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Hi, just back from a trip trying to locate organic producers in the North of Thailand and encountered a surprising explanation from a farmer of what 'Chemical Free' stands for or means

I was told, to my big surprise, that although the words 'chemical free' are used a lot in references to organic farming in Thailand, that actually the practice means that towards the end of the harvest they stop using chemicals, the period before harvest changes and is dependent kind of chemical and/or kind of vegetable/fruit

This of course is very worrying as the choice of words makes one believe that no chemicals are used at all

Looking forward to hear from you all out there on what your take on this is, i.e. is this correct or am I informed incorrectly

Martin Smetsers

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From what I have observed, you have probably stumbled on the real "truth in advertising" sellers/growers style.

This is the mans interpretation of being able to advertise organic products and he feels he is being correct and honest (which it sounds like he was to you) Unless I know the producer personally or have observed their practices, unnoticed, I take the word organically grown with the proverbial 'grain of salt'

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"Certified" organic is the key to finding what is truly organic. If a farm is "certified" then there is some organization that has certified that the farm has met international criteria AND has gone through the three year period it takes to become certified. In the days of old you could be chemical free (truly none, zero for one year) for a year and be certified. If the aphids hit you really hard one year you would bring out the chems kill them off sell your stuff to the non-organic market and then reapply for your certification again and wait your year and again would be certified. You can see why this had to be changed and was. So now it's three years to be certified and in Thailand it is rather difficult to do so in many instances. In Buriram their is noone that can certify our farm as the provincial dept of Ag has no method to do this. The next province over in Surin they have a very good certification proceedure that makes future members go to two weeks of intensive training and education to start their certification process and then there is annual required continuing education to stay certified with their orgnization. This is for rice only as I understand it and they won't let us join for their reasons which are legitimate.

Chemical free means nothing or maybe means what it says. It is chemical free for some period of time, an hour, a day, a week but in reality maybe never have been. The only way to get your best chance to find food truly "chemical free" is to try to find "certified" organic farm produce and then investigate each and every farm that you wish to buy from (at least in Thailand).

What may be even more relevant in the broader scope of things is to look at the term "sustainable". Many organizations will now not cetify growers if they are not sustainable,. In other words you can't buy an old plot of land that has never been farmed before (no residual chems) and plant casava on it for six years and destroy the soil by not amending it and get three years of certified organic production. With this example you can see hhow organic may not just mean chem free but chem free for a minumum of three years and sustainable methods that improve the soil and make it better than it was when it was first put into the process of getting its organic certification.

Hope this was helpful and managed to touch the tip of the iceberg that is the world of farming organically and sustainably. Fords Farming Forever

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Organic food is grown without using chemical fertiliser like Nitrogen etc. They often replace the chemical fertiliser with raw human sewage so your fresh, organic veg has spent lots of its time in the field getting sprayed with sh@t.

Personally I'll stick to some nice " Clean " chemicals ;)

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Organic food is grown without using chemical fertiliser like Nitrogen etc. They often replace the chemical fertiliser with raw human sewage so your fresh, organic veg has spent lots of its time in the field getting sprayed with sh@t.

Personally I'll stick to some nice " Clean " chemicals ;)

ha ha ha you are a funny guy but a typical response from someone that is eating just what he needs. Good luck in your eloquent and enlightened world. Just for clarification as I'm sure you know, nitrogen is not a chemical it is an element. ha ha ha a yukka yuk yuk yuk Foolish Forever but not on a Ford

Edited by Foreverford

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Hello All, this may give some info on food labels in LOS.

From the other Eng paper, today.

"Get picky with logos"

post-37242-0-20739500-1300107653_thumb.j

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Hello All, this may give some info on food labels in LOS.

From the other Eng paper, today.

"Get picky with logos"

I assume the "Nation" and the wife says these are all government backed labels. Could someone help me with this so nothing is lost in the translation. Good on you fiver. Five Five Five and Fords Forever

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Hello Ff, TV didn't want people posting links to the BP when they went with the Nation.

"Get picky with loges" is the article title.

If it was the Nation or other news source, I would have posted the link.

I don't know if the BP policy has changed on TV?????

rice555

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jsut reiterate without quoting anyone, no direct quoting, or pm the info....

so maybe one of u can find me info IN THAI about organic growing/sustainable farming, eco farming, i have tons of stuff in hebrew and english since its beomoing super popular here but need the stuff in thai for husband and he is not so good at thai google.....

anyhow, H20- recycled sewer water is not ever used on leafy veggies or other veggies that are meant for human consumption , rather, the water is used on crops that are not exposed to the water (trees(, or are not eaten (cotton, livestock fodder)...or used only in certain time frames....

as for chemeical free, the problem of farm runoff from neighbhoring farms in a notoriously difficult one to overcome, we see it here as we area a small country with crowded agricultural areas, but many have succeeded... unfortunately most thai workers arent interested in what hey are growing so dont pay attention to the methods and applications in the farm... too bad really cause a cheap way to learn is to be paid and work and keep your eyes open for absorbing info... am pressuring hubby a bit about that, he is working in a na organic vineyard, maybe he can learn something tha he can use and apply later (vineyards in thailand not being any easy thing by any means, dont think israeli terrace methods fit thai tropical climate and soil)...

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Hello Ff, TV didn't want people posting links to the BP when they went with the Nation.

"Get picky with loges" is the article title.

If it was the Nation or other news source, I would have posted the link.

I don't know if the BP policy has changed on TV?????

rice555

Hey good buddy can you PM me the link. Wow i didn't realize all this politiccing was going on but can now see how it may be. Is this really the 21st century? Thanks From a Ford Forever

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Back to basics, organic farming IMHO means using naturally occuring substances used to produce other naturally occuring things, the products. The advantage is that if these substances are produced as byproducts of a farms operation then they are material cost free. The disadvantage is their effect is usually less then that achieved using naturally occuring substances that have been enhanced by man, now termed chemicals. These chemicals quickly increase yields but just as quickly increase costs. Used incorrectly both can be detrimental in one way or another. Using basic materials has another disadvantage, its a lot more work and takes time, hence adds cost.

So my question is where is the comparison of those real costs and how can the costs be established? Has anyone of there actually done an apples to apples comparison over a reasonable period of time? How does the real cost base of each compare and similarly the returns?

A completely chemical based farming system using mechanised equipment seems to still be the forward direction despite the environmental cost. How far back to animal drawn equipment and natural products only can we, or perhaps more correctly, are we prepared to go? Is there a compromise? Maybe vegetable oil fuels for tractors that are farm produced, fuel at the expense of food, or is it really? Is the labour required available?

To me, at the moment the answer probably lies in doing the right thing (if there is such a thing - do no harm) or continuing to do the easy thing. Comments and experiences please!

Isaan Aussie

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jsut reiterate without quoting anyone, no direct quoting, or pm the info....

so maybe one of u can find me info IN THAI about organic growing/sustainable farming, eco farming, i have tons of stuff in hebrew and english since its beomoing super popular here but need the stuff in thai for husband and he is not so good at thai google.....

anyhow, H20- recycled sewer water is not ever used on leafy veggies or other veggies that are meant for human consumption , rather, the water is used on crops that are not exposed to the water (trees(, or are not eaten (cotton, livestock fodder)...or used only in certain time frames....

as for chemeical free, the problem of farm runoff from neighbhoring farms in a notoriously difficult one to overcome, we see it here as we area a small country with crowded agricultural areas, but many have succeeded... unfortunately most thai workers arent interested in what hey are growing so dont pay attention to the methods and applications in the farm... too bad really cause a cheap way to learn is to be paid and work and keep your eyes open for absorbing info... am pressuring hubby a bit about that, he is working in a na organic vineyard, maybe he can learn something tha he can use and apply later (vineyards in thailand not being any easy thing by any means, dont think israeli terrace methods fit thai tropical climate and soil)...

Hey Bina,

Have you tried the AAN for information here in Thailand. They have a very strong organic farming network in Isaan and heaps of information contributed in Thai.

Try starting here http://aanesan.wordpress.com/

Isaan Aussie

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Hello Ff,

http://www.*********...icky-with-logos

This should get you there.

rice555

ps don't fotget to put in bangkokpost so it look's like this:

http://www.bangkokpo...icky-with-logos

555

Hey FFF.. (smile) I wouldn't have put in Bagkok Past on your link as I truly am a neophyte to this blog forum type of thing. Farming on Fords Fine but knowing if I can write dam_n or Bang_kok Pos_t so I won't say <deleted> about how it makes me feel. I'll just say thanks and Feeling Fine Farming on Fords Forever

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Back to basics, organic farming IMHO means using naturally occuring substances used to produce other naturally occuring things, the products. The advantage is that if these substances are produced as byproducts of a farms operation then they are material cost free. The disadvantage is their effect is usually less then that achieved using naturally occuring substances that have been enhanced by man, now termed chemicals. These chemicals quickly increase yields but just as quickly increase costs. Used incorrectly both can be detrimental in one way or another. Using basic materials has another disadvantage, its a lot more work and takes time, hence adds cost.

So my question is where is the comparison of those real costs and how can the costs be established? Has anyone of there actually done an apples to apples comparison over a reasonable period of time? How does the real cost base of each compare and similarly the returns?

A completely chemical based farming system using mechanised equipment seems to still be the forward direction despite the environmental cost. How far back to animal drawn equipment and natural products only can we, or perhaps more correctly, are we prepared to go? Is there a compromise? Maybe vegetable oil fuels for tractors that are farm produced, fuel at the expense of food, or is it really? Is the labour required available?

To me, at the moment the answer probably lies in doing the right thing (if there is such a thing - do no harm) or continuing to do the easy thing. Comments and experiences please!

Isaan Aussie

Hey Good buddy What it is?

Okay now a new fixture, 50 overs. What you say is right on as you don't move towards left out information. The key to this has to be the understanding of "sustainability" you can, by the book, grow organically but it will deplete the soil and you will be in a worst situation than you started with and that is nowhere in the spirit of organic

In the days of old (that line sounds like this is a fairy tale) when people were dumb or stupid or ignorant or.... (hey can I call people those nasty things o0n the forum), or were they actually very very together ( ignorant is not a bad thing to call anyone because everyone is that way a thousand times over, you can't know everything). The fortunate ones with good water supplies and any kind of decent climate lived in the times of as you say I/A "by-products" Their farms managed to be continually more productive as the livestock increased to fill their family and social needs and eventually economic needs also. These old timers were truly ignorant that Monsanto and Dupont really were concerned with making their lives a better thing on this beautiful home we call earth.

In the early 80's when we wrote the original verbiage for the California Health and Safety Code to define what was and could be labeled organic we wrestled around what would encompass the entire scope of "organic" in words. In a nutshell it came down to using nothing but naturally occurring products to introduce to your farm lands. You can imagine the struggle to deal with livestock (meds etc) and for one example, seeds, you couldn't buy any kind of bulk at that time that hadn't been treated with some non-naturally occurring substances ( how would we treat naturally occurring substances that had been manipulated mechanically (pelleted) ) . We plodded our way through it making exclusions and trying to cover all the bases as it was a very long and time consuming proceedure. I remember at the time there was a product from Chile that was mined in the ocean, called something like Ammonia Nitrite, if I remember correctly, but the thing was it was fine for organic use and being a nitrite it had a couple less oxygen molecules than the normal nitrate chem fertilizers and with that lump of salt you could salt the sh (ah ya can;t say that) out of your (lettuce spinach etc) crop and it would allow nitrogen to explode out of the compound and green up anything super fast. Still you are salting the ground for a short term gain and harming the soil as you do it. At that point you are not being sustainable, though probably by today's standards (which are much more defined now for sure) you could still operate and label organically. As I said before the key is sustainability, if in fact people need to operate outside the bounds of international law in regards to their want or need to label organically they may be experienced enough (not ignorant) to be able to operate a sustainable farm operation that may be nearly as good or maybe even better than some organic operators.

Our old family farm that has been there more than a thousand years sits in ruins (hell it was built on ruins) as my cousins didn't change the way they farmed from the old methods (oh he tried new and exotic crops and organically) but the last farming cousin could never generate the income to be able to raise the family of four and keep his old old Italian mini-mini car on the road. He always had to do sidework to implement his income. If he had one tenth the cash it would take to buy the place he would have been able to modernize and upgrade and become more labor, crop and financially intensive to keep the farm a going operation (how bout a bit of a niche with a bed and breakfast in a newly rebuilt chapel/barn/ house/manganese water mill stucture next to the newer/older main house and barn (sorry folks the toilet is still outside). We battered this point (or was it batted) to death with the guy who wanted just 3-4 million baht a year pocket change. Without some form of sufficient capital many and most operations can't make it. Yeah put a million dollars (forget getting the permits to do anything out there) into the old farm and there is potentilal to get a good return on your investment with a hugely diversified niche filled operation. I don't think anyone could really make it if they needed to try to buy the land and then msake a decent return on all the costs associated with a new start up without some outrageous new ideas. If they had that kind of money maybe with a ton of hard work and enough cash to live on for ten to fifteen years down the road then maybe then they would get a viable return on the investment to be able to live comfortably if they were willing to put in a lot of hard work and have a lot of good luck. It's not easy or really viable in the hills out there now, for any farmers organic or not.

I/A you asked

"A completely chemical based farming system using mechanised equipment seems to still be the forward direction despite the environmental cost. How far back to animal drawn equipment and natural products only can we, or perhaps more correctly, are we prepared to go? Is there a compromise? Maybe vegetable oil fuels for tractors that are farm produced, fuel at the expense of food, or is it really? Is the labour required available?

To me, at the moment the answer probably lies in doing the right thing (if there is such a thing - do no harm) or continuing to do the easy thing. Comments and experiences please!"

The answer to all these questions are based on constant trial and error, product availability and the many other factors that affect costs of different products. My experience the first year rice farming and with exceptional luck with the weather, it allowed us to harvest just under 29 tons of Hom Mali. With that bumper crop and an excellent price (based on what I could see of the past prices) and still using the old methods of production and chemicals left us with 1/4 million in loses. Yeah the old man doesn't drink alcohol either. Those days are over as a total revamp of the methods of growing (with a 6610 Ford) and organically and sustainably allow the entire operation (less one farm we are allowing family to farm) to be planted at much less than 10% of what our total loses were. So if we were to lose everything and not even harvest now, our loses could only be counted in tens or twenties of thousands. It is a very different wicket we play on now and much more suited to my style of bowling as I am one that believes consistent line and length are the key to success (well in Sixes anyway).

There is definitely a compromise in the game and I think moreso when animal husbandry is the primary form of income. I think that people can be sustainable (really the criteria everyone should use, is my land better now than when I first got it?) withtheir farms even if they aren't 100% organic by law. You know, i know and eveybody else that has grease under their finger nails with a few knuckles busted off that their isn't any easy way to do it other than lots of studying, constant questioning and lots of hard labor. People who have finally been able to own a piece of farm land know the rewards of moving forward and making a better, more sustainable piece of mother earth. They are able to achieve the satisfaction of knowing you are doing the right thing and it feels mighty fine. Mighty fine indeed. Fine on a Ford Forever

Hey hey wait this diminutive missive shouldn't be over that soon, what do you think of my team Bangladesh in the World Cup wowwww!! Now did I tell you about bowling against one of their Internationals in the championship gam...............

Another little thing is it is amazing to see what AAN has become. I talked with Bennett Haynes bwhen we first started operating organically here going on four years ago and they didn't have anything like what they have now. heck they didn't even have that name it was just a bunch of Surin rice farmers organizing educating and certifying their members organic proceedures (they wanted two weeks of their schooling before you could join with on-going education requirements throughout the certification process. They wouldn't entertain us for entering as we were a few miles from the Surin border and they didn't want to become involved in another province including the logistics of travel in the certification process and the movement of machinery to facilitate harvests organically. It is good to see how far forward they have come and a real good on bennett as he tried to be very helpful but was very occupied getting and keeping thid new venture moving forward. well they look like they have moving on a hot rod Lincoln as I see it. Right on and Left off

Edited by Foreverford

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