Life only makes sense when you connect the dots of the past. How difficult it is to make sense of the little ink dots that fall upon a page of the newspaper when looking at them up close. But take the time to pull away and you'll come to see that they paint a story - a comic strip that is beautiful, funny, and wondrous.
4 Years Old (Home Rascal)
Gardener turned Horticulturist Wanna Be
My relationship with Nature started when I was out in the garden helping my mom prune her plants. I remember telling my mom that I wanted to be a gardener. She looked at me, laughed and said "don't be a gardener, be a horticulturist - a scientist who studies plants." What a great word to learn to spell at the age of 4!
15 Years Old (Secondary 3)
Horticulturist Wanna Be Turned Geographer
In order to be a horticulturist, I knew I needed to study Biology. Unfortunately, my grades were not good enough. When I was not allowed to study Biology, my dreams of being a Horticulturist seemed to have slipped through my fingers. Devastated, I gave away the Biology textbook (which I bought in advance) and replaced it with the next best available option - the Geography textbook.
18 Years Old (Army Recruit)
Geographer Turned Nature Lover
It was in the army that I realised how Geography had helped me distinguish places by using terrain, plants and trees. Thank God for this because in the jungles of Brunei, that was all that surrounded us. Forest navigation and outdoor camping strangely became a lot of fun.
21 Years Old (University)
Nature Lover Turned Budding Tree Hugger
While doing a degree in Geography, I became obsessed with trees. Everything I studied would ultimately be associated with trees. Even my final Honours thesis paper was about how trees helped people fix their memories into spaces to create deep meaning and attachment. No wonder my friends called me a crazy tree-hugger.
25 Years Old (NParks)
Tree Hugger Turned Landscape Architect Wanna Be
My career started in NParks where I actually became a real tree hugger! My job required me to check trees, HUG them to measure their girth, give them a pat of love and move on to the next tree. However, I soon picked up another interest - the art of landscape design. Daily dreaming and wondering about what lies on the other side of the fence coupled with soul searching soon ignited a TINY quarter life crisis!
27 Years Old (Gawad Kalinga, Philippines)
Landscape Architect Turned Farmer Wanna Be
I left Singapore and began volunteering in the Philippines with an NGO which offered me an opportunity to help landscape the country's first Farm and Social Enterprise University. Unfortunately, a 5 month drought made it impossible to grow many plants. Without many choices to choose from, I was forced to begin landscaping with hardy food crops like sweet potatoes and lemongrass. To my surprise, the community and I managed to create landscapes that were not only really beautiful, but edible and profitable too!
28 Years Old (Edible Gardens)
Where Everything Finally Made Sense
After 10 months in the Philippines, I returned to Singapore with the mission of creating edible landscapes. I soon found local social enterprise Edible Garden City. It was a perfect match and I couldn't resist joining them full time to help spearhead the growing local urban farming movement. It was with Edible Gardens that I found myself drawing upon all the different experiences of my past - gardening, tree-hugging, landscaping and running a social enterprise.
29 Years Old (Permaculture Design Course, Kuala Lumpur)
Where Geography Became Real
I was introduced to this thing called Permaculture while in the Philippines. But it was only while with Edible Garden City that I attended my first basic Permaculture Design Course in Kuala Lumpur. Throughout the class, I kept going "I studied this before... in Geography, but now it makes perfect practical sense". For me, the practice of Permaculture brought textbook Geography to life and gave my life a direction...
30 Years Old (Birth of Project 33)
The birth of Project 33 came about when I wanted 2 things in life - the first was to transform my own home garden into a Permaculture farm while the second was to stop procrastinating and start knowing my neighbours. These 2 wishes came together to form Project 33 - To use the relaxing ambience of a real homestead farm to freely share knowledge about farming and food, where authentic friendships are grounded in the spirit of "giving first", and where the community draws affirmation and courage to live life boldly and to the fullest.
30.5 Years Old (Birth of Carbon InQ)
Carbon InQ Pte Ltd was eventually set up to address our need to re-connect with Mother Nature and with other people through deep authentic experiences. By focusing on providing a unique brand of Nature-based curriculum, urban farming consultancy and high-tech horticulture products, my hope is that we can learn to live our lives more mindfully, respectfully and courageously.