SG Strawberries KIDS :)

During our live radio chat with DJ Mei Xiang from 883FM on March 18 2016, Summer was asked how I was as a mom and what her childhood was like. I am glad to say I passed with flying colors as a mom! πŸ™‚

I love kids, and its my regret that due toΒ a late marriage pursuing the excitement of life and work, we only have our Summer. πŸ™‚ But she is a lovable child, and has the best of both daddy and I as well as being her own (great) person. πŸ™‚

SG Strawberries

See, what I mean about being enthusiastic? πŸ™‚

Summer is a very enthusiastic learner. She sought knowledge from sensory exploration as well as reading from a very young age.

2 year old Summer loved to play with flour :)

2 year old Summer loved to play with flour πŸ™‚

SG Strawberries

Summer learned how to make bread before she can walked steadily πŸ™‚

SG Strawberries

5 years old Summer made bread, learned by touch the right dough texture πŸ™‚

We indulged our daughter and kids, but not with material pleasures. πŸ™‚ No matter what they were curious about, we tried to answer all their questions and encouraged explorations. This is how we learned and thus, growing strawberries was just another project to explore in our household! πŸ™‚

If you see the world through the eyes of a child, nothing is too impossible. When Summer mentioned her wish to pick strawberries at home, my niece Shona’s eyes shone with excitement and images of harvest rooted in our imagination (even mommy!) , and thus the research began in earnest! πŸ™‚

SG Strawberries kids

SG Strawberries kids – Japanese niece Shona and nephew Kosuke with Summer Fong at our Garden by the Bed!!

The two older girls were encouraged to read and researched on strawberries and shared their findings via YouTube videos in their own words πŸ™‚

I am a firm believer that science should be explored outside of textbooks. In fact, I discouraged memorizing notes! Science is fun and should be applied in practical everyday ways to aid learning for young children. For example, when the subject of water pressure was taught in Summer’s class, we made our own garden ‘gadgets’ such as self watering bottles and even an automated vertical irrigation system to see how they work.

SG Strawberries kids

May 2015 – A simple conception using air pump and basketball needle to pull water bubbles upwards and irrigate our vertical farm πŸ™‚

Science is not a subject we studied for grades. Both Summer and Shona did well for science not because they memorized hard but they truly understood the concepts. As part of my lessons with them, we learned about plants by planting the seeds, observations of seeds’ journey and hands on exploration from transplanting etc. πŸ™‚

The seeds are our teacher, and every germination is the beginning of a new exploration πŸ™‚ This is more exciting than memorizing notes, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

SG Strawberries

Kids want to see if they can track how roots drew water from soil using colored water πŸ™‚

SG Strawberries kids

July 24 2015 – Studying Insects

SG Strawberries kids

July 25 2015 – chrysalis! Isn’t this neat?

April 15 2016 - Praying Mantis

April 15 2016 – releasing Praying Mantis into our edibles garden πŸ™‚

Summer was encouraged to share her strawberries project with interested classmates. Our home is always open for kids wanting to learn more about growing edibles.

Singapore strawberry farm in the bedroom

This hanging garden was dissembled in December 2015 because strawberry plants needed more room in bigger pots than the hanging bottles allowed.

I think the visual impact of seeing strawberries growing on our windows in Singapore, was infectious. Classmates from Summer’s school visited, and we encouraged them to touch and pollinated the flowers. Our strawberries were not kept in protective glass jars, they were unique opportunities for kids to see and feel the results of our imagination and research! πŸ™‚

Self Pollinating strawberry flowers

Summer shared how to pollinate strawberry flowers with classmates

Pollinating strawberry flowers with children

Classmate Cheng Jing lend a hand pollinating strawberry flowers

Self Pollinating strawberry flowers

Pollinating strawberry flowers became a daily chore at home πŸ™‚

As it was all about sharing our strawberries experience, friends from our Facebook’s group, “SG Farming in Apartments” visited our strawberries garden by the bed! πŸ™‚ And whenever possible, we shared how they taste as well πŸ™‚

The fruits size were not very impressive but I hope the magical moment of picking home grown strawberries in Singapore made an impression and won them with its flavor! πŸ™‚

Kids harvesting strawberries in Singapore

Young friends picking and tasting jelly bean sized strawberries in our bedroom!

Pesticide free strawberries in Singapore

Pesticide free home grown strawberries

SG Strawberries

September 2015 – Shirley Ooi

SG Strawberries

September 16 2015 – Mrs. Shanti, Summer’s form teacher from Marymount Kindergarten

Our learning did not stopped, in fact it spilled out of the bedroom to the outdoors. We wanted to grow more edibles and thus, decided to recycled abandoned pots for compost bins and grew food in them. Kids helped to dig for earthworms, plant seeds and transplant seedlings to pots. Every step of the way, they had a hand in it. The reward of our outdoor garden was when we harvest and taste the fruits of our labor!

Shona and Kosuke digging earthworms and composting raw kitchen greens.

Shona and Kosuke digging earthworms and composting raw kitchen greens in our organic garden.

Gardening with children

SG Strawberries kids helped built this organic edibles garden πŸ™‚ May 2015

How to use compost

December 23 2016 – Our natural edibles garden from recycled kitchen green waste

SG Strawberries

March 22 2016 – Shona harvesting her favorite home grown crunchy capsicums after school πŸ™‚

Gardening with children is not only an enjoyable endeavour for me but I truly believed that it taught us a lot about science and innovation. In fact, the more strawberries varieties we grew, the more questions arose! We have not stopped researching since we started! πŸ™‚

Last but not least, I am glad that this experience allowed me to bond even deeper with Summer, Shona and little Kosuke, and it made us all think deeply about our environment and how to grow delicious food safely.