Instead of asking how beautiful our gardens are, could we ask how nutritious they are?
In Singapore, Edible Garden City, which was set up in 2012 with the mission of creating social change through community-centric agriculture, is exploring the idea of how we can store food nutrition in our landscape space. The goal is to replace ornamental landscapes that are currently mandated by land-planning authorities with nutritious edible plants.
To measure the nutritional value of the landscape, Bjorn Low, who founded Edible Garden City, is updating a Landscape Nutrition Index, or a Nutrition Landscape Information System (NLiS) that brings together nutrition-related indicators in a standardised form.
For Bjorn, this idea came about as a result of the overemphasis placed by agritech and vertical farms on green leafy vegetables as the crop of choice, purely because they have a shorter and more profitable cropping cycle. This siloed approach negates longer cropping vegetables which are also important for key nutrition needs such as carbohydrates and proteins. With NLiS, better data that measures and tracks nutritional values such as vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients can be produced.
Here is an example of how you can use NLiS to measure the nutrient density of your garden.
Total landscape space: X sqm
Total number of edible plants: X
Carbohydrate, nutritional content per plant: Xg
Nutrient density per sqm: XX
To learn how to build your own edible garden, click the link below.