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The long way to our dream in Thailand, Part 2

 
pollinator
Posts: 521
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
203
forest garden fish plumbing chicken pig
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After stocking the fish the weather gods do us proud..
Some pictures from yesterday:

2 days of rain brought a significant add of water

Our Marula Trees (Sclerocarya birrea, common in Africa but not in Thailand) seem to enjoy their spot..

I found after log chase a dealer who sells monoecious (male femwle flowers on the same plant) Salak seeds.
This could be a good hedgerow but when the seeds cost 2 USD and the borders of the Land are 1 Kilometer (plus)?
So we checked in and around Thailand for a fruit supplier who has exactly this breed.
Funny, the fruits are about 2.50 USD per Kilo...  

IMG-20230703-WA0004.jpg
50 cm more water in the lake
50 cm more water in the lake
IMG-20230703-WA0001.jpg
Marula
Marula
IMG-20230703-WA0000.jpg
Marula row
Marula row
IMG-20230702-WA0003.jpg
2 seeds per fruit makes it about 350 fruits to eat or 17 Kilo - LOL
2 seeds per fruit makes it about 350 fruits to eat or 17 Kilo - LOL
 
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pollinator
Posts: 521
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
203
forest garden fish plumbing chicken pig
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Greed is everywhere and when some people small a coin they risk without thinking.

Once we bought the land and made it our permaculture food forest and paradise, we certainly were interested to buy the surroundings.
Hence, BBQ on , beer well stocked, meet and greet Neigbors and VIPs from Police to Village Major and Eldest and all agreed we really upgrade the entire community with this little Paradise...

Last month our neigbor came for a beer and started pretty ashamed:
Uncle must know that Mrs "K" (lets call her "biach") want to create monkey business with the owner of the below (south side) 1.5 acre.
She bought it from the owner and expects, that Uncle = me, pay two times more, and she spoke very arrogant, because she is rich... (considering rich = she had 500.000 Baht liquid which equals 14500 USD)

She took a loan at the bank and dug a lake (because we have made a big lake on our land..)

As usual she walked over our path to her land and the day came, she popped up by my wife and offered the Land for triple the price she paid.

My friends and my wife took her out in minutes:

1st it has a lake hence we have no interest, we need more soil which is now obviously disturbed big times..
2nd the price is way too high, so we must admid we have no interest in more wetland
3rd the land has no access despite you are tresspassing our land right beside the chicken paddocks, which we cannot tolerate.
You could carry swine fever or something else from outside in LOL.

Her response:
I can always walk over the east neighbor's Land.. He won't dare to ban me to do so..

My wife made a call to this neighbor and after 10 minutes he was at our Land, helped himself for a beer and sat down.
Then he passed a paper to my wife and said: We have a deal, 450000 Baht, all yours.
I love online transfer..

So my wife banned her instandly from our new bought land to the amusement of all bystanders
(meanwhile it was beer for all because buying land is worth a celebration)

The westside neighbor told then he might consider to sell before the 5 years renting contract (we have) is over..
This made the little "biach" turning pale and she asked a few time if we really rented the land.
Whereon my wife responded that we will buy it if for sale.

Biach was bottomless, completely shocked and was asking my wife where she gets all the cash from.  

All her savings from her former Bar lady life in Pattaya, are in the Land behind us and since we have all the dry access to it, she can only wade through rice fields to it..  

She yelled at my wife, that nobody can make so much money and just buy every Land around and beside building a paradise and 3 houses for all..

The only response from ky wife was "OK"
This was the point "biach" left and stomped back to her scooter...

Well, enjoy the monthly payment on the loan "biach" I will be there when the bank takes it from you!

Below picture is the last frontline..
Quite enjoyable and I must say I have a lot of lovely neighbors ...well except one who has to wade though muddy ricefields to reack her turf..



Capture-3rd.png
Surrounded but not surrendered - her bank will call me when the loan is blown up...
Surrounded but not surrendered - her bank will call me when the loan is blown up...
 
See Hes
pollinator
Posts: 521
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
203
forest garden fish plumbing chicken pig
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We knowingly created a desert, as we converted the rice fields (monoculture) into our food forest and planted the upper canopy layer of fruit trees from all around the world.

Since the local grasses and weeds return and mix with our seeded pinto peanuts (Arachis pintoi),  hence build a first ground cover it's time to start the next step by following the steps of redeserfication, after the guidelines from Dr Allan Savoy.  

The wandering herds of animals...

In our case less dramatically as we have only about 28000 sqm to do..
The first animals are some chickens - good old fashion Heritage breeds.  
Around 28 Paddocks will all in steps of two per week created and the Chicken will move on...

Since I could not persuade my wife for a classic egg bird we splitted our dream;
The beauty for her and the efficiency for myself..
She got 15 Brahmas and I got 20 Plymouth Rocks..

Most will be kept as true breeds but some as before will be crossbred with Thai Fighting Chicken against the snakes and more heat resistant birds.
We were Lucky as people gave up their chickens for better income like Turkeys and Geese..
I need animal workers and so the price was a real bargain...

Here our new Members...

covered.jpg
Brahmas, for some the King of Chickens - For me Veloceraptors booted out of the Fitnessclub
Brahmas, for some the King of Chickens - For me Veloceraptors booted out of the Fitnessclub
347265589_226280790281690_7025469189693245380_n.jpg
They established themselfes very well after 700 Kilometers travel
They established themselfes very well after 700 Kilometers travel
IMG-20230706-WA0016.jpg
Plymouth Rock chickens
Plymouth Rock chickens
IMG-20230706-WA0000.jpg
Also no problems with the relocation...
Also no problems with the relocation...
 
See Hes
pollinator
Posts: 521
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
203
forest garden fish plumbing chicken pig
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Despite people call it the year of El Nino, the weather Gods blessed us with an abundance of rain and the planted rice does well.

We have about 2 acres planted which we share with our families.

One small plot is more tight seeded and the little plants get now pulled and set into the main fields, where gaps are left. (not germinated, eaten by brids and rodents..)

We do all traditionally by hand and leave chemicals out.
Even we might share around 20% of the harvest will all critters and birds we expect around 2.5 MT for ourselves.

We are real life friends and so we share equally and even whilst working hard, you will hear talking, joking and laughing throughout the day. That is why Thailand is called the Land of smile...

Beside the rice re-planting also chop and drop never stops.
The Vetiver Grass is due to cut and will soon be new fertile soil all over the land.

It is like with "new harvest" potatoes, you cannot beat the taste of new harvested rice...
But still keep in mind to eat every grain on your plate and respect the farmer who puts so much love and work into it....
361090960_6247574608688362_7755215333325169302_n.jpg
My wife and Nok (Bird) the wife of Sang and Jan (Jane) pulling the little plants
My wife and Nok (Bird) the wife of Sang and Jan (Jane) pulling the little plants
358747506_6247575078688315_7176141309043708853_n.jpg
 a continous supply of bundles gets placed to carry them to the main fields
a continous supply of bundles gets placed to carry them to the main fields
359160497_6247575172021639_861789988998751630_n.jpg
Jan our housemaid is always part of any job, from cooking, cleaning, watering, feeding animals, and helping wherever a hand is needed
Jan our housemaid is always part of any job, from cooking, cleaning, watering, feeding animals, and helping wherever a hand is needed
359210257_6247600238685799_7694366787327840468_n.jpg
Sang is stuffing the gaps for a max harvest and never gets tired
Sang is stuffing the gaps for a max harvest and never gets tired
358084427_6247600872019069_332208360034565949_n.jpg
the same counts for Ot, who starts early in the morning and stops at sunset. (or at beer o'clock)
the same counts for Ot, who starts early in the morning and stops at sunset. (or at beer o'clock)
 
See Hes
pollinator
Posts: 521
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
203
forest garden fish plumbing chicken pig
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Update,

3 years grow and breeding test started in Pattaya, moved last winter to our Land and completed yesterday with a harvester design test.
Looking back the 3 years this project was one of the more cheap (if not the cheapest) design tests.

After a long discussion with our farm gang incl house maid and wife about the fact that I am the earner for all and I need to stop now working offshore projects and reap my fruits from the money I made and spent into our permaculture food forest and features.
C'mon guys and gals.
My day rate is above a 2-3 month average income of a Thai. They do the labor, they are my best friends, my family and they make all exactly according to our dream this thread is about.
What can I do to thank them back? Throwing dirty money on the table.

So today the test was completed and I left after the online alignment call an eixited, proud from success and cheering crowd.
I approved the Buget to scrap the testsystem and build the real system.

What test you may ask: Humble Grasshoppers...

The actual market price for Grasshoppers are 500 Baht = 14.20 USD per Kilo. For Grasshopper Farmers or as Caviar the eggs hit the 285 USD marker per Kilo.

As usual Thais farming them the old style. Box-Curtain-Grass = sale = uncontrolled management and unsafe praxis.

As an engineer with farmer's background I am lazy or I would call it efficient:

The Box need to be able to let them grow out but also automatically reproduce.
The advantage is with Grasshoppers that they are robust but the disadvantage is that the hatching rate from egg to nymph takes 10 month.

This had to be controlled and put into a schedule with continous production.

The test system (see pictures and spot the different sizes/ages) has proven it works and now the farm gang gets the budget for a 300 sqm production unit.

3 steps which are already known in the Black Soldier Fly production could here after some modifications implemented

BSF grubs are self harvesting and the Grasshoppers have not this properties so we made a Box, fit for all sizes and built a "Queen Excluder" where the hunger (the big ones need a 2 days purging before sale anyway) drives the nymphs back into the farm unit.

What will not be sold safes on chicken and fish food
The Frass produced is an equal fertilizer than BSF frass are promising side effects...





Grasshopper-Farm.png
Measurements are taken out..
Measurements are taken out..
IMG-20230809-WA0014.jpg
All sizes are available within 1 month
All sizes are available within 1 month
IMG-20230809-WA0015.jpg
In total 15 cyclings have been completed to make sure it works on small scale
In total 15 cyclings have been completed to make sure it works on small scale
 
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pollinator
Posts: 521
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
203
forest garden fish plumbing chicken pig
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It takes quite a while untill Google maps and earth updates the sattelite view but it is always exciting when it happens and the picture has changed.
Google earth is such a useful tool for designing your landscape and making plans like a topographical map to level long distance swales and bigger lakes..

Also you can pin you KML file public which supports your business for free...

Home sweet home ;-)

https://earth.google.com/web/@16.43828859,103.08558819,182.04959434a,686.22122387d,30.00000043y,0h,0t,0r

The picture was made around may after the first rainfall.
We rented the surrounding rice fields as the neighbor told us they will boykott the rice price and not grow anything.

I connected pipes to the rice fields and guided the rainwater off, to our lake with the result, that the surrounding lakes are just filled half and our lake is full..
El nino tricked LOL..

The negotiations for the land strip on the right are completed and since its a flood plain or canal we will deepen them a little and create 5 Crayfish ponds...
Land-Updated-with-Borders.png
The strip with the 5 crayfish ponds added
The strip with the 5 crayfish ponds added
 
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pollinator
Posts: 521
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
203
forest garden fish plumbing chicken pig
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A few photos as update

In times of el nino the idea renting all rice fields in the surroundings and guide the water to the lake pays well.
The lake is almost full to the brim.

Our farmgang checked by casting a net out, how the fish is developing.

Since we bought the 'strip' of about 1.5 acres we are ready to start the fence at the east side.

The department for Fisheries gave us the permit to grow Red Claw Crayfish but due to the surrounding rice fields and the fact that Red Claws are invasive, we got obliged to surround our land with a minimum 30 cm barrier.

Fair enough and to please the officials I decided make it 60 cm.
From outside against stray dogs, rats and local "thieving gourmets" the electric wire fence has been designed that even a Cobra or Boa will turn around after getting a good Zap.

It also was successful to keep chickens and goats in and 30 cm wall as required will be trouble with every grass leaf creating short circuit plus it looks somehow not so nice, hence we go for 60 cm...




20230910_071223.jpg
our lake from the east side seen
our lake from the east side seen
20230910_071630.jpg
our lake from the south - west side seen
our lake from the south - west side seen
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south west again
south west again
Mud-carps-after-3-month.jpg
Mud Carps after 3 month 1.5 lbs and 0.9 lbs
Mud Carps after 3 month 1.5 lbs and 0.9 lbs
Fence.png
Fance holds back, Snakes, Rats, stray Dogs, Locals and keeps in Chickens, Goats.... 1 year tests prove it.
Outer Fence holds back, Snakes, Rats, stray Dogs, Locals and keeps in Chickens, Goats.... 1 year tests prove it.
Electric-Fence-Wire-Heights.jpg
[Thumbnail for Electric-Fence-Wire-Heights.jpg]
The inner fence will be fed by a 12 joule
 
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pollinator
Posts: 521
Location: Ban Mak Ya Thailand Zone 11-12
203
forest garden fish plumbing chicken pig
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Update.

As a passionated collector I sometimes overspend when it comes to a "want to have tree" for my collection.

And so is it with Theobroma grandiflorum or in Latin America also Cupuacu called.

Knowing that these seeds have a viability for days and not weeks I ordered from former works colleagues and fellow collectors seeds again and again just to watch the fail.
After spent more than 500 USD in the past years our housemaid contacted a friends who is as housemaid working in Malaysia.
The luck brought us to a family member of her who brought seed pots home after a visit and successfully raised about 50 small trees.

After a bit of begging and a gentle donation he was willing to let go 4 saplings...

happy days ahead...

Now I need only to find somebody who got hands on Bellota excelsior or Para Nut Pods in South America and has the time to send me some fresh fallen pods... I am chasing them already for more than 5 years...
IMG-20230819-WA.jpg
Theobroma grandiflorum - cupuachu
Theobroma grandiflorum - cupuachu
 
If you are using a wood chipper, you are doing it wrong. Even on this tiny ad:
Our perennial nursery has sprouted!
https://permies.com/t/174246
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