The name Feed Our Loved Ones (FOLO) Farms was inspired by founder Dr. Lemuel Ng’s mission that everyone should grow vegetables for their family and the community. They say you are what you eat and FOLO Farms use the knowledge of growing the right kind of food to help build the body’s defenses against illnesses and diseases. Currently, six families run the organic farms located in Kempas, Kukup, and Ban Foo. Ban Foo is their key production site.
With a background in medicinal practice, Dr. Lemuel, also known as The Farming Doctor, believes that knowing what you eat and where your food comes from is important to our health and wellness. Organic vegetables are healthy because they are nourished with good soil that contains good microbes, creating an optimal micro-activity to support the growth and strength of the plant. Eating organic vegetables boosts our immunity against bacteria, as the vegetables themselves has a strong immune system. Ideally, the more vegetables we consume, the lower our reliance will be on doctor’s antibiotics as we have our own antibodies to ward off foreign attacks. However, this is not the reality of most local vegetables which are mostly grown with the aid of pesticide and chemical fertilisers. The nourishment we expect to get is less when we eat non-organic vegetables.
Therefore, knowing who your farmer is and how he farms gives you the power of knowing what is on your plate. It is not simply picking up a packed green vegetable off the shelf of a supermarket.
FOLO Farms has partnered with homes, restaurants, and hotels to collect food waste to be turned into compost to nourish the soil. This work is not glamourous and is rather time-consuming. FOLO Farms provides its partners with bins and continuously educates them on ways to separate waste. Every day, at least 2 tonnes of organic waste is collected and sent to their composting centre where they carry out the collection, aerobic composting, washing, and returning of the bins themselves. The idea is to valorise organic waste into a valuable substance, enriching not only the environment but also build social impact and business sense.
Vegetables grown vary according to the season and weather conditions; rotation of the crop actually helps retain the soil’s strength. FOLO Farms’ members pay for a 24-week share and visit the farm every Saturday to collect their harvested vegetables, with delivery as an option. Children run and explore the farms and partake in farming activities, too.
“Collectively, we believe – and science is increasingly backing this – that physical exposure to our farm and sustained consumption of vegetables can nourish and heal us,” said Dr. Lemuel.