“When Mr Wan Bock Thiaw goes to sleep each night, he usually hears a cacophony of croaking.
It is the mating call of thousands of bullfrogs in the backyard of his single-storey house in Lim Chu Kang.
To him, it is a lullaby which sends him deeper into dreamland. The croaking means more baby frogs will be produced for his family-run frog breeding business.”
This was an excerpt taken in 21 July 1997 from The Straits Times, entitled ‘Frog porridge anyone? – Jumping frog legs, aren’t they popular?’
1997 was almost 10 years ago and now that his children are all grown up, he could finally take a well-deserved break. But does he? Farmers never rest and rest is for the wicked, words from Jackson and Chelsea respectively. Mr Wan certainly understands and embodies the value of hard work which he clearly imparts to his children.
His daughter Chelsea joined the business 10 years ago in 2006 after graduating from NUS with a Sociology degree. When asked if she feels that her daughter has “wasted” her degree, Mr Wan earnestly replied, “行行出状元”. Anybody can excel in any line of work and industry as long as they devote their heart into it. Now that his son Jackson has joined the business, the Wan frog family is stronger and more united than ever.
Now as JFF celebrates its 35th Anniversary, Mr Wan still remains very active in the farm. He still wakes up as early as 6am in the morning to check on the husbandry on the farm. Occasionally, he still delivers the orders himself to old and loyal customers in the wee hours, many of whom have become friends with him by now.
With his daughter and son working side by side with him now, Mr Wan understands and appreciates that everybody is an important asset to the company. Each individual’s actions are the building blocks to JFF’s vision for high quality frog products and the persistence for this vision need to be translated to the customers through these individuals.
“When was the last time you did something for the first time?”
This year has been especially life-changing for me, both literally and figuratively. In Sep 2015, our family welcomed a game changer- a Baby (!) into our lives.
There have been so many firsts over the past year. First time bringing Baby back home into the farm. His first interaction with frogs; His first taste of meat;
His first smile (where people have commented on how much it resembles my Father’s smile); His first words; His first steps; his first appearance on mainstream TV.
These moments certainly reminds myself of my first tour, first project, first hire, first interview, first renovation; these firsts made up the first decade of working alongside with my family on the farm.
This coming 29th Oct 2016, JFF celebrates our 35th Anniversary and it also marks my 1 year and 1 month of motherhood. There have indeed been many firsts over the past year. And that should be much more firsts to come, not just for ourselves but for JFF as well.
While we are unsure about the eventual move out of this farmland, we are also thankful for the lease extension to the end of 2019. As they say, rest is for the wicked. To stay relevant in this industry, we’ll have to continuously innovate, diversify, and R&D into new frog products.
Most recently, We’ve launched our Collagreen Mosquito Repellent Moisturizing Lotion. It’s a first of its kind of moisturizing artisan product with an added mosquito repellent function. It contains 10% bioactive collagen which are purified and extracted from American bullfrog skin. This idea would have been inconceivable and probably remained an idea if we haven’t met the right partners and married science and tech into a very conventional farming business.
Now we can proudly claim that our frogs used quite to the fullest to combat the mozzies!!
Lastly, I will like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all our customers who have supported JFF over the years and some of you who witness my transitions in life on this farm. To all the pre-schoolers hopping around our farm, primary school students energetic for herpetology knowledge, tertiary students getting in-depth insights to running a family business and the weekend visitors coming to JFF to escape the hectic city life with their families and their children to catch frogs or enjoy a sumptuous plate of frog meat. Thank you!
If you are wondering where our froglets staff have hopped to, they are over at 240 Nyee Phoe Garden S(718898) where KCFM is!
Just look at the throng yesterday! Our popular deep fried frog meat was sold out at 430pm. Do come early today as we’ll start sales of frogs and crocodile tails on sticks, fresh produce and hashima products from 2-6pm!
It’s also our first R&D effort of collaboration with Soi55, a team of young pretty capable ladies and 100 bottles of delicious and nourishing Thai Milk Tea were sold out before the clock ticked 6pm.
If you are one of those who love a good photo taking opportunity, look out for the beautifully decorated Photo Booth at the entrance of the marketplace1!
Look out for our booth at Marketplace 2 (next to Bollywood Veggies) later today!
During Farmers’ Market, an incident occurred where some visitors queried us on “how will the frogs and tadpoles feel??”
1. We have to concur that we were overwhelmed by the warm responses of the crowd. Many parents were urging their children to take closer looks and get their hands wet in the tadpoles netting activity.
What we could have done better was to place another experienced frog handler to assist Frogician with the crowd who wanted a chance to meet the frogs.
2. The tadpoles were brought to the booth for an activity called ‘Minute to Net It’. The objective of the activity was to allow the children to classify and group the tadpoles according to their respective stages.
Again, our Frogician was fully flat out handling queries from adults, looking after the children, frogs and tadpoles. I was even tasked to drop by the activity booth from the ever-so busy food booth on occasions to make sure that our Frogician has the help she needed and that the welfare of these green hoppers be better cared for with 2 people around.
It was my first involvement in such a big event like this (I heard that at least 8000 people turned up!) and I certainly learnt how we ought to be more cautious in the activities we have designed and consider the implications from all the other welfare groups.
Next, I want to talk about the handling of our frogs. How do you exactly hold a frog?
This is a topic we touch on during our ‘Hands on the Frog’ sessions. Time to time, kids who volunteer to hold the frogs, drop or even throw the frogs onto the ground when the frogs start to struggle in their hands. PLEASE DON’T DO THAT!! As much as we put emphasis on this, frogs slipping out of an adult’s grip is a very common occurrence as these amphibians are very slimy!!
Good news is that frogs are strong survivors out in the wild. They shed their skin periodically and their wound heal rather naturally without any use of medication.
The proper way of carrying a frog is to grip it tightly around its waist with either 1 or 2 hands. For kids, they usually carry the frog with 2 hands since their hands are so small. If the frog attempts to wriggle its way out of your hands, try not to squeeze it even tighter to prevent it from jumping away, and neither should you drop the frog; just maintain a firm grip around the frog’s waist and it will feel more secure in that grip. If you don’t feel comfortable in holding a struggling frog, you can either quickly pass it back to the tour guide, or squat down and put the frog onto the ground gently with the tour guide’s knowledge. All these will be briefed beforehand by the tour guide, so don’t worry if you can’t remember all of the steps to holding a frog now. Just remember: Don’t drop the frog!
JFF will be participating in Kranji Countryside Farmers’ Market for the 2nd time, and this time, we’ll have new activities for kids (or even adults) @ The Kids Corner, an ongoing online photo contest, and there will be a new food item added to our EXOTIC menu!! The Farmers’ Market will be held at Gardenasia (Nyee Phoe), and there will be a shuttle bus from Yew Tee MRT (bus stop) that goes directly there at timed intervals (timings will be shown in the bus schedule below). It will be $2 for a two-way trip there and back (cash collection upon arrival), and free rides for children below 12 years old and seniors above 60 years old. A KCFM volunteer will be stationed at the bus stop holding the Farmers’ Market poster, so gather around that area to board the bus! If you’re travelling by car or any other form of transport, please refer to this website for the exact location of Gardenasia.
This is the list of our products and food items and the promotions. Our new food item on the menu will be the venison satay, so be sure to try it WHILE STOCKS LAST!!
Fresh Frog Legs (500gm) @ $15/bag. Promotion: Buy 4 get 1 ice box free
Frozen Venison Flanksteak @ $37.50/kg (Prices vary according to weight)
Red Date Sauce @ $4.20/bottle
Venison satay @ $5/satay
Yummy Deep Fried Frog Meat @ $5/skewer
Crocodile Tail Nuggets @ $5/skewer
Royal Hashima Dessert @ $5/bowl
Our activity at the KIDS CORNER is called ‘1 Minute to Net It’ @ a nominal charge of $2/participant. For this activity, there will be a large tank filled with water and tadpoles & frogs in different stages of metamorphosis. The 4 metamorphosis stages will be: Tadpole without hindlegs/forearms, Tadpole with hindlegs only, Tadpole with hindlegs AND forearms, Froglet. The participant has to group the different stages of frogs into the tanks provided in the correct order within a minute. ‘Tadpole without hindlegs/forearms’ will be the first stage and ‘Froglet’ will be the last. If you complete this activity successfully, you’ll win a Royal Frog Badge as a prize!! Please note that this activity might require you to get your hands wet.
Our next activity is the online photo contest which we call ‘Eat It Like You Own It’. To participate, take a photo of your best expression while eating one of our frog/crocodile meat skewers or venison satays, then post it on Instagram or our Facebook wall and be sure to hashtag both ‘#eatitlikeyouownit‘ & ‘#jurongfrogfarm‘. The photo with the most number of likes will stand to win a mystery gift, so be sure to get all your friends to like your photo after posting it up!! Here are some photo examples by our very own JFF staff (and dog!):
Lastly, if there are any enquiries about the JFF booth at Kranji Countryside Farmers’ Market or any enquires about Jurong Frog Farm at all, please send them to our email address ‘email@example.com‘, or contact us at 6791 7229 during operating hours! Hope to see all of you at the JFF’s booth at Farmers’ Market!! 🙂
JFF PTE LTD (JURONG FROG FARM)
51 (Plot 56) Lim Chu Kang Lane 6
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays:
(Open to all general Public, 9.00am -5.30pm)
Tuesday – Fridays:
(For tour reservations and pickup of purchases)
9.00am – 5.30pm