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Transfer Of Organic Knowledge To Thai Workers

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Hi Smithson,

They way i got our labour interested was with 2 plastic trays, 1 filled with the ground they had sprayed and the other with compost and normal earth,

Then planted cucumber seeds, the compost tray was way ahead of the sprayed ground tray in growth, they said they would add fertiliser to overcome the slow growth,

I explained [via mrs] that by adding fert all the time you are giving nothing back to the soil,and every year you will need more, and of course that eats into your profits [if any] .

They seemed to like the idea of pulling up clumps of grass adding some shit and kitchen waste and digging into the salad gardens in a few months,

To do this on a grand scale like on 10rai of cassava or something is a different matter, labour intensive, Unless of course you have cattle,pigs and/or chickens running round,,

Cheers, Lickey.

Cheers, Lickey.

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Perhaps the biggest obstacle for organic farming is getting our Thai workers to embrace it. Any suggestions for this?

Besides Lickey's good suggestion of a demonstration, or bringing in an educational program or sending them out for one, I have this suggestion:

"Thai worker's" usually means paid employees, so give them their job description along with your intentions and rules for the methods and materials that will be used/allowed or not used/allowed. Close oversight of the work and continual, progressive on the job training and enforcement of your rules may bring them around. Your own knowledge and enthusiasm will hopefully be contagious.

Anyone with a love of soil and a green thumb who works with the actual building of soil fertility and other aspects of the organic way, will usually recognize the beauty of the results. And they will feel good about not being exposed to potentially toxic chemicals and and pollution of their air and groundwater. And if that doesn't work, grow some organic tomatoes on high om matter soil and let them taste the difference.

Regarding costs and profitability, I have seen organic gardens and farms around the world that fit into various degrees of success or failure. With due respect to unforseen or uncontrollable market factors, it's like any business; good management, intelligent use of methods, materials and labor, and smart, preferably cooperative group marketing can make you or break you. Trial and error is the killer, so become as informed as you can.

Some of my favorinte websites on Integrated Pest Management, Organic Farming/Gardening and Permaculture (there are many more available)

The University of California (USA) is one of the pioneer institutions in IPM research and information: UC IPM Online:


Cornell University (New York, USA) has a website on Biological Control:

www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ent/biocontrol and info on PHC: www.hort.cornell.edu/gardening/fctsheet/plthlthca.pdf

Rodale Institute is a pioneer in organic gardening and farming:

Peaceful Valley Farm Supply (California USA) has a catalog loaded with useful information and products for organic gardening/farming:


In Thailand the Earth Net Foundation is instrumental in promoting organic agriculture:


Books: Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison

Permaculture in a Nutshell by Patrick Whitefield

Permaculture Home Garden by Linda Woodrow

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Regarding worms, I've now got a heap of worm bins going. One is made from the plastic chest of drawers, it's in my workplace and fed by scraps from the fruit seller. The worms love watermelon peels!

Our worker is older and more experienced than me, as I'm not at the place full time a job description wouldn't really work. What I'm doing is setting up a small area with bananas, pumpkins, beans and papayas. I've put down lots of coco coir, grass clippings and leaves as mulch. Plants in this area are doing much better than those planted outside. So hopefully he'll start to appreciate the difference.

Any recommendations for organic pest control? Especially for the red ant. What about Neem oil?

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