Farms? What farms? The Little Red Dot is as famous for its agriculture industry as Jamaica is for bobsledding. But even though less than 1 percent of our land area is dedicated to farming activities, there’s an impressive variety of farms in Singapore. Whether you are looking for a family-friendly activity on the weekend or a getaway from the hustle and bustle, pick any of these for a breath of fresh air.
What began in 2000 as the brainchild of Ivy Singh and her husband Lim Ho Seng has since grown (pun intended) to one of the most beloved farms on the island. Known for more than just its organic produce, Bollywood Veggies has, over the years, expanded to include a culinary school and a museum. There’s even a bistro that uses fertiliser- and pesticide-free ingredients harvested from the backyard. It doesn’t get fresher than this.
Established in 1988, Hay Dairies keeps about 800 goats of mixed breeds, and all of them get to live like bleating royalty. That’s because every goat here chews on hay shipped straight from the US, as well as special feed flown in from Australia. Perhaps that’s why Hay Dairies’ goat milk tastes so much better than off-the-shelf brands in your supermarket fridge – we kid you not. Drop by in the morning to catch the goats being milked (from 9 to 11am), then bring a few bottles home at the end of the day.
Had steamed fish at a hawker centre recently? Well, there’s a good chance that your grouper came from Khai Seng Fish Farm. Located in the north-western of Singapore, the 19-year-old fish farm is the only one of its type here to bear the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore’s stamp of approval to operate a retail outlet in its premises. So aside from checking out how our food is reared, you’ll be able to bring home red tilapia, patin, grass carp, giant snakeheads and other species that are even fresher than the ones you’ll find at your neighbourhood wet market.
On the surface, Farmart Centre is just like any other pet shop in Singapore, what with all the rabbits, hamsters and tortoises that you can pet at the Animal Corner. You even get to feed them during specific timings: weekdays from 9am to 1pm, and weekends from 9am to 6.30pm. But in-house zi char and satay restaurants – no, the animals aren’t slaughtered for food – as well as tours ($3-$6/adults, $6-$8/children) that introduce you to quail husbandry and frog farming turn Farmart into a bona fide, full-day escape.
If you have a fear of frogs, maybe you’d wanna skip this one. Jurong Frog Farm is home to about 10,000 of the amphibians, the majority of which are American Bullfrogs. Staffers here are more than happy to show you around and tell you everything there is to know about frogs – entry to the farm is strictly by appointment from Tuesday to Friday, but it opens to walk-ins over the weekend and public holidays. And this might sound a little macabre, but you can even eat these croaking critters. The farm is known for a Chinese dessert called hashima, made from the dried fatty tissue found near the fallopian tubes of female frogs. Not for the faint-hearted, this one.
The Animal Resort is essentially a smaller, more rustic version of the Singapore Zoo. The difference, however, is that you get to feed all the animals here – and there are a lot of them. The Animal Resort is home to horses, poultry, goldfish, rabbits, guinea pigs and exotic birds like cassowaries (large, flightless birds that bear a passing resemblance to emus). You can’t rock up with stale bread to feed the critters, though. Feed has to be purchased at the rest stop before you go wild around the enclosures. And if you’ve got a birthday bash to plan, consider treating the kids to an encounter with nature at The Animal Resort.