Buy home-grown produce at Kranji farmers' market

Audrey Tan The Straits Times AsiaOne 21 May 14;

Stock up on fresh goat milk, quail eggs and tilapia fish - all "made in Singapore" and for sale at an upcoming fair featuring the island's very own farmers.

The Kranji Countryside Farmers' Market next month is the first to focus on the produce of farmers who till the soil here.

Other fairs like Pasarbella - touted as Singapore's first permanent farmers' market - and the fortnightly Loewen Gardens Market in Dempsey are known more for gourmet products including cheese, meat and olive oil that may have been imported from abroad.

But the Kranji event, to be held on June 28 and 29, will have 30 stalls all selling produce grown, reared or made locally.

Visitors can buy quail eggs laid by the birds at Lian Wah Hang farm, fresh goat's milk from Hay Dairies, leafy greens such as chye sim and xiao bai cai from Quan Fa farm, as well as artisan and locally made products ranging from granola to chilli and herbal skincare products.

About half the stalls will be set up by farms under the Kranji Countryside Association, a coalition of 40 farms that is hosting the fair.

Its president Kenny Eng told The Straits Times that the farmers' market would help make Singaporeans more aware of locally produced food. "Singaporeans can come to the farmers' market to purchase local products at one go."

Nearly three in 10 eggs consumed here last year are home- grown. The same goes for 12 per cent of leafy vegetables and 8 per cent of fish, going by figures from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority. The figures are similar to those in 2012 and 2011.

The fair will also feature small Singaporean food businesses including GSH Conserves, which sells jam, tea-seller Amuse Projects, and Hunter's Kitchenette - a firm that makes butter from nuts such as pistachio, hazelnut and almond.

The farmers' market is the association's latest activity to promote local agriculture and food production, eco-tourism, education and conservation.

Since it was established in 2005, the group has rolled out activities such as farm tours and even a run last August, to promote the countryside as a lifestyle destination.

Sales manager Amy Quek, 56, said the farmers' market was too "out of the way", though the idea was novel. "It's an innovative idea to sell fresh produce from the farmers here, but if I don't drive, I might not go."

Visitors who do not drive can take a shuttle service that departs from Kranji MRT station at roughly 11/2-hour intervals. A round trip to the countryside, including stops at farms along the route, costs $3 for an adult and $2 for a child and senior citizen.