here’s a look at how we did it…

14 Feb: List of plants that we have confirmed! We confirm collection timings from the relevant gardens/houses. A volunteer has agreed to help, so we give her the collection date, venue and timing.

These are some of the plants we were looking at:

Mint, Coriander, Sawtooth Coriander, Green Chillies, Parsley, Banana Leaves - and noni leaves as substitute, Blue Pea Flowers, and Roselle

On 17 Feb, we drop by Farmily, located at Ground-Up Initiative, where we collect a bag of Roselle.

Farmily is an upcoming young social enterprise, whose aim is to provide seniors with a way of connecting with the land again, while providing chemical-free, safe-to-eat harvests from the rich, fertile land it’s worked on for close to 2 years.

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On 21 Feb, from GK’s garden, we collect mints, sawtooth coriander, coco mint, laksa leaves and noni leaves, to be used for plating later that afternoon.

On the same day, we drop by Pavilion garden at Bukit Batok to collect huge fronds of banana leaves and a bagful of blue pea flowers.

YS, The Connector

 

YS, our volunteer connector for the day, drops by GK’s house to meet her and collect the produce. YS has her own garden and we wanted them to meet. Two hours after meeting GK, these herbs and produce have been delivered to, YS says, a ‘beaming Nithiya’. 

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And happily during the visit, GK shared about the plants in her garden with YS. Here are the plants she introduced that day:

Laksa leaves, Coco mint, Okinawan spinach (Gynura bicolor), Sawtooth Coriander, Edible snakeweed flowers

 

GK, The Grower

 

Geok Kuan has been growing plants in her home for years now. Very active and invested in her family’s wellbeing, she utilises her garden to produce health-bearing drinks and food for her family. Her teas are amazing, and she is constantly experimenting with new recipes. Read more about GK’s approach to gardening and what she has learnt here and here.

 

What does she think about growing her own herbs?

Most chefs use what they can get from the market and suppliers. However farmers and growers have different viewers on using what they grow. The plant is there so we have to make creative use of all parts. It is fascinating to grow things. I grow herbs because using it requires a bit more creativity.

 

Nithiya of Brunch Bandits, the Chef

 

Nithiya spun this honest garden produce into a tapestry of food and floral finishings. She believes in sourcing from local growers where possible, wanting to support efforts to move toward more sustainable food practices.

 

The blue peas and noni leaves (from Pavilion Garden and Geok Kuan’s garden respectively) were paired here with Proust’s famous madeleines.

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The coco mint

 

 

Coco mint-infused Biryani of Determination - from Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children
Coco mint-infused Biryani of Determination – from Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children

 

Roselle made into a jam - we weren't there but we heard it was eaten with relish!
Roselle made into a jam – we weren’t there but we heard it was eaten with relish!

This isn’t Brunch Bandits’ first take on local produce. In their Luau last year, way out in the Singapore countryside (hint: it was on a farm), freshly-harvested purslane leaves were whipped together with sweet potato and lots of almonds for that added colour and crunch.

Golden purslane from a garden in the central part of Singapore, used in a sweet potato salad
Golden purslane from a garden in the central part of Singapore, used in a sweet potato salad

And the coriander disappeared before we could get a shot..it must have been gobbled up!

 

Foodscape Collective connects growers to chefs and designers creating experiential events for others. It’s not always easy going from one part of the island to another to deliver fresh produce. While we’re still doing it ourselves, believing that only by experiencing it and putting in the time for it, can we really know the value of this work, it’s our dream that more people in Singapore will be able to learn, as we do, about how our food systems can be connected.

 

You can join us as a volunteer in being a Connector – to learn more about what farm-to-table really means, and to get to know the individuals that are building the momentum for a real food revolution, right here on this island.

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