Our city has evolved into this urbanized landscape which looks very concrete in outlook even with the trees and shrubs around that ‘greenify‘ the surroundings. If you are visiting Singapore for the first time, you wouldn’t even believe that this city was once a fishing village with limited resources. The only rural part of Singapore would be the farms located on the outskirts of the city. These farms are situated in the northern part of the island. Though we can’t compare ourselves to our neighbouring countries with vast areas of land for agriculture use, we do have our local farms that sell organic produce and dairy products. And I really hope these farms would stay for as long as they could.
A large commercial farm would be worth a visit since you would be able to learn more about the various types of crops and farming methods. One of such farms is Quan Fa Organic Farm. You will not only learn about the benefits of each plant grown there but also the various organic farming methods which you can also practise and start to grow organically right at home. You could also get to shop for fresh produce, directly from the source.
A couple of days back I attended the farm tour organized by Quan Fa Organic where they introduced about their farm, their organic produce and farming methods. The farm area is about 2 hectares – equivalent to the size of 2 football fields.
Quan Fa Organic Farm is being certified by the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA). Organic farms would have to go through a stringent process and checks to get this certification.
The farm tour was led by the owner himself, Liao Jun Jie (aka JJ).
We were introduced to this sunflower seed sprouts, which has a crunchy texture. Who knew that we can consume the sprouts of the sunflower seeds?
They also grow wheatgrass which is often used in juicing. All the nourishing rich chlorophylls in the wheatgrass are extracted during juicing. You might not like its raw grassy taste but when mixed with apple juice, it didn’t taste that bad.
Look at how compact the roots are! And the most nutritious part of the wheatgrass is the base of the wheatgrass, closest to the roots.
That’s a lot of lettuce and vegetables. I really wonder if it is sufficient to feed the whole north part of Singapore. If we have organic farms in every part of Singapore, we wouldn’t have to buy our own vegetables from the market.
One of the ways they do to ward off the insects is to place insect traps or sticky pads where it lures insects to fly towards it. Since the surfaces of such pads are super sticky, insects often get themselves stuck there.
The owner of the farm, JJ, also explains that some of the vegetables themselves naturally produce a waxy layer on the surface of the leaves to ward off any insects too. Yes, plants have their own defense mechanisms to protect itself and sometimes, I feel that it doesn’t require much human intervention to keep it alive.
There are several greenhouses out there and I reckon if the area is really just 2 hectares because it seems bigger than that!
Spotted the papaya trees?
JJ shared with us that the papaya leaves has medicinal values which can treat dengue. We do have dengue outbreaks here in Singapore and thank goodness, we also have a lot of papaya trees around too.
At Quan Fa, they produce their own compost and fertilizers which are made from plant waste. There are heaps of plant fertilizers in the field right behind. That’s like a plot of goldmine for farmers.
The decomposition process that took place in the soil can get pretty interesting. JJ mentioned that the temperature of the compost can reach up to 80 degrees Celsius. This is probably due to the action of the thermophilic bacteria which is acting upon the compost, breaking it down into simpler substances. You could see the hot air that arises when the compost is dug out from the heap of decomposed waste.
The fruits and other produce look really beautiful. Below are more photos of the crops which you can find right below.
Mulberries in season!
Sweet Thai basil
These bitter gourds are wrapped up in plastic bags to prevent insects from feeding on it. It’s one of the organic farming methods to ensure a high yield.
After the tour, we had some refreshments – roselle tea with some leafy greens.
You won’t need much salad dressing to season the vegetables when it tastes so fresh, crunchy and sweet.
This balsamic vinegar dressing is pretty legit.
The farm tour was really an enjoyable one through we have to brave through all the flies and mosquitoes. There’s beauty to this rural side of Singapore if you really slow down and take a pause. The air seems fresher here with not much exhaust fumes from vehicles and noise pollution from the urbanized areas.
You can purchase organic vegetables from Quan Fa online. It comes with free delivery too!
Enjoy 10%* off the fresh produce sold online at Quan Fa Organic Farm website.
Just enter the code ‘QuanfaOrganicFarm‘ to enjoy this special promotion.
*Not valid for promotional items and dried goods. One-time use per customer.