A day at the farms

Since moving to Singapore Andrew has to get used to a lot of changes associated with his job and work. One of the advantages is the opportunities offered to staff. Because it’s summer break (even though it’s summer all year round) Andrew’s work was offering some family day trips to occur on Fridays throughout June. One of the trips promised to bring the attendees to some local Singapore farms. It sounded interesting to both of us, so Andrew signed up.

The morning of the big farm day came, and we rode the MRT to the meeting place. Andrew recognized some of his coworkers which assured us we were in the right place. We soon were on our way riding a charter bus with the rest of those coworkers and their families that had signed up for  the day’s trip.

Hay Dairies Goat Farm

Us at Hay Dairies Goat Farm

First it should be noted that Andrew grew up on a dairy farm… but of the cow variety. Consequently it is necessary for us to retain some level of gentle animosity towards goat farmers (especially the dairy type) to remain in the good graces of my in-laws! That being said, it was an interesting place to see.

The first thing to catch our eyes was this car parked in the “reserved parking lots” section of the parking lot. We joked that the goat dairy business must be doing well.

Lamborghini at the goat farm

We listened to a gentleman give a spiel about his farm, goats, and product. His accent was thick and he had the habit of spelling several words out loud to ensure that the audience knew which words he was speaking. During his talk workers milked some cows in front of us.

I had never seen goats so eager to do anything, much less be milked!

Milking the goats

Interesting Fact 1: These goats will give up about 2 liters of milk during one milking.

Interesting Fact 2: Goat milk is alkaline (basic) while cow milk is acidic.

After we watched the goats get milked (wished there was more “hands on” milking going on) and narrator stopped, we proceeded to view the goats in their pens.

A goat with a "goat-tee"

Interesting Fact 3: All 6 varieties of goats  on the farm originated from Minnesota, USA. (Hmm… and why did we come all the way to Singapore to see them?)

"Kids" on the farm

Interesting Fact 4: A goat can be “married” (that’s how the owner who gave the presentation put it!) at 8 months old. Typical Gestation is 5 months. So 13 months after a goat is born it can itself have little goat babies. Wow.

Interesting Fact 5: The goats (on this farm or in general we don’t know?) have twins, one boy and one girl, with every pregnancy.

After our “tour” of the goats we received a free bottle of chocolate goat’s milk.

At least it's chocolate!

Normally I wouldn’t say I like chocolate milk. In fact, normally I don’t drink milk at all. I’m not much of a milk fan. But in Argyle, NY there is a chocolate cow’s milk that I will drink and enjoy to some extent. This was not as good. It was much more watery in texture and much less of a “full” flavor. We both shared a small bottle and were able to finish it off. But I don’t know that I would spend money on it. It was “okay.”

After that we completed our Goat Farm trip and headed off to the next farm on our list.

Jurong Frog Farm

Jurong Frog Farm

I think this was our favorite farm that we visited.

We first watched a small video in a little indoor shop about the farm. Then we drank samples of “snow jelly” which is made from parts of frogs. (Neither of us liked it… not very tasty.) It was supposed to be good for you, but then aren’t most things that don’t taste good? After finishing the gelatin drink, we proceed outside where this lady gave a little talk on the frogs.

A hands on demo

She asked the group which frog was prettier. The group almost unanimously responded, “The one on the right.” (I wasn’t in this group – I had no idea which frog was prettier!?) She then asked which one was the female. Fewer people responded, but still the tendency seemed to vote the frog on the right. She affirmed that the frog on the right was in fact the female. Apparently one of the indicators of male vs. female is the level of prettiness. Other indicators include ear size and throat colors.

Somewhere during this time we found out that the frogs raised on this farm were American Bull Frogs. We found it amusing that we were all the way here in Singapore only to go to farms that were raising American animals! Amusing.

After her demo those who wanted to were allowed to hold the frogs. At first I dismissed the option. But then I realised, when else am I going to get to hold a huge frog without catching it???

I think I look happier than the frog...

The frog was actually much calmer than I thought it would be. Only once during my holding him did he struggle, and it was pretty minor at that. This poor frog had a defected right eye. Check out his hind legs!

Us and our slimy new friend

The leader of our group was kind enough to offer to take our picture. Don’t we look like we’re enjoying ourselves?

After the literal hands-on experience we proceeded to view the frog pens.

The frog plague!

My camera made the frogs look as if their eyes glowed! (But without the flash the picture was blurry…) Wow! Talk about a lot of frogs. We were each given a handful of frog food pellets. The frogs would either be ultra ambivalent to the food thrown to them, or they would hop over each other in excitement to devour a pellet of food.

Frogs staredown and share the love

There seemed to be no end to the frogs. Pen after pen after pen…. I had NEVER seen so many frogs in my life!

And more frogs!

Look in the bottom right corner… that frog was intent on “hugging” several of his lady friends…

I should mention that there was quite the cacophony of frog music going on. The noise combined with the fact that seemed to be surrounded by frogs made for quite the experience!!!

We then went to a quieter part of the frog farm where there were fewer grown frogs.

Frog eggs

With so many eggs it starts to make sense why there are so many frogs!

We also saw some different fish (which as part of their diet receive the dead frogs so that nothing goes to waste!) including the infamous snake head fish.

It was quite the adventure. Our next farm was more mild mannered.

Nippon Koi Farm

Nippon Koi Farm

For this farm visit we did not have a tour or a guide. Instead we were left to our own devices to wander the farm. It was mildly interesting, but we both left wishing that there had been more of a hands on component or more information regarding the beautiful fish!

Fish farm

The koi were held in these suspended nets. The continued on for quite a while in any direction that you looked. I’m sure they must have had thousands of fish! We actually saw one of these net cages that had collapsed the freed fishies were swimming near jealous fish that remained caged.

The fish came in all sizes and prices.

Small Koi

These are the smaller koi. The smallest ones are small enough for you to fit several in one handfull (not that we were able to verify this…).

Larger Koi

These fish seemed massive. Some were probably 2 ft long!

The cheapest fish we saw were about $15. We was some that were several hundred dollars! Some collections of fish were more in the thousands! (I’m glad the Betta fish I got Andrew was cheaper.) Some expensive fish – but we enjoyed looking at them for free 🙂

All in all it was a wonderful day. And I got to spend the afternoon at home with my hubby on a Friday – what a treat! Thank you Lord for giving us so many opportunities here in Singapore. Thank you IME for organizing a great day!

Picture taken by IME staff

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2 responses to “A day at the farms

  1. Signing Mary up for email subscriptions.

  2. Glad that you had fun at the farms!

    -lady from JFF

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