MANJUNG: Kolej Vokasional Seri Manjung (KVSM) here boasts a herbal garden with 116 different types of fruits and medicinal plants such as tunjuk langit, bakawali (fishbone cactus), ginger, janda kaya (red flag bush), gandarusa (willow-leaved justicia), patah tulang (pencil cactus), pokok ajaib, starfruit, ciku, soursop, lemon, cermai (gooseberry) and sentul (cotton fruit).
Cheah Li Na, or teacher Li Na, 60, has been managing the garden since 2014 with the help of KVSM lecturers Noor Hafizah Zakaria, 41, and Rosni Ismail, 43.
She said via the garden, the school community could understand and appreciate herbal plants better, as well as learn the secrets of their use for centuries, either for medicinal or cooking purposes.
“Apart from maximising the available space at the resource centre, the garden also helps to promote the culture of reading among college students.
“When they see all the plants here, they will be curious to know more and read about them,” she said recently.
Li Na said the herbal garden not only offered a green landscape but also provided many benefits, such as being made into ulam, or used in cooking, baths or traditional medicine.
“The garden also teaches us and the students the correct way to grow and manage herbal plants.
“The garden produce will be packaged and given to the college community for free. Nearby residents are also welcome to enjoy the fruits of our labour.
“We have started a green soil programme to grow mustard, kangkung (water spinach), Brazilian spinach and chives using recycled materials.”