这就是我身处在被誉为“地上天堂 Paradise on earth”的宝莱坞蔬菜农场 Bollywood Veggies 时，最深切的感受和真情流露。
生活在新加坡的人们，对于 Bollywood Veggies 并不陌生。这个占地10英亩的本地农场，种植了500多种新鲜、健康、无化学农药和无生长激素的农产品，经营一间名为“毒藤 Posion Ivy Bistro”的农场餐厅和小型农业博物馆，因其极具特色的经营而声名远扬。
拜访当天，农场的负责人之一 Manda 女士热情地接待了我们。
2000年，新加坡夫妇 Ivy Singh-Lim 与 Lim Ho Seng 创办了宝莱坞农场。农场之所以与著名的印度影视之城同名，是因为女主人 Ivy 有着华人和印度的血统。
20年的发展变革，Bollywood Veggies 从最初一个仅种植农作物的小农场，成长为集农业生产、科学普及和寓教于乐的为一体的综合性农场。不仅为新加坡本地人提供了休闲假日的好去处，也吸引着海外数以万计的游客慕名而来。农场接待过来自社会的各界人士，从总统、政要、社会名流到普通民众。
除此之外，这对夫妇还协助建立了克拉芝乡村协会，帮助周边农民改善蔬菜销售的运输环境，使 Bollywood Veggies 所在地区远近闻名。
当 J.O.E 团队主动请缨，愿意协助华文讲解义务工作时，Manda 女士非常开心。因为近些年来，有越来越多的来自中国的旅游团到宝莱坞参观游玩，了解新加坡本土的农业。华文讲解员扮演着举足轻重的角色。
我们为新加坡农业有 Bollywood Veggies 而感到高兴。因为我们感受到了他们与 J.O.E 相似的核心理念，鼓励人们在快节奏的现代生活中，学会适当放慢脚步，回顾质朴的生活方式，实践健康的生活，思考什么是真正的可持续性发展。
Sun, rain and dew and thousands of flowers.
Insects and birds singing.
A winding path leads to a quiet place where you can explore freely and visit any place you wish.
Appreciate the wonderful world of subtleties and capture every moving moment.
Sitting in a shady corner of the in-house restaurant while sipping a cup of lemonade feels refreshing. Tasting a set of purely organic food feels so real and authentic.
This place, Bollywood Veggies, feels like “Paradise on Earth”.
People living in Singapore are no strangers to Bollywood Veggies. This 10-acre local farm grows more than 500 kinds of fresh, healthy, chemical-free and no-growth-hormone agricultural products. It operates a farm restaurant and a small agricultural museum called “Poison Ivy Bistro”. It is well-known for its distinctive management.
On the day of our visit, one of the farm owners, Mdm Manda, warmly welcomed us.
A high-flyer who graduated from Boston University, Mdm Manda once worked as a reporter in the United States. However, she always aspired to return to nature and nurture her interest in the natural environment. Upon her graduation, she returned to Singapore, and joined Bollywood Veggies. Thereafter, she closely assisted the farm owner in running the farm business for 10 years, and has since been entrusted with the farm education programmes. She has worked on the farm for 11 years.
At the famous Poison Ivy Bistro, Mdm Manda explained to us the history of Bollywood Veggies, the uniqueness of its management, as well as future development plans.
In year 2000, a Singaporean couple, Ivy Singh-Lim and Lim Ho Seng, founded Bollywood Veggies. The name of this farm was inspired by Mdm Ivy’s half-Indian heritage and her wish for it to be spectacular and fun-loving like Bollywood movies.
After 20 years of development, Bollywood Veggies has transformed from its beginnings of solely growing raw agricultural crops and produce to a successful farming enterprise that incorporates educational and agri-tourism activities.
It has not only provided a leisure spot for Singaporeans to take a holiday, but also attracted tens of thousands of overseas visitors. The farm has received renowned individuals, ranging from presidents, key political figures and celebrities to ordinary citizens.
For the past 20 years, the farm has promoted environmental protection and sustainable development. With that also brings about an insistence on the importance of organically grown products as well as green health, which has always been the purpose and mission of Bollywood Veggies. They have been crowned by an international research firm as the best area in LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability).
At each stage in its development, Ivy and her husband have made it a point to hire challenged and less fortunate Singaporeans, creating employment opportunities for marginalized groups.
In addition, Ivy also established the Kranji Countryside Association with a group of other farmers. In the process, it has helped farmers to improve the marketing, education and tourism activities on their farms. This has helped Bollywood Veggies make a name for itself.
As Ms Manda explains, Bollywood Veggies receives more than 10,000 visitors on a monthly basis. After the lifting of the circuit breaker measures, the number of visitors received has in fact increased significantly. After having been at home for a long time, people wish to visit places where they can relax and enjoy life.
Visitors to Bollywood Veggies can take leisurely strolls along shaded paths, enjoy the sights of different types of plants and also partake in the specialties of the farm and various leisure and educational activities.
Visitors can also dine in at the in-house restaurant, enjoying cuisine made from the freshest produce from Singapore farms, immersing in all that nature has to offer. Before returning home, visitors can purchase unique varieties of organic fruits and vegetables. They can then give them to friends and family, and together, experience a healthy lifestyle.
Farms also serve as an excellent platform for education on the agricultural industry. Visitors can tour the food museum to understand the history of developments in food and culinary arts. They can also partake in cooking lessons using farm fresh produce harvested from Bollywood Veggies and other local farms
The guided tours are also another unique feature of the farm. Visitors to the farm can not only relax and get to experience the rustic farm life, but also enjoy healthy food, and more importantly expand their knowledge and get to know about the characteristics and uses of various plants. In the process, they get to expand their horizons.
Many schools in Singapore will organise trips to the farm during the school term and also the holidays. The students can gain new knowledge, try their hand at farming, and also experience farm life.
When the team at J.O.E volunteered to do tours in Mandarin, Mdm Manda was elated. This is because there have been increasing numbers of Chinese tourists visiting the farm for leisure as well as to understand the local agriculture. Thus, Mandarin-speaking guides help to play an important role in facilitating this.
Into the future
When we enquired about future plans for the farm, Mdm Manda confidently explained that the farm plans to build its own eco-friendly farmstay, with plans to expand its presence to other parts of Singapore and also around Southeast Asia. This is done in the hope of letting more people experience nature, better understand the agricultural industry and experience country life.
The second aim is also to promote the education and knowledge of local farm produce and products. In terms of management, they aim to carry out more projects that will attract more youths and galvanise their interest in working on farms and invest their future in this industry.
During the Covid-19 period, many onsite activities were unable to be conducted. However, Bollywood Veggies did not stop in its mission to educate people on healthy living as well as on agriculture. They continued their education programmes virtually and worked with schools to provide activity kits with soil and seeds, and explained how to plant them, for example. Through a hands-on approach, children get to learn in a fun manner and to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
The interview ended on a fun and happy note. Singapore’s agricultural industry is certainly proud to have Bollywood Veggies. We are also proud as Bollywood Veggies and JOE have similar core values and beliefs. In our fast-paced society, we encourage people to slow down, experience a rustic farm lifestyle, live a healthy lifestyle and think more about sustainable development.
More importantly, we both have a similiar mission: to educate the next generation on the importance of nature. We aim to achieve this by helping youths to get to know nature, experience nature and eventually fall in love in nature. Through this, we hope they can fall in love with nature forever.