Meet: Ivy Singh, gentle warrior
Linda meets up with Ivy in her garden. Photo - Linda K. Ross
We recently enjoyed the very different Singapore experience of Bollywood Veggies, a ten-acre organic farm owned by Ivy Singh-Lim.
Ivy is refreshingly outspoken – just check our her signage! – and named her farm for her Indian heritage and her love of singing and dancing. Linda Ross shared banana bread with the woman who calls herself Poison Ivy!
Tell us a bit about your farm.
Bollywood Veggies is a planet-friendly farm that welcomes students and visitors to come back to nature. We hope to educate, entertain and enlighten. We grow more than 100 varieties of tropical plants on the farm, including native fruits that are rarely used in popular foods today. I believe in the importance of educating visitors about these traditional fruits. The farm is run as sustainably as possible with no pesticides or fertilisers, effectively making it an organic, planet-friendly operation. Our bistro brings healthy and delicious food from farm to table.
Bollywood Veggies - enter if you dare! Photo - Linda K. Ross
Why did you and your husband, Ho Seng Lim, set up here in the Kranji area of the island?
Bollywood Veggies is a sanctuary away from the bustle of the ‘Little Red Dot’ of Singapore city. The rustic environment of the northwest Kranji countryside is like taking a step back to Singapore's lush history. The location provides a great opportunity to see a fresh, natural side of Singapore island, and allows visitors to rejuvenate the senses, connect with nature, and enjoy the simple pleasures of food.
Ivy's garden aims to educated people about the health and pharmaceutical benefits of plants. Photo - Linda K. Ross
You both worked for many years in the corporate world, what inspired you to take this path?
When I retired in 2001 I was planning to migrate to Perth, but then my best friend’s husband passed away suddenly in Singapore, so I suppose the universe had other plans for me. I have always been brought up to live a purposeful life so the farm is a reflection of that – it grows food, employs people and educates the community about food and sustainaniltiy.
I loved your green papaya salad, the banana bread and the cooked plantains, which were delicious! Tell us a bit about your food philosophy.
We believe in using the local herbs and spices grown in our garden, and of course the various varieties of vegetables and fruits we grow, especially bananas. We not only serve local favourites but always try to add a local twist to international dishes.
There are many varities of banana and pawpaw growing in the garden. Photo - Linda Ross
What happens on your average day?
I wake up early, thank the universe for my beautiful life, spend time with my dogs and husband, go to work on my farm, have lunch with my mother, chat with customers, and think about how I can do better for the community around me!