- Vivian Teo
5 highlights kids will love at the Little Farm Explorers urban farm tour
Little Farm Explorers is a unique urban farm tour in Singapore that is fun and educational for both kids and adults.
After having much fun at EcoTrail at Lorong Chencharu in Yishun, Singapore last year, I have been looking for similar local farm tours to take our girls to. I've seen recommendations online but my girls weren't very keen on those with goats, frogs, tortoises, ants and bees, so it wasn't easy looking for a farm tour that'd be suitable for them.
So I was really delighted when I chanced upon Little Farm Explorers on Facebook! The urban farm is located at Sprouts Hub Urban Farm at 102 Henderson Road in Redhill. Their tour format seemed similar to EcoTrail (actually I think they might be operated by the same company) and the description of their activities sounded like something my girls would enjoy. Well, after going on the tour, I must say it was as good as we had expected - my girls were also pleasantly surprised when they got to take home a fish each! More on that later!
Anyway, there are a total of six stations in the tour. The first is where you learn about the tech farms of tomorrow, the second is about aquaponics, the third about compost, the fourth about waterless gardens, the fifth about edible organic gardens and the sixth about ethical egg farming. Do see their website for more details on these stations.
Personally, I think the topics are more interesting and advance compared to the ones at EcoTrail and my girls - they were the oldest kids in the tour at 10 and 12 years old - were able to understand and appreciate the guides' explanations. That said, the younger kids in our tour were all enjoying themselves seeing the insects and farm animals. So the tour is definitely something the whole family can enjoy!
Here are five tour highlights we enjoyed and our review:
1) Making our own mini aquaponics
You might know about hydroponics, which is growing plants in water, but do you know what is aquaponics? Aquaponics is a food production system that combines raising aquatic animals with hydroponics. Fish tanks are connected to a filtering system that filters out dirt, poop and leftover water. The nutrient rich water is then treated and funneled to the plants. (I got all these from a booklet the kids were given for the tour!). Here's the aquaponics station at the farm:
All very interesting but I think the kids were most excited when they got to make their own mini aquaponic ecosystem! With materials provided and help from our guide, it was really easy to make. We put some rock wool into a sieve-like plastic contraption, wet it, then added some green beans.
The fun part was catching a fighting fish from a tank and putting it into our plastic cup before putting the contraption over the cup! The guide also taught us how to care for our fish. The best thing is you get to take this home at the end of the tour! Here are our fish which the girls named.
2) The cool insects at the compost station
At the compost station, we learned how compost is made and how insects help with the decomposition process.
The coolest bit was seeing these insects up close! Like this stag beetle...
This giant millipede which you can hold in your hand if you dare!
We also got to see isopods...
and a scorpion!
We also got to feed fish at this station. You'll notice a huge catfish in the pond!
3) The cute farm animals like silkie chickens
At the egg farming station, we learned about ethical egg farming and how free range chickens produce better eggs. My girls were definitely looking forward to seeing the cute silkie chickens here.
We got to pet them and feed them with one mealworm - just one as it is high in calories!
There were also quails and ducks in this station. All very cute!
4) The cacti at the waterless garden
There is also a waterless garden with some beautiful cacti. Here we learnt how plants adapt to dry and harsh environment.
I really quite enjoyed seeing the variety of cacti there.
Our guide also demonstrated how the aloe vera plant is harvested
5) The plants you see along the way
Along the way to the various stations, we stopped to see the plants, vegetables and fruits grown there. Like this sponge gourd...
and this winter melon.
Below is the edible garden. Here we got to see pineapple, blueberry (yes, blueberry!) and chilli plants. The guide let us pluck out some of the mint and basil leaves to try and for a whiff. The plants grown here are all organic, btw!
All in all, I found the Little Farm Explorers urban farm tour very interesting and educational for both kids and adults and would highly recommend for the whole family! Here's a video of our tour highlights!
Bonus tips for your trip:
i) Read up on the FAQs
There's an excellent FAQ at Little Farm Explorer's website that answers questions like the age group the tour is suitable for (age 3 and above!) and what happens if it rains (raincoats are provided for light drizzle or tour may be postponed or cancelled due to heavy rain).
But just to let you know the important stuff first, the tour costs $21 per participant - the website says this is an early bird rate but there is no indication on when this early bird rate ends - and children age 1 and above will need their own tickets. There is a capacity limit of 20 pax per tour at the time of writing. Ticket purchase is via their website.
Also, while the FAQ says the tour is for children age 3 and above, personally I find primary school-age kids would be better at appreciating and understanding the science knowledge and facts. But younger kids can still go along to see the animals and insects, which they are likely to find interesting as well.
ii) Parking available on-site
There's a small carpark at the site. When we arrived at 10am for our tour, there were still a number of parking lots available. But note that City Sprouts has a farmer's market every first Saturday of the month. I haven't been to the market but I understand it's quite popular. So if you choose to go on the first Saturday of the month, I can't say for certain parking would be easily available.
iii) Remember you'll be bringing a fish home!
We actually didn't know we'd be going home with a fish and had made plans to go elsewhere which wasn't quite convenient to be carrying our mini aquaponics around. So we left our fish at the farm and came back for it on our way home. Just remember this when you make plans for the day you go on the tour!
How are you spending the September school holidays? Let us know in the comment box below!
Disclaimer: We paid for our tickets, and my opinions and reviews here are strictly my and my family’s own.
©Vivian Teo. All content and photos are copyrighted to Vivian Teo unless otherwise specified.