Growing an interest in herbs

Cultivate Central founder Nova C. Nelson (squatting) and Tan (behind Nova) facilitating a creative urban gardening workshop for SK Tanjung Tokong pupils and explaining to them on how to create a self-watering planter at E&O Berhad’s ‘Growing Heritage’ garden in Straits Quay, Tanjung Tokong.

SOME 20 pupils of SK Tanjung Tokong gave back to Mother Nature when they planted 117 herbs of 28 varieties for Eastern & Oriental’s ‘Growing Heritage’ structure at Straits Quay.

Ahmad Murtadhaa, 12, believes what he and his fellow schoolmates are doing can change the world.

“I practise what I learn at home,” he said after helping finish the structure in Straits Quay in Tanjung Tokong, Penang, on Wednesday.

Noraziera Anuar, 10, said by planting more trees, they would help create more oxygen for the Earth.

“This is why it is so important to learn how to care for plants and trees,” she said.

The 1.83m by 3.66m gardenstructure at Straits Quay was set upin conjunction with the George Town World Heritage City Day celebration and forms part of Eastern & Oriental Berhad (E&O)’s Think Green Community Education programme.

E&O group strategy and communications senior manager Ann Tan explained the rationale for creating a garden of herbs and spices.

“Spices used to be an important commodity when Penang was a vibrant entrepot for different settlers across the globe.

“These people from distinct and diverse cultures shaped a new and unique Penang that we are seeing now,” she said.

Tan added that the children had picked up the tips about growing the herbs and spices from the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) at the association’s garden two months ago.

“The plants were then transferred to a planting structure aptly named ‘Growing Heritage’, which features an arch made of plywood, PVC pipes, and rattan.

“It also comes with self-watering pipe planters,” she said.

CAP education officer N. Suseela said CAP had been conducting lessons for primary and secondary school children on how to do composting and gardening for about 10 years now.

“The younger generation needs to be taught about the traditional plants and herbs used by our forefathers.

“It would be beneficial for the younger generation if they know the healing properties of plants like the Holy Basil, which can be used to boost the immune system or the properties of the Indian Borage that is known to reduce phlegm, cough and fever,” she said.

Also present at the event were International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Sciences (Aiesec) volunteers from Universiti Sains Malaysia.

The ‘Growing Heritage’ may be viewed by the public at Straits Quay for three months until Oct 31 and will be moved to the Straits Green public park thereafter.

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