Bjorn Low is the co-founder of Edible Garden City (EGC), a social enterprise that runs urban farms in the densely-packed city of Singapore. The organization aims to improve the sustainability of local food systems by increasing local food production.
When Bjorn started the social enterprise, he used SGP$12,000 to design and maintain vegetable and herb gardens at restaurants in Singapore. From there, EGC started finding underutilized spaces in the city and working out agreements to use those spaces for urban farming. The team has since built gardens for schools, where they run organic farming training programs for the students, and rooftop farms on top of multiple buildings throughout the city.
In 2015, representatives of Singapore’s Employability & Employment Centre (E2C) reached out to Bjorn about using his organization to help autistic members of his community. The E2C is an organization that works to help autistic adults find work by giving them training on useful skills and providing them with enabling support to help make them successful in their endeavors.
When they reached out to Bjorn, the E2C team wanted to launch an urban farming training program for the autistic people with whom they worked. This led to EGC’s first training centre, where they trained Job Coaches at E2C how to plant, nurture and harvest microgreens. The coaches teach students to grow a variety of microgreens and herbs for restaurant and hotel kitchens. Siang Yu, one of EGC’s urban farmers, said the program has worked out well and that the Job Coaches had managed to improve on some of the processes that they learned from the EGC team.