What Climate Change Means to Me

Climate change means that some species of animals, even iconic ones like the polar bear, are going to become extinct. It also means that certain plant species are going to disappear. This is because the change in climate makes their habitats unable able to support them and unlike humans, they can’t just hop on a plane and fly somewhere that is more suitable for them.

Climate change means that poorer populations around the world, especially ones who live a long the coast, will lose their homes due to rising sea levels or suffer from the effects of extreme weather.

Climate change means that the world is going to become an increasingly unstable and unpredictable place for everyone. As climates change and food and water sources become affected, people may start fighting over the places that have these resources. I don’t know whether this will actually materialise, but more immediately, I think prices for basic resources will go up.

Climate change means that future generations will inherit an earth that is not as beautiful or hospitable as the one I grew up in or have had the fortune of experiencing.

18 April 2021 Garden Update

The heavy rained washed some of the soil off the roots of my bitter gourd plants so I topped up the planter. The eggplants growing at the bottom look quite happy but actually their growth is quite stunted because they don’t get much light. Am not sure why, but the stems of the bitter gourd vines are quite thin and weak looking.

My Kang Kong and other eggplants have a white fly problem. I’ve sprayed it with Neem oil so fingers crossed this will soon be a problem of the past.

Here are my new ladies finger plants looking beautifully happy!

The Indian borage got replanted next to the withering basil. I’m hoping it’s pungent leaves will keep the aphids away.

The watercress has also been replanted. It was growing in water and the leaves were beginning to grow out unusually small. Let’s see if the soil makes a difference.

I’ve also replanted the gotu kola cos it wasn’t looking too happy in its pot.

What is conservation?

The natural world is essential for our survival. Nature provides us with air, water, food and medicine which is what we need to survive. However, the reason why we have been lax in protecting her is because we have become disconnected from nature and have stopped thinking about where out air, food, water and medicine come from.

As mentioned above, we simply cannot do without the natural world. But beside that, the natural world gives us a sense of wonder and is filled with awe-inspiring natural beauty. Just imagine the world without amazing places like the Great Barrier Reef and Amazon Forests, or species like the polar bear or pangolin.

Conservation is about protecting and preserving the natural world. We do this not only because we need the natural world to survive, but also because the natural world is inherently beautiful and was around before we were / has it’s own right to exist. We preserve the natural world to ensure equitable access to critical natural resources, such as food, water, and air, for future generations.

Conservation also involves sustainable development and stabilising economies. We cannot dictate to others and we especially cannot tell poorer people how they should be living. To carry out conservation, people all around the world will need to work together and come up with innovative solutions that will benefit us all.

Embarking on a conservation journey

“What’s my life purpose?” This question has plagued me for the longest time. Like, really really plagued me…

I’ve read books, journaled for hours, done all sorts of personality tests, attended countless courses for different things and listened to numerous podcasts of different “experts” to try and answer that one question. And one morning this year, while I had some quiet time to think about a project I could work on that would bring my interests and skills together, the answer came to me. I want to save wildlife.

I want to say that this realisation was like the existential dark clouds of “I don’t know what to do with my life” parted and a massive golden ray of sunshine burst forth to illuminate my path forward, but it wasn’t like that at all. It was just a quiet, ‘something clicked’ kinda thing. Like I could suddenly line up the stories of my life.

Stuff like: I spent a lot of my time as a kid watching wildlife documentaries. I refused to eat sharks fin soup at family gatherings and weddings. I made my classmates throw their used paper into a cardboard box so I could bring it to the petrol station where the recycling bins were. I wanted to study zoology in uni (but didn’t because dad said I’d have no where else to work but the zoo). I chose teaching because I figured it wasn’t something that was very polluting.

So now I’m on my path to explore conservation. I’ve enrolled in a National Geographic course called “Introduction to Conservation” and will be blogging about my learning in the days to come, so do check back from time to time if you’d like to know what I’ve learnt.

24 Jan 2021 Garden Update

Kumquats

The first ladies’ finger didn’t grow so much this week, but the bud on the other plant bloomed and now there is a second ladies’ finger growing!

Ladies fingers plant 2

The second pot of ladies’ finger plants is also doing better now that the young plants are getting more sunlight. It’s interesting how a couple of the leaves are shaped so differently from the plants that are in the photos above.

I’m also pleased to say that the prayer plant is looking like it is happy. There are little shooty / rooty things growing out from the old leaf sheaths. I was a bit clumsy and broke the one in the photo right after I took it. Oops.

Spinach

The spinach leaves have gotten bigger now that the pot is on the ledge where it gets more sunlight. I should have enough leaves to add to a dish soon!

Kumquats

Here are the kumquats I managed to harvest from our bush. I also have two limes! I hope to cook this down into a kind of syrup that I can use to mix with soda water.

Fish tail plant

Sadly, the fish tail plant suffered a shock from being transplanted. It’s dropped all its leaves except for the one pictured. It looks like there’s a new leaf growing to the right of it though. I’m keeping my finger’s crossed.

And finally here are my rescue plants for this week, a mint and a basil. The mint currently has tiny tiny leaves and looks like it’ll be a goner in another couple of weeks. The “soil” that it came in from the nursery was a weird cork-like stuff. My father said it was coconut peat and probably didn’t have much nutrients in it. It was the same for the basil. Unfortunately for the basil, it was also neglected so the stems have already turned woody. They’ve both been repotted into bigger pots with proper soil that’s been mixed with worm castings. Let’s see whether these two survive in the upcoming weeks.

16 Jan 2021 Garden Update

Repotted plants on the table in the backyard

It turns out that the little “finger” was a flower bud! Sadly I didn’t manage to get a photo of it in full bloom, but it looks like the flower has a light yellow colour with dark brown spots.

The fruit itself grew amazingly quickly. The flower bloomed on the 12th (Tuesday) and by Saturday, the finger was already about 3 cm long! Wonder how big it’ll be next week…

Ladies finger plants

Here are the other ladies finger plants that I started from seed. The seedlings were placed on the floor and didn’t get as much sunlight as the ones above. You can see that they landed up being quite scrawny and scraggly. I’ve now moved them up to the table as well and hopefully they’ll do better.

Spinach plant

The spinach cuttings are also doing well. The leaves are starting to get bigger on some of the stems. A couple of the stems (not shown in photo) seem to have been gnawed on by some critter. I’ve also moved this pot up onto a ledge where it’ll get more sunlight.

Prayer plant

Here is a very sad looking prayer plant that I’m trying to rescue. My friend’s dogs had been chewing on the leaves and it’s taken a couple of tumbles. I’ve taken it out of it’s original pot and split the plant into two. I hope the transplant helps the plant to survive!

I found this very pretty little fishtail plant growing from a crack in the garden! I’ve also transplanted this and placed it in the backyard.

Repotted plants on the table in the backyard

This is what the backyard table looks like now with the new fishtail plant, repotted prayer plant and ladies finger cuttings. May the universe pour loving healing growing energy on these beauts!

9 Jan 2021 Garden Update

I learnt from the Singapore Vermicomposting Facebook group that a store in Serangoon North was selling boxes of worms for $10, so I visited the store on the 4th of Jan.

PetMart Pte Ltd – 151 Serangoon North Ave 2 #01-79 Singapore 550151

Above is the box the worms came in.

The comment in the Facebook group said there’d be about 20 to 30 worms in the box, so out of curiosity, I decided to count how many there were. Below is what they looked like after they were tipped out of the box.The Facebook group mentioned two types of worms, Malaysian Blue Worms and African Night Crawlers. I’m guessing what I purchased were the former because they had a really interesting shiny blue colour to them. The Facebook group mentioned two types of worms, Malaysian Blue Worms and African Night Crawlers. I’m guessing what I purchased were the former because they had a really interesting shiny blue colour to them.

Turns out there were about 85 worms!

They’ve been popped into the compost bin together with some wilted salad leaves and a banana peel.

The little “finger” is getting larger!

There are little leaves starting to grow on the stems.

2 Jan 2021 Garden Update

Spinach stems

I rooted a bunch of left over spinach stems by soaking them in a cup of water for about three days. There were plenty of roots so let’s see how these turn out.

I’m not sure what the little pointing thing at the top is but it sure looks like a little fruit! Can it be? The plant looks way too young to be able to fruit!

Our swanky “new” compost bin

That’s an old dragon urn we had lying around in the garden. My dad and I filled it with torn up cardboard, shredded banana leaves and soil. We don’t have a proper lid for it just yet so we’re using this plastic tub. Fits pretty good actually! Just gotta get some worms now…

That’s all for now!