I've been trying to add more veggies to my diet, but I also want to make better, responsible choices. Discovering farms like Citizen Farm feels encouraging and points me in the right direction.
If only all workplaces looked like this.
“Every morning when I step into our urban farm in Queenstown, I am greeted by wide, open spaces and a lush green food forest full of flowers and butterflies,” enthuses Sarah Rodriguez, product manager of Citizen Box at Citizen Farm.
“It’s a view that’s much more refreshing than rows upon rows of cubicles in a typical office!”
That is true, but make no mistake about it: Citizen Farm is a thriving, bustling and hardworking urban farm. It prides itself on following sustainable practices; upcycling food waste and agricultural byproducts into fertiliser; and using modern, chemical-free farming systems to create the freshest produce, which you can enjoy at top restaurants through Citizen Chef or have delivered straight to your door through Citizen Box.
“I’d never interacted with anyone with autism or down syndrome before I joined Citizen Farm. But now I have the privilege of working with colleagues from all backgrounds. It has taught me to look beyond stereotypes and assumptions, and to be a better communicator,” Sarah observes.
“There’s also a great DIY spirit and resourcefulness among our farm family. The never-say-die attitude is infectious and something that I really admire. And, of course, I am proud to be able to contribute to achieving food security for Singapore.”
You can witness this for yourself when you volunteer, attend their events and workshops, or sign up for their private tours. “It’s always interesting to see what everyone else is doing because each day is different. Some days we have events or workshops; are bringing government and overseas VIPs around for a farm tour; or are in our open-plan office brainstorming and hammering out ideas about how to make our farm operations and offerings better for our community,” she adds.
Or you can always talk to Sarah herself. “As the product manager of Citizen Box, I meet with our subscribers, who receive our vegetables almost every week,” she admits.
“Some of them have shared how they are eating healthier thanks to the greens we grow and harvest by hand for them. They’ve also shared how it has made them more adventurous with their food, experimenting with new recipes and daring to try new types of herbs, vegetables and even edible flowers.”
That’s good news for Citizen Farm, as they have more plans to serve people. “At the moment, we are ramping up our vegetable production and developing a scalable, portable urban farming solution that individuals, communities and organisations can procure. This will create decent employment opportunities in urban farming for socially disadvantaged individuals, which is one of our social responsibility goals, and enable more people to grow their own food,” Sarah relates.
“We are also looking into more partnerships with social welfare organisations to bring the benefits of gardening and horticulture therapy to marginalised groups.”
It all sounds quite challenging, but Sarah is hopeful. Based on her experiences at Citizen Farm, she believes that anything is possible.
“Find something that you feel for – anything – and tell everyone you know how much it has impacted you,” she states.
“People respond to stories. Tell them your story, and try to inspire them to tell theirs. Passion always speaks loudest.” And Citizen Farm has stories and passion in spades.
Citizen Farm is at 60 Jalan Penjara, Singapore 149375.