Therapeutic farming and therapeutic horticulture is much more than just gardening. Edible Garden City builds gardens and creates programmes that employ gardening as the backdrop to guide participants in five aspects of holistic well-being:
Nutrition and Knowledge
OUR CARE FARMING PLAN
Edible Garden City has embarked on a holistic Therapeutic Horticulture and Care Farming initiative, to help alleviate social issues faced by Singapore's fast-ageing population.
The initiative includes software and hardware elements, from garden builds to gardening programmes, and will also include research and training elements.
WHY THERAPEUTIC HORTICULTURE
Gardening has incredible physical, mental and emotional benefits, and has been scientifically proven to improve the health and well-being of everyone from stressed-out office workers to the elderly.
Over the past few years, Edible Garden City has worked with the National University of Singapore and the National Parks Board on a series of studies investigating the effects of habitual gardening on elderly with early-stage dementia.
Results showed that gardening had positive emotional, mental and physiological impact on participants. The company has also observed anecdotal evidence of improved spirits and social wellbeing amongst socially employed adults with autism spectrum disorder and low-income seniors in other elderly gardening programmes.
Read more about the research regarding therapeutic horticulture, that has been done locally.
THERAPEUTIC HORTICULTURE PROJECTS
Tan Tock Seng Hospital Rehabilitation Centre
The Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s (TTSH) Rehabilitation Centre is encouraging its patients to increase their movement through gardening activities, so that in the process they can restore their independence and self-confidence to recover faster.
In collaboration with Edible Garden City (EGC), a small corridor planter at the Centre was transformed into a mini edible garden. EGC teamed up with TTSH’s physiotherapists and occupational therapists to design a series of small-group workshops that would not only give participants some basic gardening skills but also help them remain active.
The simple acts of harvesting, sorting and watering provide the benefits of moving different parts of our arms and hands to carry out the activities. They simulate senses, uplift moods, promote social interactions and patient empowerment. A therapeutic and fun way of achieving rehabilitation goals through horticulture!
For knowledge sharing, EGC’s educators conducted a "Train the Trainer" programme for the group of therapists, in solidarity with TTSH’s ongoing efforts towards therapeutic gardening.
This TTSH programme would not be possible without the generous support of Lam Soon Singapore and staff at the TTSH Rehabilitation Centre.
Read more about the programme here.