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Rustic Singapore (Introduction) – Buying & Cooking with Local Produce

“Rustic” … Singapore?
Rustic Singapore

Scenes from my rustic food trail

In this special foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 feature, I visited farms in Singapore to gain a glimpse into the lesser known “rustic” regions of Singapore to create more awareness on sources where one can buy fresh produce from our little country. I then created three simple meals of the day using the ingredients which were purchased from the farms.

Rustic Singapore
Goats Milking at Hay Dairies

I name this article “Rustic Singapore”, though “rustic” is hardly a word used to describe our little country. When one thinks of Singapore, the words one will associate are usually “skyscrapers”, “modern”, “cosmopolitan”, “high-rise buildings” “crowded” and “dense”. We are a small (imagine a plane only takes mere seconds to whizz past Singapore, and driving only takes 45 minutes from one end to the other) and dense (population hitting 5 million) nation.

Rustic Singapore
A farmer harvesting some spring onions at Kok Fah Technology Farm

But yes, there are still pockets of farms thriving despite the land scarcity. Besides getting the freshest ingredients a cook can possibly lay his and her hands on by visiting these places, these trips made great educational trips and sightseeing for both adults and children.

Rustic Singapore
Cucumbers for sale at attractive prices at Kok Fah Farm’s market

Rustic Trail

(1) Hay Dairies

Hay Dairies is a local farm producing fresh goat’s milk. There are milking demonstrations every morning, and members of the public can buy fresh goat milk as well as view the goats in their barns.

Rustic Singapore
Stars of Hay Dairies

Really love their faces because they seem like they are smiling. Don’t believe me? See for yourself!

Rustic Singapore
Smiling Faces

Rustic Singapore
After viewing the goats, you can buy fresh goat’s milk which are kept fresh in a cooler box

Rustic Singapore
I bought an assortment of white and chocolate milk

(2) Bollywood Veggies

Mere minutes drive from Hay Diaries, I just have to drop by Bollywood Veggies for lunch and also check out what they had for sale that day. They usually have a cart of farm-picked vegetables for sale which varies every time depending on the harvest of the day. I like surprises! They also had a few pots of herbs for sale.

Rustic Singapore
Decided to get some mini red radishes (the ones I usually see are white; bottom left pic) for making vegetable juice. I love it that they still had their leaves on, the ones at our supermarkets are usually trimmed already. That’s the advantage of buying directly from the farms! I also bought a green papaya for making soup, I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Rustic Singapore
Scene from Bollywood Veggies

Rustic Singapore
The green message at Bollywood Veggies

(3) Kok Fah Technology Farm

Rustic Singapore

Rustic Singapore
Crops at Kok Fah Farm

As I entered its market, I feel like I am at a farmers’ market. With so much fresh produce, it is truly a cook’s paradise.

Rustic Singapore
Kok Fah Market

I cannot use words to describe to you how fresh their produce are, so I’ll just let the photos do the talking.

Some of the farm fresh vegetables on sale:
Rustic Singapore

Farm Fresh Produce

Rustic Singapore
Beans, lentils and dried goods for sale

It also had a nursery with lots of edible plants for sale… can you identify them?

Rustic Singapore
Edible plants for sale at the nursery

Rustic Singapore
Some of my purchases of the day in preparation for my foodbuzz 24 meals

(4) Farmart

Rustic Singapore

Wanted to visit an egg farm but I found that they had all been closed to public due to the bird flu. So I visited Farmart where they are stalls selling locally produced eggs. Was eggcited  to find white eggs which I’ve purchased for cooking my foodbuzz 24 meals (see breakfast).

Rustic Singapore

Besides eggs, I also drop by a seafood stall to purchase live prawns for one of my foodbuzz 24 dish, “drunken” prawns. All right, so the seafood was not bred in Singapore but imported from Malaysia. But I am making an exception to feature them in this segment because the setting is so rustic, and it’s such a treat to be able to purchase live seafood at affordable prices in Singapore. And hey, at least the prawns are still alive when they are in Singapore ;p

Rustic Singapore

The prawns were still swimming in the bag when I reached home … this is as fresh as it can get!

(5) Myco Farm

On the way home, I drop by Mycofarm which is a mushroom farm. Bought a mix of mushrooms including the gorgeous emperor shiitake mushrooms pictured below (so fresh, you still see a layer of white spores on the caps).

Rustic Singapore

Menu for the day, cooking with local ingredients

So with all this shopping, I have to put the ingredients to good use right? Check out the meals I cooked using the farm fresh ingredients

Breakfast

Rustic Singapore
For breakfast, I had it really simple because I wanted to head down to get live prawns right after breakfast to prepare drunken prawns for lunch. Simple, but satisfying – an easy scrambled eggs with chives and served with fresh goat’s milk and toasted parmesan baguette (check out the recipe here).

Rustic Singapore
A close up of my scrambled eggs breakfast.

Lunch

Rustic Singapore

Since I had to cook three meals (and take photos!) for the foodbuzz events, all the dishes I chose for the day involved relatively easy and fast cooking.

For lunch, we had oyster sauce baby bok choy in garlic oil, “drunken” prawns and vegetable juice (carrot, radish, tomato). Served with white rice.

Dinner

Rustic Singapore

For dinner, I’m glad I had chilled aloe vera drink with honey & lime to refresh and replenish myself after a long day.

For mains, we had three cups mushrooms & chicken, as well as sweet potato leaves in chilli, served with egg fried rice.

Rustic Singapore

The egg fried rice was a last minute dish because I only realised that I went out of rice when I want to cook it. Luckily, I had a day old leftover refrigerated rice so I was able to make this 10-minute egg fried rice which turns out to be pleasant treat instead of white rice.

===

Rustic Singapore
Smiling Goat at Hay Dairies

This sums up my rustic food escapade for the past two days.  I enjoyed buying fresh ingredients and then trying to make delicious meals with them. It’s a great feeling to get away from the hustle and bustle of fast-paced urban life.

Rustic Singapore
Scene at Mycofarm

I’m so heartened to still see a few pockets of farms left producing local food in Singapore. I hope that they continue to thrive. Maybe I will be back next week to stock up my pantry because now that I know what it is like to cook with such fresh ingredients, I’m hooked ;)

Rustic Singapore
Adorable rabbits kept as pets at Kok Fah Farm (pets = not for sale!)

Note: The detailed information about the farms as well as the recipes featured in this article will be published as blog posts over the course of the next month. Please stay tuned and thank you for reading :)

   

Leave a Comment





51 Responses to “Rustic Singapore (Introduction) – Buying & Cooking with Local Produce”

  1. julie — November 13, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

    Seems fun and interesting. Thought of going this Sunday. Do you know if it is open on sunday? Thanks!

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — November 13th, 2009 @ 11:16 pm

      Hi Julie, I think they should be open on Sunday.

      Reply

  2. Tuty — November 30, 2009 @ 8:58 am

    Just stumbled upon your post today… wow.. what an enlightenment for me. I’ve been to Singapore so many times but never thought that there are wonderful local farms. I hope they continue to thrive well.

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — November 30th, 2009 @ 5:22 pm

      Search, and we shall find. Yes, I’m surprised myself when I tried to search for farms in Singapore and came up with quite a list. There are more than I imagined :)

      Reply

  3. Chianti dweller — May 30, 2010 @ 11:06 pm

    This is very informative. My family & I will be relocating from Tuscany to Singapore. We have great selection of local produce in our area and good to know our new home will provide us with that option. Could you kindly share directions to get to these places? Grazie.

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — June 4th, 2010 @ 10:13 pm

      Hi I’m not sure how to tell you the directions as we drove there. You either have to go there by car or check out the directions by bus services http://www.kranjicountryside.com/ (choose location)

      Reply

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