Holiday Forest at Mall of Medini





"The Frozen Forest created in the circular lobby of the mall, features four photo booths depicting iconic winter landscapes like a frosty morning, pine forest, snow scene and falling snow.

This little girl is feeling the chill on a frosty morning!
“We want people to engage with the landscape and for kids to understand the seasons,” said Johor Green founder, Chris Parry, who designed the art installations.

While the backdrop scenes were borrowed from the winter landscapes of Hokkaido, Sweden, the United Kingdom and United States, Parry said that all the foliage used in the designs were collected from forests in Johor.

A myriad of tiny, twinkling lights that portray fireflies in the Firefly Forest in the MAP Nusajaya foyer, features an Urban Adventure Showcase with information on local eco adventure destinations."


From Winter is here at the Mall of Medini by Peggy Loh

Platform Coffee & Homestay

Tucked in a regular housing estate in Pekan Nenas is Platform Coffee & Homestay, full of laid back rustic charm. You can stay overnight here or just chillout at the coffee bar and outdoor 'platform' area that looks like a cool surfer shack in Hawaii.

Coffee is served in handmade ceramic cups ( you can join a workshop to learn how to make one if you stay there) with an assortment of homemade sweet treats. Check out their facebook page to see what movie they're showing that night.




Rowan & Parsley Food Atelier

Rowan and Parsley is set in a gated garden compound where you can see chef Shawn Sum occasionally dash out to harvest herbs and vegetables for his well executed and beautifully plated dishes. Drinks by the bar staff like iced tea infused with mint, lemon and ginger are top notch. 

Owner Sam Soon whose background is in the wedding photography business hence the visual appeal of the space also has a vision to provide a fresh, local twist to their western fare with the use of local ingredients bringing 'plant to table'. The number of plants he is growing keeps increasing as he discovers their suitability for addition to the menu like Peperomia Lucida below.



The space has intimate corners but is large enough for private gatherings. An outstanding addition to the JB food scene.

Green Heritage Workshop at SMKIJ Convent



Students from SMKIJ Convent Johor Bahru, pictured above, participate in a 2 hour workshop exploring their relationship with the environment.

Using artwork and other material from our Green Heritage  initiative, we engaged these young people on the role of flora and fauna in our environment from the different viewpoints of art, science and culture with a focus on local flora.  We also describe the relevance of the natural world to industry and career choices like agriculture, biochemistry and the food/restaurant business. After the talk, students review materials like books, fabrics and plant cuttings and then work on articulating an idea of their own choice by drawing, painting or writing. We then had a feedback session on selected work to appreciate the strength of the idea, how well it was articulated and its creative merit.

This Green Heritage workshop is part of our Green Education initiative.

GREEN CITY

The city of Johor Bahru, in terms of sustainability is currently a work in progress with both major setbacks due to urbanization as well as promises of better things to come. We will continue to track the increasing provision of better energy, building infrastructure, green spaces and transport resources. Here's a checklist of considerations that make a city or town green or in our case - a list of aspirations.




Green Transport

Johor Bahru has limited public transport options - the best probably being taxis with the use of apps like MyTeksi. A better public transport system is promised by 2016 as Iskandar increases its infrastructure in this region.

Wild Greens

Wild greens are edible plants that thrive without a gardeners hand in untended plots and even in the cracked pavements of the city. Also included are weeds in a home garden that are pulled up and discarded. Surprisingly, these can be a rich and plentiful source of nutritious greens — and free of charge.

It is important though to identify them properly (google their names to see images from all angles) and if you are collecting them from a wild area make sure it is not by the roadside where it can absorb heavy metals from automobile fumes. Plants that like wetland type situations can also absorb unhealthy elements - make sure its not rooted in tainted water. What may look like a wild patch could also be subject to occasional chemical pesticide spraying by local authorities - be wary of that too.

A solution to the above may be to pull the plant up by the roots and establish in your own garden, ideally in pots or a corner of the garden where their invasiveness will not be a concern. If you have fruit trees or a small orchard — under the trees would be a perfect spot where you can leave them to thrive and occasionally mow or harvest.

Chinese Violet, Asystasia gangetica


Native to South East Asia, Chinese Violet can be a noxious weed, but if you have space for it to colonise — its a great source and constant supply of green vegetables. Good in soups, quiches and omelettes as a spinach substitute. Use leaves only, discard fibrous stems. Flowers can be used in salads.

The nutritional composition of Asystasia gangetica leaves per 100 g edible portion is: water 82.6 g, energy 234 kJ (56 kcal), protein 3.7 g, fat 1.2 g, carbohydrate 10.4 g, Ca 226 mg, P 30 mg, Fe 4.7 mg, carotene 6250 μg, thiamin 0.19 mg, riboflavin 0.21 mg, niacin 1.0 mg, ascorbic acid 42 mg (Leung, W.-T.W., Butrum, R.R. & Chang, F.H., 1972). Extracts of Asystasia gangetica have shown analgesic and anti-asthmatic properties in pharmacological tests.

Alternanthera Sessilis





This plant is widely distributed through the tropics and can be found almost everywhere here in Malaysia. Leaves are used for food as well as medicine, the red form below is often sold in local night markets. Nice recipe here

Alternanthera Sessilis Red form






Lambsquarters, Chenopodium album,



The leaves and young shoots can be eaten as a leaf vegetable but should be cooked, and eaten in moderation due to high levels of oxalic acid, large quantities can disturb the nervous system and cause gastric pain. Good info here.

Nutritional info: 3.9% protein, 0.76% fat, 8.93% carbohydrate, 3%, 260 Calories per 100g, Protein: 24g; Fat: 5g; Carbohydrate: 45g; Fibre: 15g; Ash: 28g, Minerals — Calcium: 2300mg; Phosphorus: 500mg; Iron: 25mg; Vitamins — A: 31583mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.67mg; Riboflavin (B2): 1.58mg; Niacin: 2.5mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Peperomia Pellucid



Every gardener knows this weed because it pops up everywhere. Particularly good as part of a mix of greens in a salad as it has a crunch and slight spiciness. Can also be used as a cooked green.

A 100 grams portion of P. pellucida has approximately 277 mg of potassium. It also has: 1.1 grams carbohydrates, 0.5 gram protein, 0.5 gram fat, 94 mg calcium, 13 mg phosphorous, 4.3 mg iron, 1250 mg beta carotene and 2 mg ascorbic acid. Its leaves have also been used to make tea.

From: Eat the Weeds

Centella Asiatica



Native to wetlands in Asia and popular here as ulam, local name Pucuk Pegaga. Good for salad. Nice recipe here, which is a good base recipe for wild greens that are a little more fibrous or like this one — with a slight bitter flavour ie chopped fine and mixed with chopped onions, lime and grated coconut. Easy to find at local markets with roots intact.

Pennywort, Hydrocotyle umbellata



Often sold in the market as Pucuk Pegaga because of its longer, easier to harvest stems, Hydrocotyle umbellata is in fact a different plant altogether and a little more leathery than Centella Asiatica. Either cut it fine for use in salads or blend it for its colour in a drink or sauce.

Celosia Argenta



Not stricly wild but seeds itself quite randomly all over a garden . If you grow it for its flowers in your garden then youll have plenty of these young weeds to make a nice spinach like cooked vegetable.

Wild Ferns, Green: Pucuk Paku, Diplazium esculentum, red: Pucuk Piai,



The young red leaved shoots of Acrostichum aureum need to be sauteed after discarding the stems. The green Diplazium esculentum is more tender and can be cooked or eaten raw in a salads minus the woodier stems. These were bought at the farmers market foraged by villagers.

Wood Sorrel, Oxalis acetosella



Wood sorrel has a sour tang and is great as an accent in salads. Use only the leaves and discard fibrous stems. There is both a green and blackish form.

Bharath Sundry Store

Bharath on Jalan Tan Hiok Ngee in downtown JB is a heritage sundry shop which like many tends to stock items sourced from local suppliers. The item to look for here though is the fresh yoghurt delivered every morning from a small home farm with a herd of 6 cows, hand milked and humanely treated. Yoghurt is typically found in sundry shops that serve the Indian Malaysian community where you will also find a great selection of pulses and lentils for a vegetarian diet.


Green Grocers

There are specialty stores that sell organic produce condiments and noodles but local sundry corner shops can also be a great resource for green groceries as they tend to use small local suppliers and farmers. Supermarkets like Giant and Cold Storage are also increasing their assortment of organic items.


Orange Organic Shop


This small shop at No 145, Jln Perisai in Taman Sri Tebrau  (parallel to Tebrau Highway on the opposite side of Cyrstal Crown Hotel) is where you will find naturally brewed and organic soy sauces, seaweed stockcubes and an assortment of wholefoods. They have a small fridge of fresh produce including free range eggs. In the photo I selected products from Malaysia but on closer inspection the noodles didn't qualify as they are only packed here.

Green Farmers

One of the most important things to know about your food is where it came from hence the importance of knowing your farmers. Being able to talk to them at the markets or to visit them at their farms is a vital part of ascertaining the integrity of your food- is it safe, was it reponsibly grown. Check out our list below of local farmers who are doing the right thing.

GrabTeksi

We don't have a decent public transport system in the way of a MRT but we do have a lot of taxis which are better for the environment than driving your own car. Choosing this method also represents a safer option to travel as journeys can be tracked.

We like Grab as they are a local Malaysian startup. You can download their app from their web site.Check their facebook page for special offers and promotions.

Grab Taxi now also offer GrabCar (private cars) and GrabHitch for rideshares into Singapore.


Green Spaces


Green spaces are the green lungs of the city as well as refuges from urban life. A growing body of research tell us that city dwellers have a higher risk for anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses than people living outside urban centers  and those with little access to green spaces have a higher incidence of psychological problems than people living near parks and that city dwellers who visit natural environments have lower levels of stress hormones immediately afterward than people who have not recently been outside."



Green U Market

Green U Market is a monthly green market and platform for sustainable living where Johor Green will be a regular participant.

On the first saturday of every month vendors selling organically grown produce, artisanal food, handmade crafts  join enthusiasts and experts giving workshops, talks and demonstrations. A great resource to get sustainable produce and products and a great day out for the family. With toys and books for children with a sustainable bias and a farm tour - its a great place to bring the kids.

Location: Happy Farm, Lot 41307, Jalan Pulai Mesra, Bandar Baru
Kangkar Pulai,, Kangkar Pulai. Map

More photos here.

Happy Farm

Happy Farm are not organic certified but we can confirm, after a visit that they are using organic and sustainable methods. No chemical fertilizers are used - only chicken manure further composted with botanic material. Waste farm plant material is composted in closed containers with EM (Effective Microorganism) and reused. No pesticides are used - instead vegetables are grown in unique purpose built raised beds, each with net covering as barrier for pests.

You can buy their vegetables at local organic shops or at the regular Green Lifestyle Market  at their location and also tour the farm that day to see where your food comes from.

More photos here.

Our Landscape - Enrichment Class


Students from local kebangsaan schools, pictured above, participate in a weekend enrichment program called Anbum AaTharavum ( Love & Support ) - an outreach program for students from the Indian Malaysian community.

Sin Keng Wah Mattress



Sin Keng Wah Mattress Shop  at 23 Jalan Trus sells Kapok Mattresses to order made by hand. Kapok mattresses, made from the silky fibre of locally grown trees were once a popular choice here in Malaysia but have since been replaced by factory manufactured mattresses filled with synthetic fibres.

Johor Green hosts annual garden party for enthusiasts

Johor Green founder Chris Parry (third from left) with guests from the Singapore Consul Office JB, admiring plants in the Tropical Cottage Garden. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Peggy Loh, May 29, 2015. 












Johor Green, a group of people in Johor Baru who aims to inform, inspire, influence, encourage and connect with the community towards a greener Johor, recently held their annual Garden Party. Guests at the party themed “It’s Time” exchanged views and ideas of garden design elements and precise plant choices.

Summertime

Ikebana exhibition. Collaboration between Ohara Circle and Johor Green.

An Ikebana Exhibition showing the universal themes of ‘summertime’ like young branching foliage, and also our own seasonal occurrences like the Tembusu flowering season in May and the young green fruits of Rambutan currently on the trees. Living in a region that is one of endless summer, some arrangements also celebrate our more local flora personalities of visible roots, lush growth and colourful foliage. Containers used are earthy, rustic, and organic, some being the ceramic work of Datin Ong Kid Ching, some artisanal baskets from East Malaysia, antique wooden container and some made from found materials.

See more photos.

A Time for Action






“A TIME FOR ACTION”
3 exhibits with a strong message to rally civil society to become more aware and proactive in dealing with environmental issues that we are facing. They are collaborative works with artists and voices relevant to the issues

Garden Party 2015

On Saturday May 23, 2015 Johor Green will be holding its annual Garden Party to celebrate the garden’s enduring role as a source of food, medicine, sanctuary and inspiration.

Cultivating Sustainability - at Sketch JB


Johor Green presented "Cultivating Sustainability" at Sketch JB, a platform for a monthly gathering of students, creatives and professionals intended to nurture a creative community. The talk described the challenge of seeding ideas about sustainability within our modern cultural context whilst exploring current global ideas about sustainability and comparing them to many traditional and local sustainable behaviours that are disappearing.

Zenxin

Zenxin are a large enterprise primarily farming certified organic produce that is available in its own stores and in major supermarkets like Giant and Cold Storage. You can visit their farm or 'Organic Park' which is on the way to Kluang as a day out for the family or simply shop their fresh produce in the city listed here. Their own stores also have a variety of other organic and wholefood type products like wholewheat noodles and even their own brand of composts and fertilizers for the garden.

Fresh Local Produce

We are very fortunate to have access to great local produce at our wet markets, farmers markets and night markets. Speak to the vendors and you will soon learn where their produce comes from and you can reward those that are choosing to sustainably provide our food from local farms and enterprises. Check out the link to our photo guide below and learn more about which vendors we recommend. More markets listed here.


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