Tuesday 14 August 2007


Dad has been having sleepless nights. These days, I often find him awake in the wee hours of the morning. He has been mulling over the continuity of the orchid business. Our 20-year land lease has just run out and he has decided to renew for another 20 years. At 70, he’s worried about the future of the farm, one that he and mum had painstakingly built over the last 3 decades.

Investing another sum of money for an unforeseeable future is no laughing matter. He and mum will be 80 in ten years time. Mum is still running the farm but none of the kids have been involved in the operations from day 1.

Seeing my dad looking worried, mum finally appreciates his business acumen and perseverance. She recalls now, how he first introduced her to the idea of orchid farming and how resourceful he was in procuring exotic orchids and how he helped her set it up while he continued to bring home income to feed the family. She remembers how he would come back from his office job, have a quick meal and head straight into the farm with his hammer and tools. He single-handedly built the rows and rows of wooden stands, working till mid-night, until mum had to make him go to bed.

When the farm was finally up and running, he spent nights after dinner strolling amidst the rows of potted plants with a big torch light, thinking of ways to improve the farm. Mum, being the workhorse that she is, did a great job and started making profits soon after. Though dad’s a man of few words, we always knew he was proud of their little orchid farm in the backyard.

When they decided to go commercial in the agrotech park 20 years ago, I am sure he had sleepless nights too. I was then too caught up with my work to notice but I soon saw the new farm taking shape. He must have invested a lot more money for he built our house and a large warehouse within the premises too.

Time flies and 20 years have gone by. At this juncture, he has decided it’s best to continue for another 20 years. Living in that old familiar environment is of utmost importance to them now. They’re so used to the big, open space, moving to another place is unthinkable.

Though my brothers and I have no interest in their orchid business at this stage, I can only encourage my folks to stay put and spend their golden years in a place they cherish most. Don’t worry about what’s going to happen 10 or 20 years down the road. I’m sure we will find a way to deal with it when the time comes. Who knows? I may become a farmer and continue the legacy.


Anonymous said...

Farmer Ting... it has a nice ring.

Nick Phillips (15/03/1967 - 04/11/2022) said...

Hi, I came from Wolfgang's page. Pretty interesting post. I never really knew my dad (parents separated when I was a wee lad), so reading your post was kinda touching. If fact for a long time until before his death, I kinda hated him. I only made peace with him a year before his death. Nice post!

Blur Ting said...

Thanks Nick. I'm glad you made peace with your dad. You know, deep inside, he must have wished for that because you are afterall, his son. It must have made him very happy.

J@n!ce said...

Difficult to predict what lies ahead. Just got to move one step at a time. We are looking forward to Blur Ting becomes Farmer Ting... grow the family business :)

Cheers & good luck...!! :)

Mike Minzes said...

Your love for your parents runs very deep. That is the orchard that really needs to be tended too.

Epimenides said...

Orchids! What beautiful flowers! I love them! Your Dad must be a very passionate, dedicated man! I guess it would have been impossible for him to move away from something that he invested so mush love and labour!

J@n!ce said...

I'm here again...I've tagged you.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story, and an honorable legacy. Orchids are so fragile, aren't they? Further testament to your dad's abilities.

WaterLearner said...

Hi Blur Ting!

The twists and turns in life will find itself into peaceful waters some day. Moreover, ships are safest if they are left at the jetty. But that was not what ships were for. They were meant to take the waves and currents of the deep waters.

The same applies to our lives. I believe.


Blur Ting said...

Thanks everyone, for your wonderful comments and support. Yes, I always admire my dad for his strength, knowledge and compassion.

A big welcome to Janice and WaterLearner too!

The Real Mother Hen said...

I'll go farming with you Ting :)

Unknown said...

wow! your parents have such an admirable passion for what they do! i hope one day i too will find the courage to follow my heart and do what i love.