Monday, October 15, 2012

Visiting Farms in Singapore (Goats and Vegetables)

One of my 101 in 1001 goals was visiting the goat farm. Singapore used to be mostly agricultural land (the tropics are very fertile!), covered in first nutmeg and then rubber plantations. Even as late as the 1940s much of Singapore was covered in farms.
With its rapid economic growth over the last few decades, these farms have almost all disappeared. However, there's a few left in the very northwestern corner (Kranji), all specialty/boutique type operations. They produce things like small livestock (frogs, crocodiles--yes, for eating, and of course goats) and organic vegetables (since growing regular vegetables would never pay, given the land prices here).
I wanted R to experience a farm in some sort of way. I read other Americans' blogs about their trips to apple orchards and pumpkin patches and creameries and so on, and feel sad that she has never seen any of these things. I took her to a gardening class (we don't have any access to that possibility, living on the 20th floor and all), and she cried when they tried to get her to dig with a spade: it was gross! it was dirty! there were weird roots in the ground! Really very depressing for me.

So we went to Singapore's only goat farm to get a look at some farm animals. It wasn't very fun, being much more industrial than I had imagined (my vision was more like goats freely cavorting in grassy fields: why I thought this would happen in a densely populated city state is not clear). R looked at the goats with curiosity for about 10 minutes. Then we were all bored.
Pretty industrial looking 
R contemplating the goats in prison: she scored a lollipop from the farm though 
You couldn't get that close really
R being bored of looking at distant goats
To retrieve the situation a little, we then went to Bollywood Farms, which is supposedly an organic vegetable farm. Actually it's a tourist destination: they have some potted herbs and a small orchard of different tropical fruit trees to wander around in. It looks a lot like someone's slightly unkempt backyard. No one in the US would be impressed.
R at the entrance

Part of the farm 
More farm with fruit trees 
Bananas: they grow 20 types (the banana bread is really good btw)
This lizard was just roaming around
Then he ran up a tree and changed color, which impressed me

It was really hot as usual: R is thinking that the mall is better
However, this is a big deal in Singapore where virtually everyone lives in high-rise apartment buildings, and even the very rich have tiny postage-stamp-sized yards, generally covered in concrete. So Bollywood is pretty cool. Plus they have a really good restaurant serving food made with all locally grown ingredients, mostly organic (VERY unusual in Singapore). We will definitely be back, if only to eat!


  1. Ha- I have to laugh at your reaction to the goat farm! Well, at least you tried. If it makes you feel any better, we went to a petting farm a couple of weeks ago and it was mostly just smelly and kind of gross.

    1. I love animals (and zoos) but honestly a lot of animals (most? including humans, for sure) are kind of gross.

      Always remember the time we went to see the pandas in Sichuan. We were going into ecstasies over their cuteness etc as they lolled around munching bamboo (lying like lazy guys on the sofa, stomach up). Then, still munching bamboo, without even moving a muscle, one proceeded to poop for like ten minutes straight. It got all over him (since he didn't move) but he didn't seem to care. And because of his position, you could actually see the poop just as it came out. Grossest thing ever.

      I still like pandas though.