Back when i was serving the country under the mandatory national service, i was attached to Tengah airbase. It was an area most famous for the biggest cemetery in Singapore than anything else.
Everything changes with the launch of Farmart Centre [tagline: Singapore's only farmers market]. The media started to focus on the agricultural industry which maintains a strong presence in the region now affectionally known as Singapore's countryside.
Ten years have passed since then and although i have periodically visited Farmart from time to time, i have never felt the urge to blog about this place despite its unique standing in the nation. There are reasons for which you would read about in the rest of this picture heavy entry.
Prawning is a leisure activity that has gained popularity in Singapore in recent years. It's obvious that Farmart is no longer attracting as much crowd as it did in the beginning and this installation would at least help to attract more visitors.
To put it simply, prawning is fishing for prawns. I tried it before and came to the conclusion that my time can be spent more efficiently elsewhere. For the prawning enthusiasts - one hour will cost S$15, two hours for S$25 and three long hours shall set you back at a discounted rate of S$30.
The above entry point to a rundown facility will attract families with young children.
It's not hard to guess what this place is - An animal corner where you can purchase animal feed to get close to the small animals and read some basic educational information on them.
You can find goats, tortoises, bull frogs, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters etc.
And talking birds. I did take many pictures of these animals but decided against posting them as the few photographs i posted here shall act as a teaser for you to visit the place!
I was not kidding when i said that the place is rundown even though there are some remnants of the good old kampong days when things were simpler with provision for only basic necessities.
We have now come to the most significant section of Farmart; the retail arena for the farmers.
Honestly, you can find more variety in Chong Pang wet market than here. Unless you are willing to brandish a knife and slit the throats of these free-roaming chickens.
Yes, you do get rare produce like nutritious first born chicken eggs from nearby chicken farms at a price that is usually cheaper than supermarkets and even wet markets.
But to find a design company is just off the norm in a farmer's market! Having said that, i enjoy shopping with a mish mash of retailers as it freshens up my mind.
Being a vegetarian in Singapore doesn't mean you are limited to green, leafy vegetables. In this shop, you can find a good selection of mock meat including mushroom pork floss to curb that carnivore craving.
Traditional Chinese pastries fresh from the hot oven! Samplings are available; don't be shy to ask! We found the wife's biscuit to have a thick filling that wasn't overly sweet. Mom bought five of them eventually!
This is the store should you want exotic meat like rabbit, crocodile or quail.
Ewwww! Crocodile paws in its unskinned form, complete with nails! There are herbs for sale and recipes to help you perfect a delicious bowl of crocodile soup.
A geomancy centre?!?! Sighz... thankfully, such non-food, non-animal related products and services constitute only a small percentage in Farmart.
Picture taken halfway through the farmer's market - navigation is simple with the square layout. The shop fronts may seem congested but i would advise you to take a closer look as every shop has a huge space at the back and some of the tenants do allow public access.
Parrots perched obediently on the railings! Extension of the animal corner? Nah! These pets belong to one of the shops' owner.
Suave looking parrot! I am not sure on its breed although Elvis Presley parrot sounds pretty suitable.
Therapeutic fish spa that has a separate section for manicure and pedicure. As time was limited, i could not try out the dead-skin ingesting skill of the doctor fishes! Rates start at S$4 for 10 minutes to S$18 for an hour.
This is one tenant i would confirm visit whenever i am in Farmart.
Selling my favourite longan honey. And it is not artificial longan flavouring okay! Bee-Hive used to have a retail outlet in Plaza Singapura, located right opposite my workplace at Pet Lovers Centre. That was the start of my love affair with their longan honey.
An educational tour organised by a pest control company. There are other farm tours which you can find here. Some of them even include visits to nearby farms. Maybe i should include this as a potential site for the company's family day!
Want to build your own water fountain? Get your materials from this landscape company! Phototaking is not allowed so please make do with this illegally taken picture.
Fat kois in the pond of a beautifully landscaped (small scale) garden. Given the high cost of owning a private property in Singapore, this is one luxury most of us could hardly afford.
A book store dealing in agriculture, flowers, food, animals etc would be far more appropriate than one hawking novels and comics.
Air plants for sale! My room seriously needs some greenery and this is one consideration. Another option would be the relatively maintenance-free terrarium!
Betta (known commonly as fighting fish in Singapore) for sale. Besides aquariums, you can find pet shopsand even one tenant selling live seafood! For a breakdown of the tenants, click here.
At the end of the walk, it's always nice to find a place to sit, rest and order some food and drinks. C'mon, the hot weather was a killer that day!
Food wise; we had bbq chicken wings (cold but tasted above average), bbq stingray (mediocre), hot plate oyster omelette (super duper failed; one of the worst) and mee goreng (good).
A bloody waste of calories if you ask me!
67, Sungei Tengah Road
[Shuttle service available near Choa Chu Kang MRT station. Click here for more info]
[admission is free]
Parking within Farmart used to be free. The irritating gantry is in place now although many motorists chose to park along the road outside.
Farmart is a part of Kranji Countryside, the agricultural lifeline of Singapore. There will be more posts to come in relation to this rural area!