I recently went on a trip to Singapore’s wild wild west as they call it. For someone born in rural Scotland this is stretching it a bit but in Singapore terms it’s probably as wild as it gets, other than the zoo perhaps! We dropped in for a tour round Bollywood Veggies, an educational farm and restaurant.
This farm is run by Ivy Singh and her husband Lim Ho Seng. It was established in the year 2000, after the death of a close friend made them re-evaluate their retirement plans. All set to leave Singapore for the golf and space of western Australia their plans changed when they chanced upon the opportunity to get into farming. Ivy has campaigned for many cause and it took her 5 years to get the necessary legislative changes in place to allow her to open up Poison Ivy, the onsite restaurant.
We were taken on a tour round the farm by ‘Uncle Tony’ who assured us as we were an adult tour we could perhaps call him just Tony. He is quite a character and very entertaining.
He showed us quite a few plants I hadn’t seen before. Who knew that the cashew tree not only produces nuts but also an ‘apple’. In fact the internet now tells me that the cashew nut we eat is actually the kernel from inside a nut which is attached to the outside of a fruit, that is a mind twister – is it even a nut at all?
And the reason rice can grow in water is that it’s roots have air spaces which allow it them to circulate air and it is capable of absorbing oxygen through the stems. This also got me googling and establishing that mangroves absorb air by sticking roots up above the water like snorkels, this blog post really is proving educational!
The farm was buzzing with wild life and I loved all the hand painted signs telling you what the plants were and warning us about ant crossings.
This farm is organic and sustainable, the items grown here are used in the restaurants and any excess can be brought from the shop there. At Bollywood they believe that going back to nature is the future.