INTI works together with community on greenhouse to grow home-grown food
PETALING JAYA: More than 20 residents from PJS 9 alongside INTI lecturers, students and staff came together over the weekend to build a mini herb garden greenhouse for a community farming project.
Designed by chef Yuzrem Ezri from INTI International College Penang, the mini greenhouse project combines elements of farming and agricultural management, and was first built in INTI International College Penang.
The project was then shared with other chefs around the world during Laureate’s Culinary Chef Conference at Panama in May. Today, the project aims to bring the PJS 9 community together to grow locally-fresh and organic herbs, fruits and vegetables that improve access to healthy, home-grown food.
“We are very happy to be part of this backyard community farming project. One of the best things about living in an urban population is that we have space to work with and we are excited to see the residents coming together to make use of space for a social and health driven project.
“Growing your own produce is much simpler than we think. All you need is a few square feet of outdoor space, a water source, and some dedicated time and effort,” said Yuzrem.
Chef lecturer Eddie Tan from INTI International College Subang further explained that growing your own herbs, fruits and vegetables would ensure a constant supply of fresh, healthy, natural and organic produce.
“Growing your own food allows you to use organic methods free from harmful pesticides. On top of eating great-tasting herbs, fruits and vegetables, the residents here can also take comfort in knowing that growing your own food is a sustainable practice.
“By eliminating the use of pesticides and herbicides, we are also reducing the pollution in the air and water,” said Tan.
Standing at nine feet in height and expanding over 10 feet in width and length, the mini greenhouse was erected in just two days.
Built around the concept of the 3Rs of reduce, reuse and recycle, herbs were planted in recycled items such as wooden pallets, drinking cartons, as well as plastic containers and bottles.
The herb garden adds basil, mint leaves, parsleys, coriander, rosemary and turmeric to the list of vegetables and fruits such as aubergines, okras, chillies, long beans, angled beans, lemongrass, bananas, papayas and pineapples in the community farm.
“This farming project is essential to what the community is planning to do for the Zon Bersih initiative.
“Not only are we able to grow our own healthy produce, this is also a project that allows the residents to come out, work and get to know each other. Watching a seed blossom into a full grown plant under our care is very fulfilling and we hope that the residents will continue to enjoy such activities with an amazing sense of accomplishment,” said Jawatankuasa Penduduk Zone 2 chairman Captain Wan Hock Leong.
Speaking on the partnership, Cheng Mun Kid, Dean of the School of Hospitality at INTI International College Subang said “At INTI, we’ve always believed in providing our students with opportunities to break away from classroom based lecturers.
“On top of our unique combination of rigorous culinary curriculum, business training, international lecturers specialized advanced coursework, we also offer our culinary students international and real-world exposure. The experiences shared here will prove a useful tool in improving their nutrition knowledge and social skills.”
As part of the continuous partnership with the PJS 9 community, INTI plans to organise a Harvest Day Out during the later part of the project to reap the fruits of the community’s labour.
Chefs and culinary students from INTI will harvest the crops with the PJS 9 community and design a healthy menu for the residents to enjoy.