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  • Writer's pictureLouisa Ong

SIP provided you a platform to make you a better person?

“My favourite thing about SIP is the people around. It is really an environment for me to make friends while planting my own things. There is really a great kampung spirit that I love about this place”.

By day, Calix is an IT and Data Security professional but come after-hours, he swaps out his monitor screen and mouse pads for his spade and rubber gloves. Calix and Seow Ling first started their plot when they moved to Punggol 3 years ago. They had serendipitously chanced upon Social Innovation Park (SIP) while walking around a neighbourhood, and found a former tenant willing to hand over his plot of land to them.

Since then, the husband-and-wife pair has been growing various kinds of fruits and vegetables and harvested for their own self-consumption. Embracing sustainability besides personal consumption, the farm’s activities are mainly being powered by solar panels.

For Calix, the serenity and tranquillity of the farm has transformed into his personal safe space – somewhere to rest his mind after a hectic day of work, or whenever a period in his usual routine gets him down. Beyond the calming effect, the greenery rakes up memories of Calix’s childhood growing up on a kampung. To him, “kampung life” represents simplicity and community – values which are easily lost in today’s fast-paced, digital world. These are values that he hopes to pass on to his son through integrating the farming and the natural wonders into their routines. He regularly brings his son to the farm to help plant seeds or feed the fish to allow discovery in nature and expose him to something that is beyond just technology and games. In addition, it serves as another venue for family bonding aside from just the family home.

Even more emblematic of this village life is the sense of community Calix feels with his fellow plot tenants – something loosely referred to as ”kampung spirit”, the village spirit. Being part of this farming community has granted Calix to feel a lot more grounded during a time when mental health is on a decline and feelings of burnout are on a rise. When asked what is his favourite thing about SIP, Calix is unhesitant, stating that it is “the people”.

SIP provided you a platform to make you a better person?



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