City Kids Go To The Farm

14 Jan
Perfect weather for a trip to the UK Agro Farm in Kluang, Johor.

Perfect weather for a trip to the UK Agro Farm in Kluang, Johor.

Happy New Year again and before you know it, they’ll be a few more public holidays in January before Chinese New Year in February! I love being in Malaysia 🙂 December will always be missed as that is the time of  the year when I get to drink my Toffee Nut Latte every other day AND get to eat the most variety of Eddy’s Cheesecake 😀 Alhamdulillah, I’m so blessed. There are times when I’m down and I had to keep on reminding myself to count my blessings. It makes me happy. Every morning when I wake up and every night before I go to sleep. My childhood and spending time with my loved ones are my happy memories. How much can you recall of your childhood? Mine would be as young as 3 years-old or maybe 4 years-old. I do recall the moment when my Mum and Dad brought back my baby sister home from hospital and even the nights before that where I keep on asking why was my mummy’s tummy so big. I loved spending time with my cousin Hazren where we would climb the rambutan trees at his house, the toys and my favourite would be playing with water. There were times when I got my ‘corporal punishment’, which I will not describe here but vow that I will not treat my children that way. My point here is a person’s memory is very strong. Some will choose to ignore and forget but it’ll forever be kept in their sub-concious mind. Sometimes you’ll get flashes of those memories in your sleep as you get older or especially when you are experiencing a near-death situation. The least that you can do as parents, family members or friends is imprinting lovely memories on these children’s mind regardless of their age.

Aufa overcame his fears to feed a kid

Aufa overcame his fears to feed a kid

Another outdoor classroom activity the Ariffins managed to conduct in 2012 was a visit to UK Agro Farm in Kluang, Johore. You can either make a day trip there, which is approximately 4-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur or stay over night there at their clean and simple resort. Click here for my post on our other quick getaway to Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary. The name UK stands for the owner’s name and not United Kingdom in case some of you are wondering. It is locally owned and operated and I am so proud of them compared to my experience visiting farms in Australia and New Zealand. You can either visit as a family, extended family & friends or even organize a company family day there. I find that the people working there really enjoy what they are doing and really passionate about farming. Maybe it is the clean air and happy vibes of nature there.

So many types of goats, sheep as well as this Ram

So many types of goats, sheep as well as this Ram

As always, please do some research and plan your trip there to avoid disappointments. Especially if you are traveling with children. It is an outdoor activity so please be prepared to get dirty, sweaty and being surrounded by all kinds of insects. We arrived in UK Agro Farm around noon after our heavy breakfast in Mersing. We were coming back from a scuba diving trip in Pulau Tioman. It was a weekday (the beauty of being self-employed) and we did not have to wait for long before getting onto the farm tour mini bus. Aufa was given an overview on what to expect from this trip at least a week before. We bought the Farm Tour Package B which is a 3-hour guided tour to visit feedstock processing factory, sheep pens, herb sanctuary, ostrich park, Jakun village, baby goat feeding, mushroom and vegetable farm. We received in-house guide service, recycle bag, goat milk muffin, passion fruit juice, goat milk ice cream, herbal tea, Orang Asli souvenir, mushroom snack, goat feeding, ostrich feeding and baby goat feeding. I like the part where we went into the sheep pens and got to learn different kinds of sheep and goats.

Aufa wanted to ride on the ostrich.

Aufa wanted to ride on the ostrich.

Our children overcame their fear to feed the goats. It was really heart-warming to watch my children to look at the kid’s (baby goat) eyes, pat, kiss and hug it. Unfortunately, they were still constructing the milking area so they could not see how milk is being collected from the goats. In New Zealand, they would have shows on how they skin a sheep and how they process the milk into butter. You even get to take some of the wool home as souvenir, milk the cow manually (trust me, it ain’t easy) and taste the freshest milk you’ve expressed.

The tour bus is so cool and I'm always occupied with the children's bag. Need to feed them, take the ointment out, have spare clothes ready...Oh Mother!

The tour bus is so cool and I’m always occupied with the children’s bag. Need to feed them, take the ointment out, have spare clothes ready…Oh Mother!

Next stop was the herbal sanctuary. I like it here too. It was time for me to get to know how my herbal plants look like and some others where you only consume after they are being processed into capsules. My favourite was the Stevia plant. I was first introduced to it in early 2000 when I was assigned to do research and campaign in an advertising agency when our client was bringing in Stevia into Malaysia. It tasted so good and we call it the candy leave. We bought a packet of dried Stevia and been using Stevia at home in our drinks now instead of sugar.

Orang Asli Jakun Treehouse which sparked Aufa's inquisitiveness.

Orang Asli Jakun Treehouse which sparked Aufa’s inquisitiveness.

By the time we got to the ostrich park, it was time for me to take out my Melagel (tea tree balm) to apply on our mosquito bites and Aufa’s cut from running around. We fed the ostrich but it was not for visitors to ride on since it was the owner’s pet. Believe it or not, the ostrich park was surrounded by beds of Lavender plants! It was really lovely and calming. To top it off, the rain has just stopped before we started the tour. Therefore the sky was cloudy and temperature was not too hot for us to enjoy the farm.

Within a stone’s throw away was the Orang Asli Jakun village. Ipin and I of course had to answer some innocent questions from our 4-year-old Aufa about the Orang Asli. Besides going into their tree houses, the children enjoyed watching the sumpit (blowpipe) demonstration by one of the orang asli.

It was time to feed the kids with milk.

It was time to feed the kids with milk.

We stopped by the tropical arcade where they sell farm’s product and where the dormitory & chalets are. Simple and very clean. Then it was time to feed the kids. Each one of us was given milk bottles to feed them and boy, some of them were really thirsty. We even had to buy extra bottles as our children find the experience to be very overwhelming.

Finally, our final stop for the tour was the Vegetable and Mushroom farm. Due to health reasons, we did not allow our children to enter the mushroom houses. They played at the tree playground instead while waiting for their parents to take turns to visit the mushroom houses. Then we took them around the vegetable farms and pointed at the common vegetables they eat. We finished off the tour with evening snacks of goat’s milk muffin, which was pretty fluffy, goat’s milk coffee and of course goat’s milk ice-cream at the cafe. There was a huge BBQ pit area and a stage there as well. I love the green field everywhere and the place really gives you that happy feeling. In other words, endorphin air 🙂

The kids resting at another treehouse near the Mushroom & Vegetable farm

The kids resting at another treehouse near the Mushroom & Vegetable farm

In short, for some of you who still have kampung to visit and spend time at, UK Agro Farm is no big deal. A kampung would have more variety like the durian, rambutan and manggis trees for you to enjoy the fruits. They’d also be some cows and chickens running around. For us, we found it as a good exposure for our children and it is always great to be in touch with nature to balance our city-dwellers’ zen. Besides the photos and videos we took at the farm, we also got this educational rubber placemat for our children from Motherworks Singapore to complement the whole learning experience about farming. It is called Farm To Table placemat by Modern-twist. It not only serves as a placemat but also as a short board game to teach the children where the food comes from and how they are being processed. Children can color the placemat using their toxic-free coloring pens. We bring it every where with us in the baby’s bag and take it out during meals outside to keep them occupied. Try them!

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2 Responses to “City Kids Go To The Farm”

  1. Assya January 14, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Love the placemats! Does it come with the color pens?

    • kureen January 14, 2013 at 11:07 am #

      Yes, it comes with 6 non-toxic color pens. They are so easy to come off.

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