After a two-year hiatus, the Farmers’ Market of the Gardening Group of the Green Movement Ministry returned to Sacred Heart Hall on 24 September as part of the parish programme for the Season of Creation. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the Farmers’ Market was popularly held twice a year.
Fr Colin Tan SJ, the parish priest, said the opening prayer, which gave the market a spiritual start. Also present was His Grace Archbishop Marek Zalewski, the Apostolic Nuncio to the Republic of Singapore who has always shown great support for initiatives for the environment.
Fresh vegetables and fruits were sourced from small-time farmers in Pontian just north of the border. Added to this were the parish grown fruits and herbs. Group members also took some months to grow decorative potted plants and air plants from cuttings which were then sold at the market.
There was even a corner to encourage children to grow their own plants. For a small fee, they were given a pot with a small spade, some soil, and a plant of their choice. It was an effort to make the younger generation experience hands-on what it means to do their small part in caring for our common home.
“Everyone plays a part in taking care of our environment, no matter how small it is. It is important to create awareness for ecology. We are together in this worthy endeavour. I am so happy to see so many people coming to this market,” said Patricia, the head of the organising committee of this year’s market.
As usual with any church event, home-cooked food was available for sale. These were prepared with loving care by the group members. Even Fr Colin participated by making and selling “Fr Colin’s Herbal Tea”, which according to him consisted of a brew of Moses in A Basket (Tradescantia spathacea), wolfberry, and pandan.
The founding members of Food Loops were on hand to promote their composting programme. People could sign up to get their food waste (only raw vegetables and fruit peels) collected and composting done in certain locations. A container and sawdust (to prevent bad smells) were provided so that compostable waste can be stored at home for the twice weekly collections.
Several other events have been organised for the Season of Creation this year at the parish level, including a tree planting event with National Parks Board Singapore. These events are a wonderful start to the parish Laudato Sí Action Plan. It is hoped that the annual Season of Creation may be celebrated by the various parish ministries in a cohesive and symbiotic way.
— Fr Francis Lim, SJ
Spiritual Director of the Green Movement Ministry