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Down On The "farm" Today

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Honestly one of the best threads I've ever read on TV. I'm not a farmer by any stretch of the imagination but really enjoying this. Keep it up guys :o

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Keep reading Judas, im sure there is more to come, It is a nice thread without any contradictions and will run for a long time as such,,

Jandtaa and Dr Treelove were/are lucky to have protoges, i unfortunatley am stuck with Mr Poo, hes about 50yo, and a bit stuck in his ways, even though ive threatened to put his spray gun where the sun doesnt shine!!

Un-beknown to me the mrs told Poo to clean the weeds out of the makua, DOH!!!! i told mrs that i wanted to pull up all the weeds after a couple of storms, compost them to add nitrogen and kill the seeds ect, what Poo had done is hoed them all and then stacked them round the base of the makua plants, so we all know what will happen when it rains!!

Todays visit was for investigative purposes only, it was 42c when i left home at 2.30pm, far too hot for work, [for me anyway] first visit was the kanoon tree, 1 of the fruits is expanding from the inside out nicely, white places are appearing in the green thorny skin, this one will weigh about 11 kilo, the biggest one about 17kilo is still green all over, god knows how much it will weigh when its ready, best was 2 years ago, 19kilo, that was from another tree that got struck by ligthning last year, but its bearing fruit again, I then tieded up a compost heap, and the red wrigglers are back! i must post a pic of these soon, perhaps its the recent adtion of kitchen waste made them return or the departing of the rhino bettle larvae?

Quick walk through the banana plantations found one plant with yellowing nanas so took that home and called the banana buyer, i reckon about 350 hands to go tomorrow, and onto the Lychee trees, only 3, but two are covered with fruit, [pics soon] i got a bucket and scissors and started cutting sprigs off, but there was no way i could keep the red ants off me, in my hair,up my legs,down my shirt, nipping at me, where is Mr Poo?? :o

I also took 2 green mangoes home to make some more hot mango pickle, really nice and natural!

Cheers, Lickey..

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Nice ones Drtreelove and Lickey,

Judas, you have good taste. This thread sort of reminds me of "Jack Hargreaves" but in Thailand. Sorry the name will mean nothing unless you are a 50 + year old Brit. I loved "Out of Town" when I was a boy.


I wish that i had something to contribute to this thread, but nothing much happens in my little kitchen garden. Especially now as it's so hot in the day. I just basically go early morning, make sure it's well watered and pull a few weeds, but even then I'm soaked in sweat in no time.

We had a goodly drop of rain last night and it always amazes me the difference that makes. Just makes the garden look so much brighter and healthier. Mind you, soon there will be too much of it!

Keep the stories coming people. They brighten everyones day :o

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Hi Loong, what a loveley old boy Jack Hargreaves is, i never saw the TV series, perhaps it was regional? Dad had the sheep sheares in his garage/workshop, used to use them for cutting brass shim paper for building upbearing surfaces,worn UJ cup holders ect..

Onto today, Mrs Me and Mr Poo braved the red ants in the lychee trees, in 40 mins we picked 28kilos, ive never seen Mr Poo work so quick, we were all bitten all over,My job was to hold the basket while Mrs & Poo cut off the sprigs, i thought it was safe for me, but the ants decided otherwise, they were out of the basket and up my arms in seconds, so that was one tree all around within arms reach, in a few days after we sell these, mrs told Poo to bring his bamboo ladder and get into the top, i really think he might have a bad back for a week or two to avoid this,

Then we we went to the Kanoon tree, [this should make you laugh] Mrs & Poo studied the fruits, and in the end mrs decided to take the big one, Poo is saying no, its not ready!! Mrs says yes, it will be ready in a few days at home, Poo looks at me and waves his hand across his throat, saying, no no, no good!theres more thai chat, Poo is saying wait till hot sun, ants sleep, mrs is saying, so will you! and she went off to fetch some cord to lower the fruit to the ground, [15ft high] gives the cord to poo who goes to the tree base, he gives me a look like hes wiping his bum and the paper splits, i really feel sorry for him, before he even gets to the Kanoon the red ants are up his legs and biting,, he ties the cord around the stem, chops the stem and lowers it to the ground, hes down the tree and runs of about 20mtrs shouting and swearing in Thai, mrs was laughing, she said hes got 200 ants on his coconuts, and not happy!! poor bugger,

We put all the stuff in the motorbike trailer and Poo brought it home for us, 1 kilomtre, after he left, i asked mrs how much you give Poo,40bht she said, so i bought 2 bottles of Leo and took to him, he really deserved it poor sod..

Heres a few pics of todays endeavours,

The lychees, Poo up the kanoon tree, the 19.5 kilo kanoon [best before was 19 kilo] and this evenings sunset, not a bad day really,

Sometimes Loong, i wish i had a kitchen garden, but with days like this, 40 rai has its moments,Bananas, tomorrow, buyer ladies pick-up blew its radiator,

Cheers all, Lickey..








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Hi Jandtaa,

Lovely story. I just finished building my house on my 20 rai and have got some raised beds just like yours that I wanted to plant fertilizing stuff to dig in later. Noticed your pictures of the green manure seed mix. Where do you get it from? Do you have to mix it up yourself? Be very kind if I could have some details as I'm a novice.

PS My hous is in Nakhon Nayok.



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Hi folks,

Well it's been a while !! I've been flat out at work since my return to the UK, what with the Easter Hols and covering for the head chef whilst he takes some hard earned leave, coupled with a busy sowing and planting schedule in the kitchen garden I've had very little time to peruse TV forum.

 Today's been a rare day off and after a spell of really good weather it's peeing it down !! bloody typical !! Oh well gives me a chance to catch up with you guys.

 Great to read some of the anecdotes and stories in this thread !! Great stuff :D !

Don you must be really proud that you made such a difference to the young Indian lad's life.

 Lickey, good to hear everything is well on the farm and that Mr. Poo is keeping you busy and the rest of us entertained !! I have a mental image of the guy as a Thai farming version of the hapless Manuel from "fawlty towers"... "but mr. Lickey ees no ready yes !?!" :o  

TT cheers for bumping the thread ! I agree it deserves a few stars maybe you could suggest it in the forum support topic ?

 Loong don't remember JH myself although my father has fond memories :D ! Apparently enjoyed his fishing programme and one called "farm progress".

Nickcar, yes I mixed the green manure seed myself from a variety of sources check out this link for some really good info from the members. green manure pinned thread

 Glad everyone is enjoying reading this thread, great to see some non-farmers tuning in :D !!

 I now have nearly a thousand lettuce in various stages of development and too many other veg to mention sown up. Busy time in the community with lambing starting last week, my neighbours ewes are due to lamb this week so might need to give him a hand as many of the lads are reporting problems with births due to big lambs this spring.I'll leave you with a photo of some of the lettuce growing on staging in the polytunnel.

 cheers for now J


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Some really good looking lettuce there Jandtaa, wish i could do the same here, one of my favorite dishes is prawn cocktail, in this heat i dont need a big spicy meal like thais eat 3 times a day, weve had a bit of rain and 2 big storms, and looking at the Tamarind trees today, the flowers were unphased by this and look good,

A few days ago, a young lady came to the salon, she was selling hydroponic salad veg, and she guaranted no chems, i have to say, [looks like spinach] steamed this for 1 min, ate with some poached fish, and it really was good, she has invited us to go to her farm [with cam] and have a look round, will do this in the next few days and post some pics,

So the lychee are nearly all picked and sold, i think 70kilo from 2 trees, Mr Poo is happy with this! Kanoon, the 19.5 kilo sold all in 3 days, but near another 30 fruits on tree, Poo not to happy with this, because of his friends [red ants] Mango, still have lots in the 10 trees, so im busy making chutneys and pickles,

Today, Poo has been broadcasting the pigeon peas, without soaking for a few hours, he tells Mrs he can smell rain coming tomorrow, me? i also have a good "nose" for rain, and after a long motorbike career, i have had many broken bones that ache before the rain starts, So Manuel [Fawlty Towers] versus Inspector Dreyfus, [Pink panther films] if he is right, the nervous giggle and twitch will occur im sure, if he is wrong, then he can water 6rai with a hosepipe!!

Best wishes all, Lickey.

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Methinks Mr Poo is in for a hard day tomorrow.......as I write this, it's just started to rain here?? Maybe Mr Poo's nose needs more respect.

For forecasts I go here: http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/48431.html

I like their format (percentage rain predictions) and normally very accurate. Tonight's chance of rain was 20%.


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Mr Poo is out with the hose tomorrow! the clouds skirted Namsom again,there were only light winds, it needs a good wind here for a storm to penetrate the mountains surrounding Namsom,If i can see the temple across the road [50mts] its not raining, if i cant see the temple, its raining big time,

Yes TT, ive looked at all the possible weather-web sites for this area, they all show cloud ect, but the mountains rule the winds, so the bore pump is still going at night.

Todays temp was 39c in the shade at 1pm and now 12.15am 33c, so once the gout clears up in my ankle i will be doing a rain dance,, could be a long dance though, it doesnt usally start here till mid May...

Cheers, Lickey.

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Hi Lickey great stuff

While I'm just starting out you're reaping the rewards of your hard work !!Glad you're overloading the Wave in true Thai style !!

This morning "Ton" couldn't wait for me to get started and came to the house looking for me !! Talk about keen !!

we've now planted up some banana and papaya, a pineapple I've had growing in a tub, a salee and a couple of som-o that I've grown from seed as well as lemon grass and some galangal. The missus has a long list of planting material that I'm after and is going to keep her eye out at the local nurseries and up in the city where she will be working whilst I'm in the UK. Her sister who is also keen on growing is gonna keep an eye out on the plot and plant some bits and bobs (she's propagating some cha-om at the moment ) in return for the use of a bit of the land to grow some veg .

And young "Ton" is gonna be my waterer until the rainy season arrives !!

So although its only a small start it is progress and hopefully left in safe hands !!

I start my journey back to the UK tomorrow so will catch up with you all in about a weeks time

Cheers for now guys J

Hi J

Great reading and good on you to bring the young kid on board, looks like your soil is very dry and hard, similar to what we had a few years back, takes some time though. in Sarabui all the kids want to do is steal to play cards, or go to town to do drugs

great to read your colums, keep them coming.



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Gardening as therapy

And the biointensive method


I'm a tree surgeon by trade, and big tree technical rigging climber; but the intense physical work took its toll on my body over the years, plus a mountain bike accident last year, sent me to the surgeons for total knee replacements, wrist and shoulder rebuilds. So with my interest in organic gardening , I've incorporated some down to earth, hobby gardening in my rehabilitation program.

In the mid 1970's I was fortunate to spend some time working at a Biodynamic-French Intensive research garden with John Jeavons, the author of the classic book How To Grow More Vegetables… mentioned in the Wikipedia article that I have attached to this post. There I learned the basics of this interesting and productive system.

I've had different garden plots at various residences over the years, but this week I have started building a biointensive bed at my home near Chiang Mai. I'm not an expert, but I'll take you along as best I can if you're interested. Comments and contributions from those who may know more are welcome.

I don't have a lot of space where I am now, but decided to put my first bed in between some young fruit trees that my landlord over-planted. Eventually the trees will grow up and shade out the garden, but even if I have to abandon this spot, will get two or three years of veggies out of it and the improved soil will benefit the trees and their expanding root systems.

Biointensive planting beds, like any garden, are better growing grounds as time goes on, and the cumulative effects of soil fertility enhancement are realized. I may lose that long term benefit because of the situation with the trees, but any vegetable garden is better than none; and I need the exercise to suplement my cycling, swimming, weight training and hiking program.

I started by laying out a 20 foot long by 5 foot wide bed, giving 100 square feet of growing space. The 5 foot width allows me to reach the center of the bed from each side, for planting and weeding operations, so I don't have to tromp on the soil and create compaction. I spread about a cubic meter of sand to incorporate into the heavy clay soil, to improve the soil structure. I added some dolomite to begin to correct an acidic soil condition. I have a mature compost heap that I will turn out and incorporate into the planting bed this week.

Attached: My step-daughter Apple came out to see what I was doing, so I had her rake out the sand and dolomite. My composting article, with pics.

OK I have to go and buy some seeds to start some vegetable plants. Soon I'll do the double digging method that is fundamental to the biodynamic-french intensive system. That will give me the workout I need. And that's just for starters, we have a farm in the family in Mae Taeng, where I hope to convert some of the existing conventional row planting into biointensive beds. That'll keep me busy, and healthy. don



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Hi Dr Don, i have much the same issues as you regarding health, but not so bad, just permenant back ache caused by protruding discs, I could relax all day here, but no point in that, makes things worse!!

Those trees/shrubs bodering you new bed, could you not prune them and start a new long-term compost heap? therefore keeping your new bed longer and also compost yearly to dig in for better soil, Im very new to organic [any type of soil farming] and its a real pleasure to read and digest all organic posts.

Here in Namsom, its just started to rain big time, 2 days now and every 3 hours a real big fundork, big lightning strikes all round the mountains, managed to get 3 more Kanoons, 16 kilo,14 kilo and 9 kilo yesterday in the storm break, seems the red ants [and Mr poo] have gone to ground, i dont blame him, the mossies are in their element now.

The banana buyer came today, arranged to meet on farm at 12 miday, it started raining at 12 and stopped at 2pm, same time we finished, talk about Drowned on the Farm today!!!

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Busy today in the garden with some seedlings. My wife bought a roll of mozzie netting and made 'tents' for young trees to prevent bug attack. She got the idea from from a local orchard where the same with decent size trees. Besides preventing attack, it provides some shade and protection from rain.

Is anyone else familiar with these tents?

The bamboo stakes come are from our property. The same bamboo was used to make the trolley, which is now about 12 months old. It's extremely light and strong. I've load around 250kgs without a problem.

Before putting the tents up I throw down a layer of compost/manure and then put some coco mats as a mulch, these mats come from old mattresses.




Edited by Smithson

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Hi Smithson, That tent looks very much like a smaller version the local hydroponics lady has, hers has a thick plastic sheet in the top to stop the worsrt of the rain, the side sheets are a very fine mesh, but does allow airborne moisture through,i forgot to take my cam but will visit again soon,

I like your bamboo trolley, can you tow it behind a honda wave? is it stable or subject to speed wobbles?

So, onto the farm, well, Mrs cant get tongue roud the word umbrella, so we call it a mushroom, and theres plenty of mushroom motorbikes now, it pisses down every day now, and i pick my moments to go to the farm,

The Kanoon [jackfruit,breadfruit whatever you want to call it] is still going strong, we take 3 fruits a day, once they let of a distintive aroma, they are ready to open, this really is a messy job, the center of the fruit is full of a very sticky latex, if you have to do this, put plastic bags on your hands, and if some still gets through, wash hands in cooking oil. Mrs sold 16 kilos before i woke at 9.30am, 15bht kilo.

Bamboo, we have 2 different species, one that never grows over 1 inch in dia, the other grows to 1.5 in dia, the smaller 1 started new shoots, mrs broke them off and boiled till tender, wow, so delicious with mango chutney, [home made]

Then a quick walk through the banana plantations, cutting a few ready looking bunches, for sale at the salon, they are in the gas bin tonight, yellow in 24 hours, Next is check the Makua, lots of white, a few green ones, this is always last job because there is something on the plants that makes our skin itch!!

Dawn & dusk mossies? i wish!! they are here all day, specially now its raining a lot, I wanted to dig some more of the trench to bury coconut husks and rotting wood, banana culms and leaves, but the insects trying to get into my eyes and the mossies made me feel about as welcome as Gary Glitter at a Nativety play, so i will get the full Thai farmers slow cooker hat and clothes soon,

Cheers, Lickey..

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