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An Eco Gardening Event: Guardian of The Garden

06 Jan 2017

Introduction When was the last time you held a hoe or even a trowel? When, think about it, was the last time you have gotten mud and grass all over your hands and knees? Most people would leave their gardens in the hands of professional gardeners or preferably, have zero maintenance plants at home. “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”. With this mindset, the guardians of gardens from IMU Eco Friends Club set out to make the Eco Gardening Event a success! Visit to Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) 15 October 2016 In order to plant a garden that is sustainable, sufficient knowledge is required. Therefore, the sub-committees had their first visit to the Malaysia Nature Society to attend the workshop and gain knowledge about gardening. In this visit, all sub-committees tried their best to give assistance in any gardening work given and to learn as much as they can from the experienced personnel. Special thanks have to be given to the Malaysia Nature Society Flora Group for agreeing to sponsor seeds and samplings of good quality for the upcoming Eco Garden Event. This had allowed more proper tools to be bought for future participants in the event! First Visit to PPOC Home 22 October 2016 Armed with the knowledge of gardening, a total of 25 participants arrived at the Rumah Insaniah Dr Siti Hasmah PPOC in Petaling Jaya, which is a rehabilitation centre for disabled people in Selangor and Wilayah Persekutuan. We were first brought to a plot of land which the home generously provided us to work on. After a briefing from the gardening expert of the home, the event officially started around 9am! Looking at the amount of de-weeding we had to do, no one was dejected. rather , we were all pretty excited as we prepared ourselves for the long and arduous job. file1file3 Due to our unfamiliarity with the gardening tools, we were taught patiently about the proper usage of the tools as well as skills to maximise our result with minimum energy. Smaller teams began to form gradually with each having individual jobs for higher efficiency. Some ploughed the land, loosening the soil in the process while others helped to remove the grass and weeds from the soil. Slowly but surely, seven pits were formed and from a plot of land filled with weeds and grass, it became a gardening plot. It was a day worth spending outdoors. Not only did we learn about gardening skills, we were also able to de-stress and do some much needed exercises. The first visit ended smoothly due to the high cooperation and teamwork shown by all participants. There was certainly a high level of satisfaction when we left the home after eating lunch. We could not be more eager to be back for the second time to plant the vegetables and herbs. Second Visit to PPOC Home 5 November 2016 Prior to the first event, Eco Friends Club arranged a second visit to the PPOC home in Petaling Jaya. Including the main committees, three sub-committees, student volunteers as well as the lecturer-in-charge, Dr Lipika, a total of 22 participants arrived at the home around 9 in the morning. IMG_1204 The activity quickly began after a short briefing delivered by the gardening expert of the home. The participants were told to carry out minor de-weeding of the soil again before planting the herbs and vegetables as weeds could be seen gradually growing on some parts of the gardening plots again. The process of de-weeding took some time to complete but as soon as it was done, the participants eagerly moved on to the planting of herbs and vegetables. The committee members who attended the workshop by Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) previously as well as Dr Lipika patiently guided the participants on proper techniques of gardening. Besides imparting knowledge to the participants, this will also ensure that the herbs and vegetables  planted will be able to grow and survive. IMG_1233 For planting of seeds, a deeper hole in the loosened soil have to be dug before placing the seeds inside. The seeds then have to be covered with soil and sufficient water given to ensure their growth. As for the plants, upon removal of the black packaging, the plants together with the roots and soil intact were planted whole into the loosened garden plots. More soil were then used to cover the exposed roots and water was given as well. With the cooperation and hard work of all participants, the gardening activity was able to end earlier as compared to the first visit and lunch was served shortly after. Everyone participated whole-heartedly and worked together harmoniously. Not only did we sweat and work hard with our new friends, we also learnt something new about gardening as well. Gardening may seemed easy but there is actually a lot of knowledge behind to ensure the sustainability of the garden plots and that the plants do survive in the end. All in all, the second visit is also a success! file

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