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Hi to all you organic farmers, ive had a pm from Soundman [mod] saying if an organic farming thread generates enough interest he will pin it for us,

And if its big perhaps a sub-forum, although its a head ache for the TV people to do,,

Ive seen many posts about organic methods and i follow them,ive posted a few myself about composting,

I was picking Tamarind yesterday, it was very quiet on our hillside farm, i sat down for a rest, then a bird started singing, others joined in, i hadnt heard this for 2 years, why? because chemicals have been banned since last November, then i go to water the salad gardens, the makua we put in last november is still 6in high, because of herbicide and its mis-use, i had many ideas for the salad beds this year, but if weeds wont grow, what will?? now im going to have to wait till the rains clean the soil,

opps sorry, ive gone on a bit,

But please, all you gardeners/farmers who want to share ideas and solutions, add your vote here,

Thanks all, Lickey..

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I'll add my support. The guy looking after our plot is experienced and knowledgeable, but it's all focused around chemicals. Nonetheless, he still knows much more than me, so getting him to switch to organic is very difficult. He says organic insectides are OK, but if the neighboring property is using chemicals the insects will choose our place (he also looks after the neighbors land!).

It would be good to have a source of local knowledge, rather than trying to see if practices and products from abroad work here.

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Great new pinned topic and hope that it continues....here's my 3 baht

I have been gardening organically [in the tropics] for 3 decades.....started in Hawaii with backyard gardens, then Philippines [small scale commercial] for a few years and now in the Chiang Mai valley.

Mostly as a hobby and to try to make a few THB/Pesos/$'s. Have determined that it is not easy to break even, much less make a profit.....the small time farmer never does, but I continue on for my own enjoyment.

This year, we have added free range chickens to our gardening project and sell the excess locally for small baht, but we have delicious fresh eggs with dark orange yolks on our table and manure for the garden.

I have tried many different vegetables here.....yearly ordering my seeds from big seed companies, some new, some tried and proven. I don't really bother with local veges, as they are so cheap in the markets and I do have limited space now.

my tried and proven favorites are the ones that are most disease and insect resistant and they include carrots, lettuces, swiss chard, tomatoes [small varieties], kale, spinach, beats and more.

my new experimental crop this year is asparagus and I have nearly 2,000 healthy seedlings [much more than will fit in our garden] and hope to sell some of the extras.....pm me if interested in purchasing.

my peak season for growing is the cool winter months here in the Chiang Mai valley for two reasons. The first is that most of my preferred plants are cool weather plants and the other is that it is just too dam_n hot during the summer months, so that limits me to planting from oct/nov to feb/march. during the summer months, i work on my compost pile for the next planting season.

forgot to mention that our garden space is roughly 10 mtrs X 10 mtrs, giving us all the carrots, lettuce and greens for the winter.

Just my experience......

I'll try to post some fotos of our backyard garden soon and more details if anyone wants.

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Lickey I have a busy day fencing today but I will post a recipe that would work with your system. you have to make a solution that is not to strong or it can burn the leaves slightly also the addition of washing up liquid will help the spray to adhere and  suffocate the aphids. In my experience this is exactlly what happens the aphids die and without a food source the ants move on. Spaying a couple of times may be necessary and always check on a small area first .Got to run willpost again later.    

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  • 2 weeks later...

hi i would like to see a separate forum on organic gardening....i will be moving to chiang mai in july and have some land for a garden..

i do not want to use any pesticides or herbicides. i have told my wife not to let her father use any more chemicals on our land....

charles

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Good for you Charles, since i have banned Cide uses on our farm, it smells better, and the birds are back singing in the trees, how good is that! back to nature how it should be!

Jandtaa, more great links, thanks, and i have some good news, Mrs agreed to have penned in chickens on the salad beds now, Mr poo is going to start building a hen house tommorow for about 30 birds, then we will fence it off, the chickens will clean the ground of weeds and ants,give manure and provide eggs, so im very happy with that,

The hen house will be movable as with the fence, about 5 10mtr long beds at a time,as soon as the ground is barren and fertilised, we will move them to the next 5 beds, 30 in all..

Today i saw a flatbed truck go past our salon,overloaded with bags of something, then i got the smell, Bat shit!!! wow, perhaps the worlds econmy drop has made the thai farmers more frugal and looking at other ways instead of expensive ground ruining fertiliser,its a step in the right direction as far as i am concerned,

All the fish farmers should be happy about this too, less poison run-off into the ponds/lakes whatever,,

Cheers, Lickey.

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Lickey

Excellent news on the chickens !! Mmm.... home grown eggs I can almost taste them !! My neighbour in England runs a small freerange organic flock and boy are they some tasty eggs !! Should as you say be a great way to clear the beds of insects and get some nitrogen into the soil !! How big will the actual house be compared to the fenced area ( how many people will it take to move it ) and what are you thinking in terms of time for rotation? Do you reckon it will work out at 2 months per rotation ? That would be really neat if you can achieve a yearly cycle ! How long do you plan to rest the beds between moving the chickens off and planting to allow the nitrogen to break down ? Will you be giving supplementary feed, if so what ? Do you grow your own chicken feed ? Be sure to let us all know how the project works out !! I hope to do similar in the future possibly with a mandala garden and geodesic dome made from pvc piping !!

Guano !! Would love to get me hands on some of that shit !! Any idea of the source cost per bag ??

regards Jandtaa

Edited by jandtaa
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Lickey

Excellent news on the chickens !! Mmm.... home grown eggs I can almost taste them !! My neighbour in England runs a small freerange organic flock and boy are they some tasty eggs !! Should as you say be a great way to clear the beds of insects and get some nitrogen into the soil !! How big will the actual house be compared to the fenced area ( how many people will it take to move it ) and what are you thinking in terms of time for rotation? Do you reckon it will work out at 2 months per rotation ? That would be really neat if you can achieve a yearly cycle ! How long do you plan to rest the beds between moving the chickens off and planting to allow the nitrogen to break down ? Will you be giving supplementary feed, if so what ? Do you grow your own chicken feed ? Be sure to let us all know how the project works out !! I hope to do similar in the future possibly with a mandala garden and geodesic dome made from pvc piping !!

Guano !! Would love to get me hands on some of that shit !! Any idea of the source cost per bag ??

regards Jandtaa

As things are at the moment the salad beds are still bare due to overuse of cides, today i was very busy picking tamarind as rain is threatening now, no good for tamarind, it will rot the pods on the trees, but 3 of us managed to pick near 80kilos today,

Mondays plan is to set up the mini-sprinkler system again, throw some quick growing seeds around, build the hen house and run, im sure they will be happy with kitchen waste for a month or so till the plants grow on the other beds, will use moped wheels on a bamboo axle to move the house, it will be on the shade side[under the tamarind trees] to keep the coopies cool, the way things grow here on good wet soil, i would expect a 1 month move to the next 5 beds, Im thinking that in the 5/6 month rainy season that all beds will be cleaned and Oct/Nov will be the time to plant some euro veggies ect, I also have about 2 tonnes of organic manure to dig in as well, that will help decompose the chicken shit, will do this as i move the run,

The Wonderful Bat shit, i cant endorse this enough, its full of N, and other good nutrients,about 18 months ago, we bought 2 tonnes at 180bht 20kilo, ive still got 1/2 ton i use on banana and makua, Now its 300 bht 20/30 kilo, still very good value, half price of man made stuff,

Quick update on the Tamarind harvest, the 60 trees have had nothing in the way of fert for 7 years or so, weve had the occasinal 1 man to help pick the pods, taking away his cost, we have made 21,000bht in 2 months, all frontdoor sales at the salon, and perhaps another month as yet! this has covered our cassava losses,

Cheers Lickey,,

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Jandtaa, now that is a very special website, ive only read a 1/4 of it so far, but i can see ive 2 things right [out of 500 perhaps?] tamarind trees, a great N fixer and mulching because of the pests and possible multi-plication of them in the warm wet mulch, it could become a possibillty once ive got good ground and control over the insects.

Ive found a couple of sites, but none so complete as yours, Reading of the "novel" will continue tomorrow, Thanks, Lickey..

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Hi folks

^cheers Smithson no I don't have a copy and while I can read a small amount of Thai (menus, recipes etc. large bodies of text give me a fackin headache :o does it have many photos/ illustrations ??

Jantaa, the book has quite a few illustrations, it also has lots of table with on subjects like breeding worms in various bedding, breakdown of nutrients available for different breeds castings etc.

This thread is getting built up, would be good to have a sub-forum or another way to divide things up. These seem to be the main topics:

Legumes

Composts

Mulch and soil

Insects

Vermiculture

Types of plants trees.

Edited by Smithson
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Hi folks

^cheers Smithson no I don't have a copy and while I can read a small amount of Thai (menus, recipes etc. large bodies of text give me a fackin headache :o does it have many photos/ illustrations ??

Jantaa, the book has quite a few illustrations, it also has lots of table with on subjects like breeding worms in various bedding, breakdown of nutrients available for different breeds castings etc.

This thread is getting built up, would be good to have a sub-forum or another way to divide things up. These seem to be the main topics:

Legumes

Composts

Mulch and soil

Insects

Vermiculture

Types of plants trees.

Hi smithson 

thanks for the info, think I might invest in a copy when I return later in the year and take you up on your kind offer !!

Re; sub forum

Lickey was gonna have a few words and see what can be done in a few days time

yeah don't think your far off with the categories a few of my thoughts were

Green manures,Legumes and NFT's

Composting methods and compost teas

Mulch - methods and materials

Soil - organic ammendments and soil micro-biology

Plant nutrition - organic fertilisers, foliar feeds etc..

insect pests - organic pesticides, biological control and integrated pest management

organic philosophy and permaculture (a sort of general area for debate,news items etc..)

Vermiculture

Fruit and vegetables

Other crops

Useful links

 Cheers Jandtaa

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Jandtaa, you are a mine of information.

I didn't realise that Thailand had so many birds, that's a very nice gallery you linked to.

I had a quick look and I think that the bird I saw this morning was a type of sunbird, but not sure.

Cheers

Anybody here know the answer to my previous question re the charcoal dust and if it is likely to contain anything undesirable?

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Hi Posters, ive just put a request in the forum support thread regarding a sub-forum for organics, please add your support so perhaps we can get organics itemized soon, ive added that Jandtaa has offered to be the leader and sorter [whether he wants it or not :o ]

Thanks, Lickey..

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Hi Loong yeah I quite often use soft brown sugar in my brews (molasses only seems to be available in larger quantities and I'm not working on that scale at the moment) and it does the job nicely although I'm not sure it has the same sulphur content as molasses. Yeah plants are always happiest with rainwater. In the U.K. our farm is fed by a natural spring rather than mains so no issues with chlorine and no expensive water meter !! Have you thought about a rainwater harvesting system for your veggies ??

Thanks for info re sugar.

The small plot I tend is not attached to the house land, so no roof to collect the rainwater.

Sister -in-law has started to build a house there, so when her jars are full, I may be able to collect some from her roof, but would need rather a lot to last the7 months with no rain even though it is only a small plot.

Today is overcast and no need to water, hoping for some rain later :o

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^Cheers for the info Smithson

As A chef I love the idea of an AP restaurant and certainly a novel idea, don't think you'd have any problems attracting punters and as long as the grubs up to scratch it wouldn't just be a gimmick. You could really close the loop and install a humanure toilet system for your customers, returning their waste to any field crops you were growing for the restaurant , but that as you say is another story (why are there so many for the organic community ??)

Yeah the method of steam bending I've come across uses green bamboo. You knock out the internal nodes with a length of rebar and fill the length with wet sand. Then using a blowtorch carefully apply heat to one side applying pressure to the bamboo to bend it into the shape you require.It's a Mexican method and there used to be some vids on you-tube.Thanks for the variety name you can find some more here Romanisation of Thai bamboo names 

hoping to get some propagation material tonight off an old boy in the village ,don't know whether they'll be much choice but beggars cant be choosers!!

My dream is to stick a small farm-gate shop on my plot (very popular in the U.K. not sure how it will go down here in rural Thailand, but could work as the market is only open for a couple of hours early morning and if you miss it its a 30 minute ride into town) and if I could do a few tables out the front as a small eatery I'd be made up .The Thais like their food fresh and chemical free and it would certainly be that !! There is a chance that some adjoining land will come up for sale (it was offered to me when I purchased my plot) 1.5 rai on one side and another 3.5 rai on the other.If the price is right I would seriously consider it with a view to sticking on a couple of eco friendly bungalows offering homestay accommodation for both Thais and Westerners as it seems to be an emerging market. Oh well I can but dream but it's good to have something to work towards !!

happy dreaming Jandtaa

P.S. If you fancy digging up some info and doing a post on bamboo and its role in sustainable living or something like that it would be a real help and I'll put one together on humanure (it's a shitty job but someone ought to do it !!) lets get these stories out there !!

and if you haven't all ready please stick your oar in at the forum support thread on the front page of the general forum index  :o !!

 

 

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Thanks KBvicar, I will look out for it.

I will be experimenting with these organic compost teas as I love experimenting. The only problem that I have is that I don't write things down and when something is successful, I can't remember what I did. Age I suppose :o

One thing I do intend to do is collect sugar cane from the side of the road. This area has a lot of sugar cane and there is so much of it on the road crushed by the traffic, that I figure it might be worth incorporating this.

Charcoal dust

I have sown seeds in the black bags with different concentrations of charcoal dust to see what happens, and this time I have written it down. As long as I don't lose the list (possible), I may get an idea of the way forward.

I dug a raised bed at the beginning of february and mixed charcoal dust in half. i have sown Chinese radish, Kale, carrots, Pak choi and leaf mustard. At the moment, can't really see much difference except with the Kale. The Kale loves it. This initial area doesn't have a very high concentration of charcoal and I have incorporated the charcoal in another area and transplanted Kale seedlings and you wouldn't believe the way they are growing. They look so healthy and a beautiful green colour. I have to add that this has become more apparent after we had rain. The garden almost heaves a sigh of relief when the rain comes.

I have now dug some soil from where they make the charcoal, it's a lovely black colour and I've laid it to a depth of about 15cms and will see what happens when i sow seed directly into this.

Later in the year, I hope to post some photos of the sugar cane that grows here. Last year ( first time they cultivated this area)I was puzzled that in some areas the sugar cane was twice the height. Now I think that it has something to do with the charcoal production. If the same thing happens this year, I will get some photos.

Thanks to everyone here (esp Jandtaa) for all this fantastic info.

Thanks loong for the kind words !!

Here you are witnessing the effect of soil Ph we were discussing earlier !! Kale belongs to the brassica family which thrive best in slightly alkaline soil ( I believe most commercial growers aim for about 7.2 but personally in my veg patch back in the U.K. (real heavy clay soil although improving every year ) after liming with dolomite we usually end up at around 7.5 . The cabbages , sprouts and broccoli (also members of the brassica family) thrive on it . By adding charcoal you have raised the ph level of the soil one of the many positives of using biochar (charcoal) and your kale is benefiting from the ammendment ! As I said earlier I will post more info on preferred ph of various crops, how to test your soil ph and the recommended levels of ammendments to alter it later (when working organically it's a bit of an inexact science and need to get my notes in order and check whether being in the tropics has any bearing). Great to see some living proof of an organic method bearing fruits as it were !! Looks like you're on the right track loong , keep up the good work and please be sure to let us know of anything else you witness in your garden . Observation is the key !!

I'm sure someone can tell you about sugarcane waste - Bagasse I believe it's called and it's uses in mulch,compost etc (no sugar cane round these parts so I'll leave it to someone more in the know !!

cheers jandtaa

P.S. If you're finding this thread useful please add your support to making it a sub-forum at the forum support thread located at the general forum index page if you haven't already . It's not about me, I'm not exactly running for president just want to get the info I have to the widest possible audience !!

sub suba suba suba suba suba sub-forum suba suba suba suba suba suba sub-forum suba suba suba suba suba suba sub-forum. Now repeat that to the tune of "Chugga Chugga Choo Choo" from your nursery school days and it has a good sound to it. See now who said isn't great fun. Next we'll have a little diddly about bio-char, that is if i can find he thread on it. choke dee and ForeverFords

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P.S. If you're finding this thread useful please add your support to making it a sub-forum at the forum support thread located at the general forum index page if you haven't already . It's not about me, I'm not exactly running for president just want to get the info I have to the widest possible audience !!

Sorry, I may be stupid, but I've looked for this thread twice and cannot see it, can you post a link please?

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Hi smithson cheers

Humanure definition from wikipedia:

"Humanure" is a neologism designating human excrement (feces and urine) that is recycled via composting for agricultural or other purposes. The term was popularized by a 1994 book by Joseph Jenkins that advocates the use of this organic soil amendment.[1]

Humanure is not traditional sewage that has been processed by waste-treatment facilities, which may include waste from industrial and other sources; rather, it is the combination of feces and urine with paper and additional carbon material (such as sawdust). A humanure system, such as a composting toilet does not require water or electricity, and when properly managed does not smell.

By disposing of feces and urine through composting, the nutrients contained in them are returned to the soil. This aids in preventing soil degradation. Human fecal matter and urine has high percentages of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, carbon, and calcium. It is equal to many fertilizers and manures purchased in garden stores. Humanure aids in the conservation of fresh water by avoiding the usage of potable water required by the typical flush toilet. It further prevents the pollution of ground water by controlling the fecal matter decomposition before entering the system. When properly managed, there should be no ground contamination from leachate.

Humanure may be deemed safe for humans to use on crops if handled in accordance with local health regulations, and composted properly. This means that thermophilic decomposition of the humanure must heat it sufficiently to destroy harmful pathogens, or enough time must have elapsed since fresh material was added that biological activity has killed any pathogens. To be safe for crops, a curing stage is often needed to allow a second mesophilic phase to reduce potential phytotoxins.

Humanure is different from night soil, which has been used in various Asian countries for centuries. Night soil is raw human waste spread on crops. While aiding the return of nutrients in fecal matter to the soil, it can carry and spread a vast number of human pathogens. Humanure kills these pathogens both by the extreme heat of the composting and the extended amount of time (1 to 2 years) that it is allowed to decompose.

jandtaa's docs- humanure

a couple of books here that I uploaded a while back on the subject as well as a design for a slow sand filter

humanure videos and pdf's

a really good website from the guy who wrote one of the books in the above link

There is also some info in the doc's about grey water recycling and this is something I hope to incorporate in my new house (at the present house The grey water is diverted to a patch of land growing taro and bananas) and was thinking about maybe using azolla in a small pond system as part of a biological filter. Visited an eco centre in the UK a few years back that was using a reed bed filter system to process the sewage from the visitors, they reckoned it was safe to swimin or drink from the final pond !! Have some more info on this but it's on my UK computer so I'll come back to the subject in a couple of weeks. Anyone else recycling their grey water ??

Yeah Smithson no regulations out where I am !! So different in the UK , as I mentioned earlier the farm is spring fed and although the source is fenced off from the sheep and cattle and no chemicals are used on the land so no harmful runoff, because we have a holiday cottage we let, environmental health have to check the water is safe. No problems with that we always supply unlimited, free bottled water to our guests, but due to some very small amounts of bacteria they said we were not allowed to drink it ourselves unless we fitted a fairly expensive UV filter system !! Being a chef I'm used to dealing EHO's and can spout on endlessly about the likes of clostridium perfingens, staphylococcus aureas and even my personal favourite vibrio parahaemoliticus so said I was aware of the possible dangers and I'd carry on drinking it sans filter thankyou very much ( I drink the well water out here and no ill effects from that in 5 years ). A nasty letter followed from the office somedays later banning us from drinking from the spring. Personally I wanted to drag the EHO back out to the farm and drink a glass of algae rich, tadpole infested nature pond in front of them before chucking them in but dad who is a bit of a stickler for rules backed down and fitted a filter !!

post-47265-1237442085_thumb.jpg a shot I took of the place I call home UK (thats the farmhouse right in the centre the spring is in the nice green patch behind which is fed from the moor above)

anyway I'll leave you with this amusing little ditty I found on humanure composting that someone keeps posted on the door of their outhouse

If our plumbing you think quite funky...

Not for humans - and more for monkeys,

Then take a moment to stop and think,

"What happens to what you flush down the drink?"

When you live in the boonies, as many folks do,

The options you have are really quite few.

First a great big hole is cut and dug,

a concrete bucket becomes the plug,

the pipes roll in and dump the gunk,

which gurgles and rumbles and never gets shrunk.

It continues to grow and steep until

the once huge box has reached its fill,

then some lucky guy with his truck and hose

(and a very strong stomach and nearly numb nose)

comes and vacuums it out into a tank,

and mumbles and mutters 'bout how much it stank,

and carries it off to who-wants-to-know where,

while you wait for the breeze to come scour the air,

and brood and exclaim 'bout how much it cost

(not even considering how much you just lost

in free and remarkable plant fertilizer)

whilst we bucket ours

in trust for the flowers

and veggies and fruit

with strong leaf and root.

Ours steeps as well, but it shrinks as it cooks.

It mellows and settles and changes its looks.

In a couple of years, we don't dread a bill...

we find we've a mountain (OK, a large hill)...

of gold for our toil -

a pile of rich and fertile black soil!

Now you're a few minutes older, and wiser, no doubt.

Do you understand more what we're talking about?

Perhaps now you see clearly, well nearly, almost,

Why we prefer keeping it all for compost.

may you all keep regular Jandtaa

sub suba suba suba

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OK guys just found an amazing website I just have to share with you !!

It's an Australian alternative living online library, Deals with mainly out of print books and many can be downloaded as PDF's or if still in print they will scan to PDF and e-mail them to you. There's an organic agriculture section with some real gems in the collection.

here's a link to a good book on composting ( I was trying to find some info on adding rock powders to your compost when I stumbled across an excerpt from this book and a bit of further searching led to the full copy. It's written by Steve Solomon who is the librarian of the online library !!) If you follow the links to the home page or library you will find reams of relevant info (should keep me in bedtime reading for at least a year !!) Exciting stuff !!

composting and soil health

Happy perusing and remember Shhhhh!! 

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Thats an amazing website you found there Jandtaa. I've always had the impression that "organic" farming is a fairly new phenomena. A lot of the ag books here are from the 30/40/50's. No one was listening. Big corporations couldn't make a big enough profit from it.

On the subject of bamboo. Furniture. I love bamboo and cane furniture.

Regards.

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ok we got the organic farming sub forum; i will close this post before it deteriorates and then we will get help in sorting and moving posts that should be in the new sub forum; so that this info will either stay here,or be in the new sub....

the new forum is /should be informative, with friendly discussions. we are all adults but organics are like religioun; sometimes we just have to agree to disagree...

bina

israel

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