In support of the Food Sustainability & Innovation Hub, under the Food Security & Nutrition Impact Lab, 48 of Semester 1 students who took 'Principles of Culinary' module from the Bachelor of Culinary Management, Bachelor of Science (Culinology) and Bachelor of Patisserie Arts programme experienced the firsthand on how to source ingredients and conduct a sensory evaluation on local and imported vegetables, salads and herbs at the Taylor’s Urban Farm. During the visit, the students had a tour briefing session by Mr. Kevin Liew, Greenhouse Manager at Taylor's Urban Farm, on the process and flow of farming operations, from seeding to harvesting fresh plants.
The students were exposed to the 4 stations, which involved Station 1: Nursery where the germination process and seeding procedure take place; Station 2: Application of the NIDO system where plant nutrient parameters are monitored and adjusted via mobile phone; Station 3: Growbeds/Horizontal and Horizontal vs. Vertical methods of transplanting the seed; and the last station, Station 4: Briefing on Autopots, automatic watering system that regulates self-provided and gravity-led water supply to the plants.
Mr. Kevin also explained the water treatment process applied in the farm to provide suitable and sufficient nutrients to the plant and to ensure the quality of the fresh produce at the optimum standards. Students also had opportunities to experience planting fresh vegetables, identifying vegetables, assessing the quality of the fresh produce and having a sensory test that involved scientific methods for testing appearance, texture, smell and taste.
This is part of the learning process for the culinary students to appreciate and promote fresh vegetables to be served in the restaurant to promote and support the Farm-to-Fork concept. In addition, the students will be able to incorporate fresh, local food and socially conscious green practices into their learning to create the best dining experiences while promoting sustainable livelihoods and improving health equity through the cultivation, processing and distribution of food.
The practical session ended with a Q and A session that covered various aspects of farming technology, the advantages and benefits of an urban farm and also input on the nutritional content of the fresh produce.