The Farms of Kranji

With high rises in most areas as far as the eye can see, Singapore would hardly seem to be an agricultural paradise. But take a trip up to the northwestern tip, to the area known as Kranji, and you’ll find wide swaths of countryside with all kinds of farming. Here is just a sampling of all that Kranji has to offer:

Hay Dairies Goat Farm

Singapore’s only goat farm, Hay Dairies has been around since 1988. They have around 900 goats, all of which live in large grated enclosures. You can go and watch the female goats be trotted out for milking …

… and then you can sample the milk afterwards to see how it tastes (chocolate milk is recommended for goat milk beginners). What happens to the male goats? Well, they’re sold to local temples for sacrifices. But you try not to think about that as you pet the goats and feed them hay.

A visit to Hay Dairies is popular with families, because there’s petting galore and the goats are so cute!

Jurong Frog Farm

Jurong Frog Farm has been around since the 1970s, and it has burgeoned into a sprawling second-generation family business. There are thousands of frogs here, all crowded together in watery concrete enclosures.

What are these frogs for? Well, people eat them — just look for steamed frog legs, frog skin chips, or frog porridge (claypot frog porridge stalls can be found all over Singapore). The Jurong Frog Farm folks also tout their dried hasihma, a dessert ingredient made from the fatty tissue found near a female frog’s fallopian tubes (sounds delicious, no?). And frog skin is also used to produce collagen for skincare products.

Seeing all of the frogs squished together in dim, dank enclosures can be a little depressing, but the frog farm has been livened up with murals painted by students from one of the local polytechnic institutes. Most of them feature Gabbe, the farm’s flat-headed frog mascot:

You can take tours here, which include the chance to hold a frog and to learn about a frog’s reproductive cycle. The tadpoles with newly-emergent legs are amazing!

Bollywood Veggies

Bollywood Veggies is the kind of place that you have to see to believe. Set just across the way from Sungei Buloh Wetlands, this farm is the twenty-year-old brainchild of a fascinating political activist and her husband. It’s a 10-acre profusion of plants, all pesticide- and herbicide-free, which grow somewhat tame and somewhat wild. You can come for the produce and the boisterously-growing flora …

… but people really come for the wild and wonderful signage that dots the garden plots.

There’s a restaurant on the grounds, too, called Poison Ivy, where you can order a farm-to-table set from their small but yummy menu.

Long Kuan Hung Crocodile Farm

This farm is not open to the public, but it’s worth a mention because very few people would guess that there’s a crocodile farm in Singapore. Most of the crocs are raised in what appear to be pretty crowded concrete pens (and if you take a private tour, you can hurdle chunks of chicken their way).

The pregnant females, on the other hand, get temporary digs in one of two large and luxurious pools:

The crocs are raised primarily for their skin (though crocodile meat is also for sale).

It’s a little eerie to see the before-and-after croc bits, but that’s the reality of farming.

Gardenasia

This one is not a farm, per se, but the “HortiTainment arm” of a Kranji-based horticulture and landscaping company (their latest venture is Mosscape, a moss-based interior decorating scheme).

If you visit Gardenasia, you can try out a “farmstay” in one of three kampong-style cabins …

… eat at their bistro …

… and wander the sometimes wonderful, sometimes bizarre grounds (alongside mascots Titoy and Morchoo).

And So Much More!

The farms listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. You can get quail eggs from Uncle William, fresh greens from Quan Fa Organic Farm, and mushrooms from Kin Yan Agrotech. On a larger scale, Kranji is home to Sky Greens (a vertical farm) and two enormous chicken farms (which you cannot visit). Fish are also big business here: you can buy ornamental fish for your tank or your home garden (there are two separate koi farms), you can see tilapia swimming in giant tanks, or you can sit back and do some “fun fishing” at one of the stocked, manmade seawater ponds.

The only downside of visiting the farms of Kranji is that it can be tough to get around if you don’t have a car. But the farmers are working on a new shuttle bus option that should be up and running before 2021 is out — here’s hoping that it will make these trips a bit easier!

Local farms are very much at risk in Singapore; the government has already threatened the leases of some of the farms above because they want to expand Tengah Air Base. So it’s great to visit these places and support the farmers! For more, visit the Kranji Countryside website.

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