The Next Chapter is back! On 27 March, we welcomed an adventurous bunch to the Kranji Countryside for a journey of discovery at one of the three remaining cow farms in Singapore—Dairy Folks. Situated in a quiet corner of Lim Chu Kang, the humble farm is home to a hundred Holstein cows!
The morning started off with an introduction to the Singapore Young Farmers Initiative by our very own volunteer, Darren. We even had a filming crew from ‘On The Red Dot’ attending the tour and catching the experience on film (PSST, we'll be on Channel 5 in May on Friday 9.30pm!)
Never too early for some ice-cream~
Dairy Ingredients—check! Blender—check! We are ready to make yummy berry and coffee ice cream! Here is Darren demonstrating his culinary skills.
The farm tour begins
Iswaran, the owner of Dairy Folks, has been exposed to the cow-rearing business by his father since young. The cow farm's land lease is expected to end in 2017 and uncertainties has hindered the farm’s expansion.
#1 Holstein cattle are easily recognised by their distinctive black and white rounded patches, which may sometimes be red and white in colour. In spite of differences in colour, the volume of milk produced by each cow is similar.
#2 Most people distinguish the gender of a bovine by the presence of their horns. According to Iswaran, this is a myth because bulls and cows can have horns or no horns at all! The best way to differentiate between the bulls and the cows is to look between the hind legs for the presence of a scrotum or an udder respectively ;)
#3 90% of their daily feed is made of fresh grass harvested daily from around the farm, while the rest are bean sprouts. This combination provides a better-balanced diet for the cows.
Glimpse of the milking process
We were unable to view the milking process due to hygiene purposes and regulatory compliance. However, Iswaran offered us a sneak peek of the tools used for milking.
Harvested milk is single pasteurized at a low temperature of 80 degrees celsius, to eliminate bacteria such that the milk is safe for human consumption. The milk is not homogenized and can be stored for longer periods of time too!
As Dairy Folks' milk production is not sufficient to meet the daily requirements of supermarkets, the farm’s customer base mainly comprises online delivery orders, walk in customers, and North Indian cuisine restaurants (as fresh milk makes great yoghurt!).
We had loads of fun at the countryside. Be sure to join us on our next chapter activity at Jurong Frog Farm for a Froggy Ribbit Affair! You can sign up here!