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The long way to our dream in Thailand

 
pollinator
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Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
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Hi all,

now since the Land is planned roughly in parts like too forest, house garden, Nursery, Aquaponics Greenhouses and  visitor's department......
basically all questions that I could sort with my wife you together we have a last but major obstacle to solve.

The Lake, wisely as water is a main subject we want it big enough.
130*45/90 meters as this is given by the topographical map we created.
Big enough also foreseeing to feed later the Greenhouses, but also as a fishing lake or at least to get some Arapaima in (or whatever).

Now, most if not all fishing Enthusiasts, Koi Lovers and Lake Owners would keep the level with a Pond Monk (see picture 1) which is the most standard and approved way.

But thinking of the amount of water that comes in one of Thailand's thunderstorms or in the rainy season itself I am looking also at the physical opportunities, which an overflow has.
Thinking here to let the Nature do it's job I got the idea to use it as a vacuum cleaner to at least get partial the the dirt like silt or rotten stuff from the bottom.
Furthermore I guess especially in tropical weather it would be a pity to lose the from the rain oxygenated surface water instead of sucking the low oxygen water about 6 meter deep from the bottom.
(see picture 2)

What is you opinion here. Is it wishful thinking or would this be a better option of an overflow?



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picture 1
picture 1
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sucking-the-low-oxygen-water-from-the-bottom
sucking-the-low-oxygen-water-from-the-bottom
 
See Hes
pollinator
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Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
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little Update today...

35 days of work in Taiwan to go and then after almost 20 month away from home I will return to my beloved wife in Thailand.

Looking back it was a long time but now the dream of our farm is reaped, the financial side is way above the expectations and plans and after my return I will not rest until all offers have been visited and the pick is made.
I still focus mainly on the 29 acres plot but some more offers came during the year and we might chose another land if it will be more beneficial.

My wife sends me weekly updates how her trees are doing and I lost the count by all trees she grew from seeds plus deals she found by herself.

Yesterday's call was one of these highlights:
my little farmer's girl went over the moon and screamed something into the phone which I could not get:

Japan, Ma Mueang (Mango), Mizaky brought my thoughts into the right direction. She must have scored something for her fruit tree collection that must be very special.
It took me a bit to calm her down and the next she told me she bought 2 Mango trees...
I thought: "OK Mango trees, we have about 15 different in the collection so what makes 2 more for s difference?"

Then she added the price she paid: 5000 Baht ... who is buying 2 Mango trees for 150 $ in Thailand, do they have golden leaves???

She explained me that the most expensive Mango of the world and I more or less agreed still thinking she probably must have been ripped off big time...

Finally in all her excitement she explained me what she was on about. She scored two Miyazaki Mango Trees...
Well that's makes a different and they will get a good spot in our place for sure.

BUT, I will not put under each fruit a sunshine reflector and a net around the fruit waiting for it to drop and fetch a great price on the market.
I will share a few with the birds and insects on our future farm and hope they will leave a few nice ones for my fruit salad or to spill the juice over my t-shirt when eating...
And if not I will graft a few more after first pruning until the nature will give me my share too....

A cutting of our Monstera deliciosa has taken over the front terrace...
I got one told that is almost the only tree that will move towards the shade and not turning to the sun...
Definitely a climber that I want to have all over my food jungle for the right jungle feeling

here a picture about the most expensive mango (tree) in the world...



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Well, its a Mango tree isn't it
Well, its a Mango tree isn't it
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but if my wife is happy so I will be and let her be proud...
but if my wife is happy so I will be and let her be proud...
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I brought once a cutting of a Monstera deliciosa now the Name Monstera fits...
I brought once a cutting of a Monstera deliciosa now the Name Monstera fits...
 
pollinator
Posts: 144
Location: Udon Thani, Thailand
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See Hes wrote:Hi all,

now since the Land is planned roughly in parts like too forest, house garden, Nursery, Aquaponics Greenhouses and  visitor's department......
basically all questions that I could sort with my wife you together we have a last but major obstacle to solve.

The Lake, wisely as water is a main subject we want it big enough.
130*45/90 meters as this is given by the topographical map we created.
Big enough also foreseeing to feed later the Greenhouses, but also as a fishing lake or at least to get some Arapaima in (or whatever).

Now, most if not all fishing Enthusiasts, Koi Lovers and Lake Owners would keep the level with a Pond Monk (see picture 1) which is the most standard and approved way.

But thinking of the amount of water that comes in one of Thailand's thunderstorms or in the rainy season itself I am looking also at the physical opportunities, which an overflow has.
Thinking here to let the Nature do it's job I got the idea to use it as a vacuum cleaner to at least get partial the the dirt like silt or rotten stuff from the bottom.
Furthermore I guess especially in tropical weather it would be a pity to lose the from the rain oxygenated surface water instead of sucking the low oxygen water about 6 meter deep from the bottom.
(see picture 2)

What is you opinion here. Is it wishful thinking or would this be a better option of an overflow?



I've always found that using the most simple and robust system is the way to go here. We have buried concrete rings horizontally at the desired height for our overflow, which passes the excess water into our neighbour's pond(s), which in turn overspill into the creek. If you are concerned about water aeration, get a solar powered aerator that the fish farmers use - they're cheap and readily available.
 
pollinator
Posts: 552
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Thanks for the inspirational account of your adventures and experiments together in Thailand. You give some ideas on how I might essentially sponsor a family in the tropics to get started in Tropical Permaculture. Possibly sponsor a permaculture tree nursery somewhere. And a place to visit. Best wishes for your next adventure on the land.
 
See Hes
pollinator
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Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
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Update:

Finding a suitable plot of Land isn't easy but giving up is a non existing word in my vocabulary.

we are now chasing 5 weeks up and  down in Northeast Thailand Isaan area and have seen a lot, met a lot of people and put up a 3% commissioning fee as bounty.

Beside we visited a University where on the opposite side the students introduced smart farming. Showing them pictures about our backyard aquaponics made them stunning as we invested a way higher budget than the school did and my wife and I have been battered with questions.

On our way we made a stop by a carpenter who is specialized to break down old Thai houses made from hardwood and recycle this into new buildings.
I was over the moon how much bang for the buck you get...
Below houses were between 550.000 and 980.000 Thai Baht (equals 16.500 - 29.500 USD) incl. delivery and building.

The big advantage I could feel is that the houses were standing in the burning sun and still inside very comfortable cool.
Recycled hardwood from houses that are decades old is also safe against termites.
I fell in love instantly and might even throw my construction plans for my stone house in the bin getting one of these.

One was just in construction and unpainted and the Thais really have a eye for details plus using only spotless wood for the houses.

see yourself:

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master steward
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Those are gorgeous houses! I love that each one is a bit different, unlike the tendency for cookie-cutter houses in cities near me! I can understand you falling in love with one.

It's also a good reminder that most of us don't need as large a house as the housing and real estate industries try to convince us we need.
 
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See Hes wrote:Update:
Finding a suitable plot of Land isn't easy but giving up is a non existing word in my vocabulary.

Beside we visited a University where on the opposite side the students introduced smart farming. Showing them pictures about our backyard aquaponics made them stunning as we invested a way higher budget than the school did and my wife and I have been battered with questions.

On our way we made a stop by a carpenter who is specialized to break down old Thai houses made from hardwood and recycle this into new buildings.
I was over the moon how much bang for the buck you get...
Below houses were between 550.000 and 980.000 Thai Baht (equals 16.500 - 29.500 USD) incl. delivery and building.

The big advantage I could feel is that the houses were standing in the burning sun and still inside very comfortable cool.
Recycled hardwood from houses that are decades old is also safe against termites.
I fell in love instantly and might even throw my construction plans for my stone house in the bin getting one of these.

One was just in construction and unpainted and the Thais really have a eye for details plus using only spotless wood for the houses.



I'm floored! I wonder what deliver to south Taiwan would cost. Great find.
And, update to anyone following this project.

Earlier I wrote "unfortunately there's no Will here" and since then Will has informed me his Taiwan location is indeed "here" ... 2 or 3 miles from where I now sit writing this. And we're set up to meet in March. Small world. Thanks for writing, Will!
Thanks, permies!
 
See Hes
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A first success story beside Jane is literally my neighbor in Taiwan.

My wife and I didn't spare the rental Mitsubishi Pickup and took some rural roads looking out for signs that say Land for sale (ขายที่ดิน) which gives me the outermost struggle.
My wife is always multitasking giving love her new Sony Phone I brought her for X-mas from Taiwan
and as the Devil wants she always getting busy when such a sign pops up.

More than once I had to turn the car in these narrow roads around to ask if that sign means "Land For Sale"
Moaning is not appropriate in the Land of Smile so I smile and take it as a man and enjoy with a forensic smile how much she loves her X-mas present...

Then the sign came
I hit the brake pedal, threw an anchor out of the window and asked my wife once again (now having a little nap):

15 Rai = 24.000 sqm or 5.93 acre and I was close to just continue searching.
But one thing caught my eye was that it was surrounded by very small plots and also this Land had no access from the road.
We called the owner and he told he will buy a path to the land and his neighbors joined the chorus "if somebody buys this Land they will offer the small plots around to the same price what would grow the Plot to 40.000 sqm.
If not enough he is sure more would chuck their part in.
We found great listeners as my wife laid out how Aquaponics works and pigs do not smell when they are managed on rotational pastures..

Cross fingers, it was only the first day but because of the fact that the village eldest popped up and explained the advantages of Bio and what a Farang (Foreigner) could bring into the area he asked everyone to look what he could do to make us staying here.
Next Sunday is a Village gathering with BBQ food and drink (off cause the Farang invites)  and we will get all prices and plots that are for sale...
A Mushroom farmer and a Frog farmer would be my closest neighbors and they grew big ears as I said I will build a farm shop as well where community members are welcome to get a table for their produce..

I tried to get a round view in one picture but still think I should buy a Drone.. anyway, here you go.



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gardener
Posts: 1864
Location: Japan, zone 9a/b, annual rainfall 2550mm, avg temp 1.5-32 C
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See Hes wrote:
On our way we made a stop by a carpenter who is specialized to break down old Thai houses made from hardwood and recycle this into new buildings.
I was over the moon how much bang for the buck you get...
Below houses were between 550.000 and 980.000 Thai Baht (equals 16.500 - 29.500 USD) incl. delivery and building.



Wow. Just the wood would sell for 500-1000x that or more here.
 
Jason Manning
pollinator
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Location: Udon Thani, Thailand
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L. Johnson wrote:

See Hes wrote:
On our way we made a stop by a carpenter who is specialized to break down old Thai houses made from hardwood and recycle this into new buildings.
I was over the moon how much bang for the buck you get...
Below houses were between 550.000 and 980.000 Thai Baht (equals 16.500 - 29.500 USD) incl. delivery and building.



Wow. Just the wood would sell for 500-1000x that or more here.



The wood here in Thailand would sell for 30 to 40 thousand Thai baht. The markup on a finished house is huge going by the figures above.
 
L. Johnson
gardener
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Ah, I see now. I was confused by the decimal convention being used.
 
See Hes
pollinator
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Update:

The Land hunt has been completed after 1000's of Miles all across the Isaan area Northeast of Thailand.

The Yes goes to that small plot above mentioned:

The Land Deed is the best available
The soil Quality is one of the best in Thailand
Clay level is about 1.8m - 2m under the sandy surface
The Lake has water all year round
A small Town with a good Hospital is 4 Km away and the next big City only 40 Km
The price was negotiated down by my wife's family
Only 3 neighbors here in this "Village" (a mushroom farmer, a Frog farmer and a Charcoal maker who runs one underground oven of 1 cubic meter
Electric line right at the street
solid rural road
nice rectangular, wide enough that any pesticide sprayer on a halfway distance
...............too much to List

The Land deed will be handed over tomorrow already which is very fast for Thailand, but in such a low populated area people know each other and as we asked to make it a little snappy the Uncle and Aunt of my wife met just the right person there. (Funny, he was 20 years ago on my wedding Party)

Some pictures and then this post gets a bit rest.
First I need to fulfill a contract in Taiwan as I promised my client to return this year to (hopefully) complete his wind farm project.

And off cause meet with our member Jane Lewis for some "Permie" talks, bringing some knowledge to Taiwan and returning some knowledge to Thailand.

stay tuned!
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Jason Manning
pollinator
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Great news Will & See - well done! I can't wait for the house warming party invitation...
 
Jason Manning
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*cough*
 
See Hes
pollinator
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Hi all,

I am back on my job in Taiwan I spend my free time dreaming about what comes in October when I am done here.
Actually it's not a dream anymore and the last step to hit reality is, that my wife gets handed over the Land Deed (in Thailand called "Chanot")

This Winter vacation has brought us at least so close to our dream than never before that I am close to tears of happiness just by thinking of it and off cause full of excitement and impatience.
The time cannot run fast enough till I can step on the land and rig up a fence around, get the doggies from the other house and see them running, roaming through the area and digging holes wherever they like to do.
The Dog I rescued (see posts above) in Taiwan is meanwhile a little lady fully integrated by my two old boys and she is so playful and surprisingly both boys taking it as it is.

To calm a bit I made a first design on a topographical map I took from Google Earth and pushed all the features my wife and I want to have.

The Lake looks a bit huge but first negotiations have been done by my wife's auntie and she is good hope that the Land soon expands twice the size as more offers came in.

I know that here and there the laws of Permaculture are not followed but as I said, most of it will be a food jungle/Silvopasture with animals integrated and two islands are one for my wife who wants a cactus island and I want a spot with a BBQ area plus swimming with the snakes who definitely will claim this water body.

No worries, Father in Law has also a lake and we use to swim often in it. As soon you jump in the water the snakes go on safe distance.

Here the first drawing of our dream and any good or "corrective" comment is highly valued and appreciated....

Four Pictures I like to post here today:

The Land as whole
The Dyke (as northern German a must have, because building them is in our blood)
My wife's Desert Island
(Well, that is something we have not in Germany, so I am still researching what kind of edibles could come out there, beside 200 Cacti my wife seeded and repotted already for over three years...

Cheers Will (and also in name of my wife See)




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Jason Manning
pollinator
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Nice!

Reading the late King's writings on self-sustainability, he recommends that one third of the land is given over for water storage, so your lake/inland sea looks about right to me.

We have also put a lot of thought into enlarging the water storage areas in our large plot at Na Chum Saeng, but the water table is quite high (you can clearly see it slowly moving down the slope over the dry season) and the 1000+ trees we have planted there will do a good job of managing the water, so we have decided to leave them to it.

 
See Hes
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Jason Manning wrote:Nice!

Reading the late King's writings on self-sustainability, he recommends that one third of the land is given over for water storage, so your lake/inland sea looks about right to me.

We have also put a lot of thought into enlarging the water storage areas in our large plot at Na Chum Saeng, but the water table is quite high (you can clearly see it slowly moving down the slope over the dry season) and the 1000+ trees we have planted there will do a good job of managing the water, so we have decided to leave them to it.



Yes, that's where I found the advantages of Vetiver Grass and the size of Water Bodies to have in Thailand.
Our King had always a special interest to get the farmers more secured and came up with great guidelines.

My wife thought first the lake is too big but I found a source for young Arapaima gigas at 2500 THB the go, so the lake needs to be this size.
Beside they grow 1 Kilo per month, having a fantastic meat and steak, making great leather and the scales are expensive too,
they can grow way above 200 Kg, so space is required.

The only thing that makes me still thinking is that they survived for at least 23 million years and Caimans avoid them for a reason.
If you hook one he will not pull away, he will just speed up and ram you with full force.

I went 2004 to a fishing area in Venezuela and after a just about 80 Kg banged into me, hitting precisely my short ribs I walked for weeks in a 45 degree angle.

They recently entered the market and fetch a good price even I might just keep them as the rarity they are on their own.
 
See Hes
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The Timeline is getting closer and I hope the Land deed will be handed over in July.

Many of our fruit trees from all around the world starting bearing fruits even they are still in pots and waiting to get moved into our food forest.
And we seem to be on the right path.
Beside many neighbors stopping by and asking my wife for a freebie tree (no way she would give one of her babies away)
now also a totally unexpected "guest" tried to steal some sweet Surinam Cherries and Pomegranates.  

But as usual my two boys took their duties serious... I am stunned as I didn't expect to see Monkeys in Darkside Pattaya..
 
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Jason Manning
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I've got one of them!

 
See Hes
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A little feedback from another post here at permies.

https://permies.com/t/178371/Capybaras-alternative-pigs-niche-market

THE WHY?

My "long way to our dream in Thailand"  includes beside food security and a huge collection of (non invasive) fruit trees from all around the world off cause (non invasive) animals.
The same idea is that beside a few pigs, Fowls and goats also animals that are uncommon are included.

What happens with a food forest that has no animals roaming around?
It becomes one day a desert.
This is a proven fact since we humans managed to kill the big herds of grazing animals that were moving over the great plains.
Plants didn't turn into fertilizer and suffocated their own new growth, seeding and sprouting.
Who doesn't know Allan Savory? (if you want to know more)    

So one of my "big herds" will be Capybaras.
They love rough low nutrient grasses, stock up their Vitamin C which they are not able to produce themselves by fallen fruits
and the meat is fantastic.. (I had a few times Chiguiero in Venezuela)

Just a good add to the planned goats and few pigs,
Goats for pruning and keeping herbs at bay
Pigs for a bit destruction and digging billabongs
Fowls to reduce pests and seeds..

So Capybaras fit like a fist on the eye and they are a relatively untouched market.
Beside the trial to introduce this 75Kg animal into the white table cloth restaurants I have a plan B.
If nobody beside me wants to eat them they certainly keep my lake, the surroundings and my food forest clean.

In my other posts there are pros and cons and also people who think they are too lovely and too gentle to eat.

My answer is:
I am a natural born omnivore! My food has no names.

This means: everything that is not in 3 seconds escaped into the trees is edible for me.
If it even tastes good it will become a stable beside my veggies.

BUT as above mentioned, it can only become a staple when it fits in the system.

I can do a lot of gardening/pruning and digging by myself
or I chose the right animal in the right time on the right place to keep the vegetation intact.

Hence, Capybaras fit from lake to land. Some Jacks of all trade when it comes to what the others don't eat.

And the "overpopulation" I will take care off
(while focusing on combining old and new ways of food security)

My job is to be the predator who needs to take the balance in my hand.
I guess my wife wouldn't appreciate to safe the last Thai Tiger on my farmland...

Its a long way to my dream in Thailand but the first step is we bought the land.. (Done)

Now its learning how to mimic the nature as a whole:
eat and getting eaten without creating a desert either way by having too much or too less of all...

Imagine the last two sentences above, what a big book that must be.....
 
See Hes
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Update:

The land contracts are signed and for a farmer's girl with little school education my wife was running the show perfectly on her own.
I am still working in Taiwan till October.

In Germany we call it the "farmer's smartness" and she used it strategically to give some punches.

1st day:
she went to a man who owns a strip 30 meter between road and land which was for sale.
The owner of this strip is in a long year dispute with the seller.
My wife negotiated an access road for the land we want to buy, just 30 x 5 meter long.
She bought it and then she went to the land seller.

2nd day:
she offered the seller the price which the land is worth without access road.
Even showed a box with the cash money
The owner thought now she has an access road, so the price can increase.
The Bank meanwhile want to reclaim the Tractor of the son and parts of the land for an outstanding loan.

3rd day:
My wife denied the increased price and offered the access road for a 500% increased price..
further she offered to release all debts which would be around 125000 THB per Rai (=1600 sqm or 17222 sqft)
The Land owner went down from 190.000 to 150.000 THB per Rai and told he has some small private loans to cover as well.

4th day:
my wife said good bye and left the house with the cashbox
seconds later the deal was made and the contracts signed for 125000 THB per Rai and the owner, now without debts but no coin in the pocket for the small private loans offered another 3 Rai for the same price.

4th day in the afternoon:
A 2nd seller joined the round table and offered another 4 Rai but wanted 150000 per Rai.
My wife replied that this land is behind our Land, has no road access and because of our dangerous dogs we need to fence the land.
Furthermore she want to expand to the side, hence this Land offered is a backyard and not "sexy" enough for her to pay the price, despite we cannot allow to cross the land because of the fence, the nasty dogs and soil compaction involved.

Best guess in a few days she gets a call and 4 rai more are on her name....

Here the result of the deals and the targets we have to complete our retirement dream..
To avoid that my little wife loses her patience and spends too much, I will get her now for her well earned vacation to Taiwan and in October we will return, pretty sure that the 2nd seller is weakened enough to sell to the price we want.

The actual value in that area is around 300000 per Rai, if it has roadside access.. That access we have and won't sell it.



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Jason Manning
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Location: Udon Thani, Thailand
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Nicely done guys! The extra land is just the cherry on the pie - you still have a nice sized piece to get going with, and bought at a great price.
 
See Hes
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Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
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Update:

My wife signs today the Land deeds into her ownership.
That's the start for me in a new life, the end of the rat race and my retirement...

and for our tree collection I add a photo year 2020 and year 2022.
I would say: "Its just about time to relocate"

That we are hitting with our fruit trees the right tooth says picture Nr 2, (even many trees are not existing in Thailand)

IMG-20200618-WA0007.jpg
just about time to relocate
just about time to relocate
IMG-20220518-WA0007.jpg
First "locals" accepted the foreign fruits already
First "locals" accepted the foreign fruits already
 
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Posts: 521
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
203
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Last Update till the dream starts.

How do we, (my wife, myself, my Thai "brother" and our house maid) tackle it?

For me:
26 days to go here in Taiwan on the wind farm project, then I have my well deserved winter break in Thailand.

My wife and house maid prepared the relocation from Pattaya to Ban Mak Ya in Northeast Thailand (Isaan area)

Picture 1)
We first rent a house just about 2 Kilometers from our Land.
In Pattaya the house was 22.000 THB/month and this house with twice as much Land around and double as big is 3000 THB/month.

Picture 2)
This project season I chatted every evening after work with my wife and we put all ideas on paper.  
I made a topographical map at first...

Picture 3)
Then we filled in the tree nursery and set the aquaponics systems behind all. In approx. 5 years we will start that one but trees from all around the world in a pot in pot system nursery became priority.
Also the spots for the house and workshop have been pointed out.
Plus we will build a little house for our house maid and her family as they can't afford it on their own, sure its just a little thank you for the 15 years she is with us.

(Picture 4)
This year was finally a rain season that battered many and brought some farms to the limits. My wife used much time to see what happened on our turf in blasting thunderstorms.
As she had gathered many info we could finally speaking through a water management system...

AND I SAID ABOVE LAST UPDATE:

I will close this thread as the preparation and learning time and will open another tread called:

The long way to our dream in Thailand, Part 2. The real life comes.



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Lovely house for under 100 USD per month
Lovely house for under 100 USD per month
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Topographical map before the rain season and check if it works out
Topographical map before the rain season and check if it works out
Nursery-set-up..png
The pot in pot nursery became priority before aquaponics
The pot in pot nursery became priority before aquaponics
Capture-Ban-Mak-Ya-Elevation-Drawing.png
Soil from the lake creates a "hilly" landscape we dreamed about
Soil from the lake creates a "hilly" landscape we dreamed about
 
The moth suit and wings road is much more exciting than taxes. Or this tiny ad:
full time farm crew job w/ housing
https://permies.com/t/178213/jobs-offered/experiences/full-time-farm-crew-member
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