Want to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life? If this sounds tempting, why not head over to 1 of the most rural and rustic part of Singapore? For a country that is known for its skyscrapers and bustling shopping belt, you might be surprised to know that we also have our very own countryside! The Kranji Countryside. Truly untarnished by modern development & urbanization, Kranji Countryside is tucked in such a far corner of the island that it’s actually quite a chore to get there if you don’t drive. Unfortunately for us, we are 1 of those people who doesn’t have a driving license. For those in the same predicament as us, fret not as there’s a shuttle bus that you can take from Kranji MRT ($2 for a return trip). Let us now enjoy the tranquility of the peaceful sanctuary! =)
Stop #1 : Hay Dairies
Known for being the only goat farm in Singapore, Hay Dairies is probably 1 of the most popular, if not the most popular, farm in Kranji. Do you know that the Hay family used to rear both pigs and chickens before the government imposed a ban on both pig & poultry farming? We missed out on the milking demonstrations ( held 9-11am daily) as we only reached in the afternoon. Hence, we settled for a stroll around the farm to take a closer look at the goats.
You simply can’t visit a goat farm, without having to taste goat’s milk. With that, I had my first ever sip of goat’s milk. Surprisingly, the milk doesn’t have as strong a taste as I expected. In fact, it was quite bland ( probably because it’s free from antibiotics and preservatives) and despite it being nutritionally superior to cow’s milk, I found myself preferring the latter. Goat’s milk is available in 2 flavours – Original and Chocolate.
The pigs are gone. The birds are gone. I wouldn’t be surprised if the goats will be gone in time to come. As much as I wouldn’t want that to happen, I would still like to encourage those who are interested to visit the farm before it disappears too.
Spotted this stylish and very expensive Lamborghini at the farm’s reserved parking lots. How much would you like to bet that this is the owner’s car? Now, wouldn’t you want to re-consider your career decision about becoming a farmer? :p .
The Long Walk
Seriously, we have never felt so “handicapped” before. Not only are the various farms located far apart from one another, but there are also no public buses that we could take to bring us straight from Hay Dairies to our next destination ( bus 975 drives past the area but the bus route doesn’t cover all spots at the countryside).
And so, it took us a bus ride ( 3 bus stops) and a good 40 mins walk, under the scorching hot Sun, along long stretches of near empty roads before we finally heaved a sigh of relief. Along the way, we took in a deep whiff of the fresh air and reveled in the rare sights of lush foliage and vast patches of green fields. Such a picturesque view; it’s hard to even imagine that it’s possible to catch glimpses of these in our city.
Stop #3: Bollywood Veggies
Our final stop for the day is the beautiful organic farm – Bollywood Veggies. Specializing in “Fruit vegetables” (as quoted from Bollywood Veggies) , you will be able to spot a variety of vegetables ranging from bitter gourd to cucumber to eggplant to pumpkin. The rustic ambiance offers a much needed respite from the hectic life. Discover more about the farm life and soak in the nature as you make your way around the 10 acre farm.
To quote Ivy Singh-Lim, “It will be too late when people realize that they can’t eat money.” It was, perhaps, that belief in life that eventually made both Ivy Singh and her husband to make the decision to live out their retirement days in the farm. A very different choice of retirement plans, especially for a couple who used to hold high flying and prominent positions in their previous jobs. Now, the Bollywood Veggies is their very own slice of paradise where they call home.
* A word of warning: Please remember to spray mosquito repellent!
Do you know that Bollywood Veggies is the largest producer of locally-grown organic bananas? Truly, a haven for all banana lovers out there! Do drop by their bistro, Poison Ivy, for their much talked-about banana delights. My personal favourite is the mouth-watering banana cake! An absolute must-try.
The farm is also home to 9 dogs – 2 Great Danes and 7 Singapore Specials (like Archie!). Behind the fence is the lovely house of the farmers. Take a closer look at the pond and you’ll see that there’s even a small canoe that the farmers can take to get themselves to the other side of the pond! What a quaint idea.