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The long way to our dream in Thailand, Part 2

 
pollinator
Posts: 528
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
211
forest garden fish plumbing chicken pig
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Update in pictures,

1- the bridge is completed and installed and now the discussions are ongoing what we plant on the island.
Edible will be nice, Shade tree for sure, Fast growing, yes, should not be too messy to drop too much leaves into the lake and it should like wet feet in the rain season beside scorching sunshine in the dry season....

2- to Thank the construction workers I wanted to throw in a BBQ - unfortunately I am in Taiwan and to make it a surprise I asked a sister who is always keen to safe a coin.
Well, the goats came alive and nobody wanted to slaughter them... Now we have 2 goats, bit early for our farm but we have. (and saved 600 Baht = 20 USD for the butcher)

3- The rain season filled the lake beside the excitement of my wife as also our people was unstoppable. Uncle needs Fish when he comes back from work so he (I) can go fishing.. Photos show the stock by now, some can grow above 200 Kilo. (i cancelled my life insurance if this was the plan of my wife :-)

4- Also Permaculture Farming means business in all levels. Since the tree collection is growing my folks plant whatever is edible and they could get hold on. It didn't stop on the soil but also in the river... Limnocharis flava likes wet feet and spreads fast, but makes a good market.
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The Bridge - 20 meters span
The Bridge - 20 meters span
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The Billy Goat
The Billy Goat
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and his wife
and his wife
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Limnocharis flava planting
Limnocharis flava planting
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Limnocharis flava planting
Limnocharis flava planting
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What was that tree??
What was that tree??
 
pollinator
Posts: 784
Location: Appalachian Foothills-Zone 7
194
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Awesome project!  Looking forward to more!
 
See Hes
pollinator
Posts: 528
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
211
forest garden fish plumbing chicken pig
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Since the trees are planted we are waiting for the succession where its all about in permaculture..

Well it isn't that easy if you have only the upper and lower canopy planted.

But hey, we just started in November last year, lets wait for another 5 years.

I am on my job and the family is driving through the entire Isaan area collecting whatever edible and what they can get their hands on.
All relatives have to give their share out of their fields, forests and gardens..

Now the perennials are on the plan and I love to see that our farm gang brings me (as German expat) into another world of food.

Regarding the saying: There are possibly 300000 edible plants on the world but humans use only about 200...

What they brought on the farm and planted there is only asparagus I know about, all others...
...Ok let's grow it, I am open to taste and judge...

Last picture:
We rented around 2 Acres from our neighbor, without rice (in monoculture, sorry) has also a Thai no life...



 

Adenia-viridiflora-Craib.PNG
Adenia viridiflora Craib
Adenia viridiflora Craib
Amorphophallus-konjac.jpg
Amorphophallus konjak - the flower is said to stink as dead dog at roadside, but whet should mother nature do when the bees are not working in the night?
Amorphophallus konjak - the flower is said to stink as dead dog at roadside, but whet should mother nature do when the bees are not working in the night?
Andrographis-paniculata.jpg
Andrographis panikclata
Andrographis panikclata
Boesenbergia-rotunda.PNG
Boesenbergia rotunda - a spice of the Ginger family
Boesenbergia rotunda - a spice of the Ginger family
Curcuma-sessilis.jpg
Curcuma sessilis - who doesn't know the humble finger root?
Curcuma sessilis - who doesn't know the humble finger root?
Limnocharis-flava.jpg
Limnocharis flawa - the flowers and stalks are everywhere in the Thai markets. Taste nice..
Limnocharis flawa - the flowers and stalks are everywhere in the Thai markets. Taste nice..
Zingiber-zerumbet.PNG
Zingiber zerumbet - no clue at all how it tastes and what to do with it. My family will know.
Zingiber zerumbet - no clue at all how it tastes and what to do with it. My family will know.
Asparagus.PNG
and our humble asparagus - I will love it...
and our humble asparagus - I will love it...
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One day these monocultures are hopefully not anymore rented and and bought from our neighbor. That's also the end of this neighboring monoculture. But some bio rice.. Its ok.
One day these monocultures are hopefully not anymore rented and and bought from our neighbor. That's also the end of this neighboring monoculture. But some bio rice.. Its ok.
 
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pollinator
Posts: 528
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
211
forest garden fish plumbing chicken pig
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I start this update with:

My wife WANTS them, and so it shall be.

The Story:

There is a guy from Dubai who sells special trees and one of them he advertises with the luring words:
Helathy = true
Rare = true
Expensive = true (he sells a few month old tree for 1500 Baht which equals 43 USD)

Everyone loves the nut and sure has squeezed his fingers once by trying to open the hard shel.

The Para Nut - or Brasil Nut - or in Latin: Bertholletia excelsa

But when you asks this fella,
how about the pollinators in Thailand.
Which bee is living here on steroids, strong enough to open the lids of the flower?...
...he simply deletes your comment.

Problem Nr 1;
the Bee (Xylocopa frontalis) is a solitary bee and the Drone needs a special Orchid which it pollinates and by this he parfumes himself for the  Lady...
ONLY this way the Lady will find her Husband of love... and the Rest we know:
Motorbike broken, Buffalo sick and needs surgery, Brother's house burned down.... (OOPS, I guess I slipped away into the Thai bar lady story)
No Orchid = No love;  No love = no next generation, No next generation = Bee extincted, Bee extincted = No Para Nuts...

Hence the Paranut is still the only Nut which is not grown in Orchards and the harvesters need to go deep into undisturbed jungles.

Problem Nr 2:
It takes about 15 - 20 Years for the tree to bear fruit..

I am 60 years now and I plant it
Why?
Because my wife says so and I find it is one of the most stunning and beautiful real jungle trees..


Bertholletia-excelsa.jpg
30-50 meter upper canopy layer
30-50 meter upper canopy layer
Paranuss.jpg
Brasil Nuts
Brasil Nuts
 
See Hes
pollinator
Posts: 528
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
211
forest garden fish plumbing chicken pig
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The raining season has arrived and you can't hold back the farm gang anymore..

Yard long beans, winged beans, french climbing beans, peanuts and cucumber seeds are getting planted..

and off course the Thai clock has only different hours:      Hungry... May be Hungry... Hungry... May be hungry

Pictures say all...
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pollinator
Posts: 528
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
211
forest garden fish plumbing chicken pig
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.......
The farm gang including my wife and our housemaid mentioned that there is always an old lady roaming in the night in the northeast corner of the lake....
I still working in Taiwan, wanted a description but nobody knew her...
Until my wife said, she is a ghost...

SPOOOOOKY, Wohhoohoooooo!
"Welcome to Thailand"

I am not so into the superstition thing.
Yes, we have our "traditions" as seafarers: This is not good, don't do this and that, don't say this and that...

But ok, I chose living in Thailand so I must accept their traditions as a foreigner if you wanna become part of the real Thai lifestyle.

I told my wife to ask our eldest of the gang "Auntie" to source a reputable Monk, who can deal with this issue...

This Monk was 10 miles away and I am sure he never has walked near our land, therefore we are too far in the middle of nowhere..
At arrival the Monk knew the story and told them what was happening and what to do.

From here pictures are speaking:

Capture.PNG
10th of December 2022 - the new lake is almost connected to the existing pond. Just a small dam and a tiny little mount occupied with leucaena trees had to be dug out.
10th of December 2022 - the new lake is almost connected to the existing pond. Just a small dam and a tiny little mount occupied with leucaena trees had to be dug out.
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The monk told: You moved a mount away. It was there for many generations, right beside a Hut used as shelterfor the farm workers at the pond. (The poles were the hut). We need to make a ceremony to get Merit to be the new owner of the land..
The monk told: You moved a mount away. It was there for many generations, right beside a Hut used as shelterfor the farm workers at the pond. (The poles were the hut). We need to make a ceremony to get Merit to be the new owner of the land..
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2 Buckets dirt: No dirt, it's the "old Home" of the former generations and the "new home" of us. Water and a sword keeping the evil away and enlightening the opening of the door to talk to the the spirits
2 Buckets dirt: No dirt, it's the
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where the mount was a hold has been dug out and all gave a little personal gift into it. The hole then gets closed while the Monk chantes his prayers.
where the mount was a hold has been dug out and all gave a little personal gift into it. The hole then gets closed while the Monk chantes his prayers.
 
See Hes
pollinator
Posts: 528
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
211
forest garden fish plumbing chicken pig
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So the balance was restored and as funny end of the story...

The spirits decided that their new place would be on my Party Island,  since we destroyed their mount (home) which was there for many generations.

I was into tears: No BBQ, No Hut, No Pizza Dome from clay, No fridge full of Leo Beer and no Will, who sings dirty songs, while getting pickled in beer...

But my wife clarified this:

It would not be as we learned in Germany during our Punk Parties in the local cemetery called:
disturbing the peace of the dead...

The spirits have chosen their new home because the Island will be a place of happyness and many people will gather there and laughing.
Just the right spot where the spirits want to be with us and enjoy.

The only thing is, that we have to make a dedicated spot on the island where we burn some scent sticks place a bowl with rice and a glass Thai Whiskey to respect them and give our share..

Fair enough...

The last two pictures...
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The Monk goes on the island which the spirits of the land claim as their new home
The Monk goes on the island which the spirits of the land claim as their new home
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Our youngest (35 years old housemaid) sees another opportunity and donates he lucky number (Lottery) stone she has since her childhood. Will she creck the jackpot with help of the spirits?
Our youngest (35 years old housemaid) sees another opportunity and donates her lucky number (Lottery) stone, which she has since her childhood. Will she crack the jackpot with help of the spirits?
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At the end as the new home for the spirits (former owners of the land) was found all gift got laidnin the hole and the new owner (my wife) and the eldest had to close the hole.
At the end as the new home for the spirits (former owners of the land) was found all gifts got laid down in the hole and the new owner (my wife) and the eldest had to close the hole.
 
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pollinator
Posts: 528
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
211
forest garden fish plumbing chicken pig
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After we created in this winter season purposely a desert landscape, because the prices for rice straw bales we planned to use as mulch, went bottomless, we decided asking mother nature for help.

Our farm crew spread manure all over the place and planted vetiver grass against erosion along the lake and river and hoped that the wild herbs and grasses return with seeds, carried by the wind.

The outcome and survival rate was better than expected, despite the dry season went all way into the month of May.

Because of the fact that our trees are too small to allow having animals added as part of the holistic management system.
Dr Allan Savoy teaches it, we simulated the wandering herds by doing simply chop and drop..
The cut grass helped the new sprouts to grow without getting choked and outshaded and the cuts were the green manure.

I am optimistic we end up with a lush green by end of this rain season.
and next spring some animals (chicken and guinea fowls are the pioneers) can start their job simulating the wandering herds...
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Before: brown ground everywhere
Before: brown ground everywhere
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the well and our crew watered the soil and washed the distributed manure in
the well and our crew watered the soil and washed the distributed manure in
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first signs of life returns and protects the soil
first signs of life returns and protects the soil
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after only 2 good flushes of rain the expected growth started through, happy days
after only 2 good flushes of rain the expected growth started through, happy days
IMG-20230612-WA0005.jpg
even our old stray dog looks stunted beside laying now in the soft grass
even our old stray dog looks stunted beside laying now in the soft grass
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The Yam roots show their way to expand, a stem, leaves, dying back, and come again... Their roots are like potatoes but need to be boiled..
The Yam roots show their way to expand, a stem, leaves, dying back, and come again... Their roots are like potatoes but need to be boiled..
IMG-20230612-WA0007.jpg
still some open wounds need coverage, but we are working on it.. "Time heals all wounds" is an old saying
still some open wounds need coverage, but we are working on it..
 
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pollinator
Posts: 528
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
211
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The job here in Taiwan drags and in the evenings after work, I whish I am on my farm, but money is needed to get more things set up.

Beside,
a food jungle is what we were dreaming about but also it shall create a little income for the families and long years friends that help us here.
So that is my part of the game. The earner and developer.

What can be nicer than leaving the work behind and use the free time to develop.
Farming is not to get rich but sure, it is more fulfilling than the rat race I am in now.
To make the best of the harvest, there is a way called evaluating and ennobling.

This time my wife and our farm gang planted beans and I remembered Grandma, making fermented beans with cured sausage and potatoes. How deliecious that was...

Worth a trial to make the beans more expensive and get some of the memories about Grannie's cooking back on the plate.

I bought green beans available here in Taiwan, blanched them about 10 minutes in boiling brine (3.5% salt).
I placed 1/2 teaspoon Savory in a teabag on the bottom of the jar.

The beans in the brine I let cool down to soak the salt and after I stomped them into the jars, nicely compacted.
I filled the jars to the brim with beans and added brine.
(Use a tray to avoid a mess, if it expands during the fermentation and brine runs over)

The lid was only very slightly tightened to avoid an explosion during the fermentation.

6 days in the warm room for the stormy fermentation then 5 weeks in the fridge.
Important because the cold fermentation bacteria make the taste.

My friend from the Netherlands also working in Taiwan visited me for the trial.
The result was spot on and stood not behind our Grannie's fermented beans. Simply delicious..

Another Idea worked out, to get some stuff in the shelf of our planned farm shop..
With a little input and patience increased the value easy a 200% on top of the regular fresh sales price and the shelf life is increased for many month if chilled or a year if canned...


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Posts: 48
Location: Strasbourg, France
12
tiny house chicken bee
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I love this whole thread!

I also love the connection with the land and its spirits, and the respect that comes with it. A healthier way to look at it all I would say.
 
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