KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 ― Businesswoman Samantha Lai’s family has been composting kitchen waste since she was young.

Late last year, the 32-year-old expanded her composting activities when her community at USJ 16 in Subang Jaya started a community garden.

According to Lai, residents were encouraged to bring their organic waste to an open area in the garden for composting.

Starting with one pile last year, today there are five piles.

Lai said a chief gardener appointed from among the residents had been tasked to ensure the piles were well maintained.

“Contrary to concerns, there was no problem of pests coming to rummage through the piles,” she said.

Speaking to Malay Mail, Lai said the compost was used to fertilise the community garden that was planted with edibles.

“We are trying to get the nearby restaurants to give us their food waste and contribute to the piles,” she added.

Persatuan Penduduk USJ 16 vice-chairman Edward Kor said the community farming began in September last year after the necessary approvals were obtained from the Subang Jaya City Council.

The community garden has got the residents of USJ 16 together. ― Picture via Facebook/ D'Hamlet Garden at USJ 16
The community garden has got the residents of USJ 16 together. ― Picture via Facebook/ D’Hamlet Garden at USJ 16

Modelled after the Circle Gardens of Denmark, Kor said each circular garden plot was connected via walkways fashioned into the likeness of tree branches to ensure aesthetic value.

“The size of the garden allotted to us was about one football field. Under phase one, which is about a quarter of the field, some 50 residents are working on it.”

Kor said each resident would work on one individual plot with the association eyeing to expand it further.

“We will do so after the movement control order is lifted,” he added.

Kor said having the community garden had brought the residents together.

“Every day, before the enforcement of the movement control order, there will be people crowding around the garden.”

“While the elders busy themselves tending to the garden, there will also be children running around.”

Those who tend to the garden are also sharing their produce with their neighbours.

Lai said she was initially sceptical whether the garden could take off.

“But after seeing what my neighbors are doing, I am glad it did as it got the neighbors together.”


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