Nestled above the hustle and bustle of the Prakanong area, Grandpa City Garden features 100 square metres of productive green space, serving as a great little centre to learn more about (and try your hand at) urban gardening and other eco-friendly practices devised for the home. Developed and maintained by the Media Center for Development Foundation (MCDF), a non-profit environmental organisation, the garden has gained popularity among Bangkok residents, including children, youth and adults of all ages.
“Everyone is welcome to come to learn about basic needs in the context of organic foods and natural household items. For example, you can grow vegetables, mushrooms and rice, and make non-chemical based products such as soap, shampoo and toothpaste,” explains Karatchanok (“Fai”) Hutaopaed, project coordinator of MCDF. “Moreover, the learning centre promotes how to implement renewable energy in one’s household. For instance, we cover solar panel installation, and use of solar cooking ovens and biomass ovens. Last but not least, the learning centre shows people how to reuse grey water from the kitchen and bathroom to water the vegetable garden.”
Kids especially enjoy the garden’s hands-on approach. Here, they can prepare sprouts for planting, transplant such sprouts into the soil, grow rice in flooded cement containers, decorate their own vegetable pots, make compost from kitchen scraps and waste, and manually power a simple irrigation system fashioned from a bicycle – all while gaining lessons about basic agriculture, environmental responsibility and natural goodness.
“From little children to special needs students, such as autistic teens, as well as the elderly, Grandpa City Garden provides a natural respite, with many benefits for everyone. We are an eco-house-eco-community project, mobilising urban dwellers to produce their own organic food and renewable energy in order to promote more self-sufficiency in the city. At the same time, we are bringing a sense of well-being associated with getting closer to nature, one of life’s basic needs.”
MCDF was established more than 20 years ago. The organisation focuses on sustainable development and environmental conservation, working with community residents. Grandpa City Garden is located at 75 Sukhumvit 62 Road, Prakanong, Bangkok (BTS: Bangchak). For more information, please email Khun Fai at Khunta62@hotmail.com, or visit www.facebook.com/grandpacitygarden.