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Fear Of Food Scarcity During MCO Pushes More Malaysians To Grow Edible Gardens

Fear Of Food Scarcity During MCO Pushes More Malaysians To Grow Edible Gardens

If you’ve ever tried growing your own vegetables, you know how difficult it is.

Anne Dorall

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The possibility of a second movement control order (MCO) has brought with it discussion of food scarcity, as many people recalled how frenzied buying and disrupted supply chains made it difficult to purchase fresh groceries.

Because of this lack of food security, urban farming has become a hot topic.

Urban farms and local produce became extremely sought after during this period, such as the Sunday Markets held at Urban Hijau.

Tasting fresh produce that was harvested straight-away had been the introduction to urban farming and gardening for many visitors. (Even for us! Who knew radish roots tasted spicy?)

You can get red lady’s fingers at Urban Hijau’s Sunday Markets.
(Credit: TRP)

Once people taste the produce, they always say, “I never knew vegetables could taste like this!”

Mohamed Irfan to TRP

Many people started trying to grow their own plants at home, hoping for a bit food security. Over the course of the MCO, people shared tips on growing spring onions, carrots, celery, herbs, and even taugeh!

Sadly, as any seasoned gardener will tell you, growing plants is both extremely easy and extremely difficult at the same time.

Permaculturist and director of Urban Hijau, Mohamed Irfan, notes that beginner gardeners may face common issues such as pests, but many find their plants dying before they can even grow. In the end, even a fully grown plant may not promise a good harvest.

Although this pumpkin plant grew quickly, it has yet to actually grow an actual pumpkin plant.
(Credit: TRP)

A lot of people want to start growing their own vegetables but they don’t know how to begin, and that demoralizes them.

Mohamed Irfan to TRP

It may be disappointing for newbie gardeners, especially during the time when everyone shared their harvests from their home gardens online, and cause them to give up or simply assume they have “black thumbs”.

The truth is, everything plays a part.

You have to know what you’re working with. How much sunlight do you get? Do you have a balcony? What kind of soil are you working with? What kind of plants are you trying to grow?

Mohamed Irfan to TRP

It can be daunting to start, especially if you have less-than-ideal gardening conditions and zero gardening experience.

We can only dream of lush gardens like this.
(Credit: TRP)

Which is why Irfan has decided to run a workshop dedicated to helping beginners kickstart their gardening journey by reaching their first harvest.

It’s not just growing the plants. People need to see the results of their first harvest to have the motivation to continue.

Mohamed Irfan to TRP

Irfan, with his training in permaculture design, will begin with pure basics and then personalize the workshop for each individual’s garden conditions and suggest the best way to work with what you have, whether that’s poor soil, lack of sun, lack of space, or otherwise.

Because we understand not everyone has the space, time, money, or skills to set up a whole aquaponics system.
(Credit: TRP)

His vision is for every 1 in 10 families to grow an edible garden for food security and community support. He believes that this will have a great impact on the community, and thus the whole country.

Every can be a gardener. The garden grows itself, we just need to guide it a little bit.

Mohamed Irfan to TRP

For more information, visit their Facebook page or website here.

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