This is the story on how my Dad, Mr Liao Chuan Huat, got his inspiration to go organic and never looked back.
Green hands run in my family!
My father has farmed over 20 years since 1979 after giving up work in the construction industry, when his green thumbs started twitching. He was no stranger to all this though – my grandparents had a small agricultural business in China, and hence, my Dad grew up knowing how to grow and harvest things.
My mother, Madam Eng Yock Kee helps with the logistics, packing and deilvery along with myself. I guess I must have inherited the same green thumbs from my father and grandparents, because I love helping out around the farm since young and am still equally passionate about my work as a modern-day farmer.
The Turning Point
However, this all changed when my Dad made a trip to Taiwan in 1998. At that point of time, Quan Fa did not engage in organic methods yet. This would mark a change that would change our farming methods forever. Somebody introduced to him a Japanese type of Compost – the kind that we use now at Quan Fa – Takahama Compost System. Within months, my father was an organic convert, and once you go organic, you cannot go back.
Nonetheless, going organic since 1999 proved to be the best decision he had ever made! Using natural fertilizers helped us to replace the soil with new nutrients and keep it arable. In addition, we didn’t need to invest in pesticides or insecticides anymore – they also chased away the creepy crawlies
Problems and Obstacles
In the first year, our first year – output was still normal. However, problems started to crop up in the following year. We had quite a number of obstacles, especially since we were only a family business and had basically six hands to handle all the farm operations – a pair each from my Dad, my Mum and myself being the official delivery boy.
Although our farm is not certified organic, but we grow vegetables without the use of chemical fertilizers. Our first target group was initially just organic shops, and some vegetarian “ang mo” cafes. However gradually, the three of us currently grow over 30 leafy greens and bean sprouts that have made their way to 15 organic shops island-wide. Currently, we also produce over 5 tonnes of vegetables every month, the most popular being Xiao Bai Cai, Kailan and Chye Sim.
Originally in Lonrong Serambi, we had to downsize to a smaller farm at Murai to make way for an army camp. Nonetheless, this did not faze us or our loyal customers. We are thankful for our regular customers that also include recovered cancer patients who believe that food grown without pesticides and chemicals was much more nutritious for their health.