4 Family-Friendly Farms in Singapore
Singapore may not be known as an agricultural haven, but its suburb of Kranji houses a cluster of farms that offers a bundle of fun for the little ones. By MELANIE LEE. Photographs by DARREN SOH.
Published on Sep 7, 2016
MY SON, CHRISTIAN, has been bugging me to bring him to farms "just like my storybooks." Amazingly enough, after some queries with my resourceful mommy network, I discover that a few farms in Kranji, in Singapore's northwest corner, do cater to rambunctious toddlers. We pack our hats, sunscreen and water one weekend to channel our inner Old MacDonalds.
1. BOLLYWOOD VEGGIES
"I feel like a real farmer!" The four-hectare farm raises vegetables and fruits free from fertilizers, pesticides and growth hormones. That matters little to Christian, who is more taken with zipping through the rows of plants, chasing birds around the lotus pond and traipsing around the children's garden just outside its restaurant, Poison Ivy. There's a tree house and a retired miniature tractor there, which means we parents get to indulge in the farm's signature banana curry (from their homegrown organic bananas) in peace. bollywoodveggies.com; free entry for kids, S$2 per adult.
Play time at Bollywood Veggies.
2. FARMART CENTRE
"I want to feed animals forever!" The equivalent of a village town center, here you'll find a sprinkling of shops and stalls selling Kranji farm produce. However, it is the animal corner that will get the kids in a euphoric state. For S$5, you are given a small basket of vegetables and pellets to feed catfish, frogs, parrots, rabbits, guinea pigs and goats. With staff supervision, Christian even perches a parrot on his forefinger and learns that "birds need to cut their nails." farmart.com.sg; free admission.
Feeding the goats at Farmart Centre.
3. JURONG FROG FARM
"I'm so brave catching frogs and tadpoles!" This ends up being my son's favorite farm because it is "so slimy and the frogs jump so high." We meet Uncle William, a quail farmer who is good friends with the frog farmers, who spontaneously grabs tadpoles and frogs at various life stages for Christian to coo over. There are thousands of American bullfrogs housed in this farm and their resonant cacophony of croaking leaves him transfixed for a few minutes. He's also fascinated with the deep-fried frog meat sold at their Royal Frog Shop that smells like chicken nuggets, and why mommy seems so delighted slurping up chilled hashima (the Chinese delicacy of frog fallopian tubes, much cheaper and fresher than what you would get at any Chinese restaurant). jurongfrogfarm.com.sg; free admission.
Jurong Frog Farm.
4. HAY DAIRIES
"This place smells funny." This is Singapore's only goat farm that supplies fresh goat milk locally. Christian is joined by his two best buddies for this visit. They take a while to warm up as the earthy livestock scent of the place initially puts them off, but they are soon distracted by the goats getting milked and having a chance to pet the kids. After running up and down the pens housing more than 1,000 goats of various breeds, the boys are rewarded with bottles of chocolate goat milk, free of antibiotics and preservatives. His two friends gobble up two bottles each, but Christian stops after a few sips and says the milk tastes like grass. haydairies.com.sg; free admission.