Singapore Farms: Bollywood Veggies & Poison Ivy
By Eunice Lim, Singapore
When was the last time you ate fresh food? I mean, REALLY fresh food, not just food you got from the produce section of the supermarket. Here in Singapore, “Bollywood Veggies” takes its fresh food seriously; instead of shopping shelves and aisles, Bollywood’s customers are offered freshly-picked produce. A semi-retirement project of Ivy Singh and her husband Lim Ho Seng, Bollywood Veggies and the Poison Ivy Bistro located in it offers a whole new food experience. Named the Best LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) Region by an American research company, Bollywood Veggies is not just any farm. This farm does not use any pesticides or fertilizers, maintaining its sustainability, eco-friendliness and organic produce.
The great variety of vegetables, fruits and flowers growing on the farm is truly amazing -- Starfruits, Hibiscus, Figs, Papayas, Laksa Leaves, Pandan Leaves, Sugarcane, Rice, Chilli and so much more. The bright colours of the fruits and flowers are striking amidst the greenery of the farm. None of the food here comes to you on a shelf or in a refrigerator. Instead, they retain their original form and grow on trees, vines and bushes. Farms like Bollywood Veggies reawaken our connection to the food we eat and its natural origins.
While you are not allowed to pluck the fruits or dig up the vegetables, you are welcome to visit the Poison Ivy Bistro which is situated within the farm. Here is where you can taste the goodness of the farm’s produce. Freshly collected from the farm itself, the food on your table comes directly from the farm around you. The curry leaves in your Warrior’s Chicken Curry comes from the curry leaf patch a mere few metres away. The chilli on your otah comes from the chilli plant, also a stone’s throw away. A cup of iced fig tea is guaranteed to be available: the evidence of this being the abundance of figs hanging on the trees around you. Food simply does not get fresher than this.
The most popular produce of Bollywood Veggies is banana cake, freshly baked using the bananas grown on the farm. A full loaf of the banana cake costs you $10. Forget banana flavoring, the Bollywood Veggies Banana Cake comes with chunks of banana slices in it, a delightful proof of its wholesome freshness.
It is heartening to know there is a place like this in Singapore, reminding us of what freshness really means, allowing us to stop and ponder the importance of knowing exactly where and what goes into the food we eat.