LIFE IS A JOURNEY, ARE YOU READY?

BOLLYWOOD VEGGIES, INSPIRING SUSTAINABILITY AND REDUCING FOOD MILES

We visit Bollywood Veggies with a few friends yesterday. This farm, in the countryside of Singapore, promotes sustainability. It is run by a sweet couple and they strive to educate people in growing and eating your own food. This little farm has a wide variety of fruits and vegetables grown organically. Bollywood Veggies also run a bistro called Poison Ivy. They use their farm produce in the bistro. All dishes are fresh, organic and very reasonably priced. We wandered around the farm after lunch at their bistro. It was interesting to see where our food comes from and look like in their growing stage. You can also buy their farm produce.

The Bollywood Veggies story started in 2000, shortly after Ivy and her husband Lim Ho Seng shelved their plans to move to Perth. When they chanced upon a story in the newspapers about a farm in Singapore, they were surprised and intrigued that agricultural land existed within this urban concrete jungle. They went to explore the Kranji countryside, at the time a dwindling community of farms. The idea of Bollywood Veggies was conceived around then, and despite many a logistical and bureaucratic obstacle, Ivy fearlessly battled on to set up her farm. She approached the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), who controlled all the agricultural land use, and by 2001, managed to tender successfully for 10 acres of land for the Bollywood endeavour.

With the help of former Minister of State for National Development Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Ivy managed to drive changes in the AVA, the Singapore Land Authority and the Urban Redevelopment Authority to realise the vision of her farm and the surrounding countryside. Despite being warned about the difficulty of profiteering from a farm enterprise, Ivy went ahead undaunted, believing that her decision to invest in the land and farming was more than just about making money, but would also inspire others to think about the long-term sustainability of Singapore. Her determination proved to be a catalyst for change in the Kranji countryside; the new guidelines allowed for an onsite bistro, affectionately named Poison Ivy, and other farmers could soon operate shops, restaurants, educational centres and B&Bs on their premises.

We had a wonderful home cooked lunch at Poison Ivy. It was so delicious that we did not manage to take any pictures. We did take a picture of this plate of fresh jackfruit from the farm before it got devoured. This is how we eat our fruits in Singapore. We like it cold with ice.

It is no problem wandering around the farm by yourself. There are signage all over, explaining the uses of the plants and also labels so that urban bumpkins like us will not be that clueless.

The farm is well divided into plots. Each plot has a signage explaining the crops and the uses. It is interesting reading them. Do you know that banana skins can help sooth mosquito bites? Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation. Bananas can help Season Affective Disorder (SAD) too, because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

How many species of bananas are there in the farm? We lost count. Too many!!!

Call us city bumpkins, we have never seen a fig tree before. Or maybe we had but didn't know it was a fig tree.

Figs! Ok, now we know.

The flower of a mangosteen. 

A juicy mangosteen in the making.

We ran into the resident dog. He is called Pirate because he has only 3 paws. What a sweet dog and what an appropriate name.

The noni fruit.

You know the farm is organic when you see these unwanted residents.

This is called the butterfly pea vine. The gorgeous purplish flowers are used in salads and they are also boiled to extract their vibrant color for a natural food dye in cakes and drinks.

This interestingly textured fruit is the bitter gourd.

Bollywood Veggies : Reduce food miles, eat local foods. Do it today, there is nothing fresher than local produce. Why opt for food that has traveled half the planet to get to your plate? Food that has traveled a long distance contributes to global warming due to carbon emission in the transportation. They also lose the freshness and nutrients in that process. A lot of food is enhanced by chemicals so that they can hold out the miles getting your plate. Support local starting now.

You can visit Bollywood Veggies for a wander around their farm or to have a wholesome meal at their bistro, Poison Ivy. Click here to visit their website.

Bollywood Veggies Pte Ltd
100 Neo Tiew Road
Singapore 719026
Tel: (+65) 68985001
Fax: (+65) 68983013
Email: bollyvegevents@gmail.com
Opening Hours:
9am to 6pm Wednesdays to Sundays, including public holidays

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