Growing a ‘garden of life’

Gift of love: STACT Club members working hard to green the home.

OVER 60 senior citizens from two old folks’ homes can now enjoy nutritious and organic vegetables and fruits sustainably, thanks to the garden towers built by INTI International College Subang students recently.

An initiative of the college’s Student Action (STACT) Club, the Garden Tower of Life project was aimed at helping the elderly at the En Yuan Old Folks Home and the Sungai Way Old Folks Home achieve self-independence by managing their own green gardens.

It was also carried out with the goal of providing a continuous supply of food for the homes, said STACT Club committee member Khong Yixiang Danny.

“The garden tower is a method of planting seedlings using a vertical system. It allows an array of fruits and vegetables to grow in a limited amount of space.

“This method is especially useful when homeowners are short of space. Garden towers are sustainable as the plants will regrow and continuously provide harvest,” the 22-year-old business diploma student said in a press release dated July 19.

He added that the method is almost effortless compared to traditional gardening methods.

“It allows you to grow food with no soil, no weed interference, lower risk of disease, and there is less headache when dealing with pests. It also uses less water, which is a plus point for the ecosystem, and it can produce up to 30% or more in yield than if the vegetables and fruits are grown in soil,” he said.

According to Khong, the monthly expenditure of these homes can accumulate up to RM32,600, excluding medical expenses. “Both homes rely on donations from the public to run their daily operations. “Efforts like this, especially by students or members of the society who are on the ground to assist the elderly, will help ease their financial troubles in the long run,” he said.

Another committee member Ng Zhi Ching expressed his delight at having taken part in the project, which saw members building two garden towers for each home.

“This was our way of giving back to the community. We hope it puts a smile on the faces of the old folks and helps alleviate some of the concerns at the homes,” he said, adding the club’s effort also helps enhance the quality of life of the elders.

The student pursuing the Bachelor of Accounting and Finance programme in collaboration with the University of Hertfordshire, the United Kingdom, added that he is grateful that INTI provides platforms such as the Garden Tower of Life project for students to learn and grow in various ways including having empathy and caring for others.

“This project gave us a platform to gain experiences, as well as develop event-organising skills. Students with good organisational skills can create and maintain systems to keep track of information or materials.

“Developing this initiative from the beginning and producing a successful result was only possible with effective planning.

“Our lecturers and mentors taught us that with effective planning, we could minimise the time invested in completing work, but not at the cost of the quality of the final results,” he said.

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