Join Singapore Young Farmers (SYF) in a series of events from Sept – Nov 2015!

I put my hand up last year Dec to lead a team of young farmers (formed mostly by the next generation of our farmers members from the Kranji Countryside Association) in an initiative to connect more young people to our beautiful countryside and farmland.

After months of planning, I’m happy to share that the Singapore Young Farmer (SYF) Team has confirmed the schedule and activities for what we like to call ‘SYF: THE NEXT CHAPTER!’ More information can be found on this link.

I thought I should share about what my involvement at the frog farm has got to do with the SYF.

8 years ago, as a much younger person, being entirely new to this industry, I was introduced to the good work of Kranji Countryside Association. I then volunteered my time as a committee member to tend to the association’s email and to attend their monthly meetings. As a result I got to know the farmers much better and we developed into a close-knit family. The KCA grew in strength and size until in 2007 we became an associate member of Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth. Kenny Eng, the then Vice- president of KCA and myself were sent off to Christchurch, New Zealand, to attend the 25th biennial Agriculture Conference in 2008.

Being the younger member of the committee, I  went on to  represent KCA as a Next Generation delegate for the next 3 Royal Agricultural Conferences in Edinburgh in 2010, Zambia in 2012 and most recently  Brisbane in 2014.  It was indeed very strange for a young Singaporean to be represented to in these large scale, very serious, agricultural conferences as C’MON give me a break, what have we got to offer!?!

While I questioned how valid my presence were, I have made so many new friends who are also children of farmers (some are 4th or 5th generations!) and surprisingly, most of us faced similar challenges in planning  succession and trying to keep farming relevant and sustainable in this increasingly demanding world. I also learned how many of these societies with advanced farming industries have dedicated teams getting Youth interested and involved in what is in Singapore considered a dying or ‘Sunset’ industry. I wondered why is it in Singapore, which once was the center for Agricultural Excellence in S.E.A., that farming has been relegated to such a lowly status that it is almost invisible to the common man. Farmland gave way to  ‘Agrotechnology’ Parks and Farms pushed to operate like factories.

Now that D day is set in mid 2017, our SYF team has decided not to let this flame of Singapore’s countryside be extinguished without a good fight.  Thus, we have planned these series of activities for the last quarter of 2015 with an aim to connect as many people as we can possible do to this land!

One minister I have spoken to asked me if I could advocate for other causes “and not a dying one”.Another told me that without the military needing the land for training, farmlands wouldn’t have even remained in Lim Chu Kang in the first place. Despite these remarks, they have not changed our opinion that every country needs a countryside and that it is in this 1% of remaining green land that many farmer families work and toil tirelessly together as one community to bring fresh and safe food with a heart to many of their fellow Singaporeans’ tables.

I urge our government to see beyond production figures and KPIs but the entire value system the farmers at the Kranji Countryside have created for their workers, families, children, the countless number of students who visit us for their learning journeys and the countless members of the public who ‘escape’ to seek respite, recharge their batteries and rekindle that sense of being grounded. Table that into your calculation of productivity and we can make a difference to our very own Singapore Happiness Index.

Come join us and sign up here!!

Have a good week ahead all!

Frogologist

Let’s Be Explorers of the World!

“At any given moment, no matter where you are, there are hundreds of things around you that are interesting and worth documenting.” – Keri Smith

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A few weeks ago, We chanced upon this book “How to Be an Explorer of World: Portable Life Museum” by Keri Smith through Frogologist’s recommendation. The book struck a chord with me as the author highlights how the working adults become increasingly desensitised to their surroundings once they grew up. They lost their childhood curiosity and stopped exploring the world around them. The author thus encourages readers to make a change in their lives and cease looking past things that are right in front of their eyes. Put on the shoes as scientists. Collect various seemingly mundane items. Analyse and see if they can discover any similarities or patterns from there.

Don’t you think that this book is also actually applicable for children living in this current era? Computers, handphones, ipads… these technological devices have so successfully invaded into our lifestyles that they now form as a staple in our lives. Kids no longer act like kids. The education curriculum and highly competitive society dictate that children have to focus most of their time on studies, tuitions, or additional extra-curriculum such as swimming or ballet.

Where were the times where children got to interact with their habitats? Where they get to climb trees or catch spiders? Or get into a longkang and shrill happily as the fish they just grasped slip away from their hands? That is why it is important in this increasingly hectic society, farms tucked away in the little rural north-western corner of Singapore still exist. Farms like Hay Dairies Goat Farm, Bollywood Veggies, and JFF (us!) give the city kids a chance to experience nature albeit in a different way.

We love it whenever children come to JFF and participate in our especially tailored workshops for them. The way they widen their eyes in wonder when they see a frog close-up, squeal with excitement when they gather their courage and touch the frog with one finger, or furrow their eyebrows with deep concentration to catch tadpoles… Being able to witness their expressions is our privilege and it heartens us that we are able to see this during our stint in JFF 🙂

20140319-100704.jpg(Put on your bandana too and start your journey today!)
So let us all be explorers of the world and start looking things around us with a brand new perspective! It is never too late to start whether you’re a child or an adult.

Signing off,
Rebecca & Shirley
Exploring In Progress

New Wall for the coming March Holidays!

We have been fervently revamping our site during the CNY holiday when most of you were feasting and watching TV! We were touching up these artwork till late in Feb. Now we are ready to usher in you guys with our new look. Check out the pictures below!

Bare and plain orange wall. Time to manifest our creativity and painting skills!

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Work in progress…

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Special thanks to Michelle from Uni of Sydney for your contribution to this TADPOLE wall; & thanks to Mel, kaiting and a few other lovely youngsters for toiling in the heat to complete the touching up of these artwork!

Replica of our aptly named pet ducks, Tamago & Xiandan 😉

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After many days of hard work toiling under the sweltering sun, we are finally done!

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March holidays are coming! Instead of the usual beach or shopping outings, why not be different and come down to JFF? You can choose to take up our Family Tour package and seize this opportunity to bond with your family in a froggy and unique manner.

Call 67917229 now to book your tour with us now! See you soon!! 🙂

Contributed by Shirley.
Edited by Rebecca & Frogologist

Where did the frog prince go after he was chased out of his castle?

“To the FROG FARM!”

The teachers and parents helpers burst into laughter after a student from the German European School shouted out that answer.

Why is there a frog prince in the first place?

We’ve got a new program for pre-schoolers and the German European School was the lucky first to experience it. The tour kicked off with a magical tale about a prince who gets stuck in an awkward and ultimately revelation-inspiring situation. Next on the itinerary was a sing-along. The kids were engrossed in the session and the song was so catchy that even the teachers found themselves singing along.

After the morning tour:

Reflection Time!!!

The school children were a bundle of joy to bring around the farm and we hope to see them again soon!

And so,

Where did the Frog Prince go?

Visit us at the farm to find out! 🙂

Till then, keep loving nature!

Hosting Herpetology

thrice a week!

YCK Primary 1 students are a spontaneous bunch! I enjoyed hosting them throughout!

What I’ve been implementing at every single stations: if you want to get the kids to really understand what they’ve learned, get them to repeat important points at the end of every station. And at the end of the tour, ask them again!

Don’t we all get sick of memorising? If we understand what we’ve learned, every information will automatically get ‘saved’ into our memory! ‘Retrieving’ the information is ‘easy-peasy’!

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Remember to check out The New Paper for the Map of the Kranji Countryside TODAY! Also, check out the Special Promotions that will be published in The New Paper on the 12/8 (Fri), 19/8(Fri) and 26/8(Fri)!

We hope to see you  croaking at the farm soon!

Happy National Day to all! 🙂

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It is never too late

to document a journey.

But also, it is because of this interesting place an job that it is worth recording:)

There is no greater joy than being a ‘froggy-guide’ when the kids visit the farm!

Stay tuned to more updates from the farmers!