First published 27 February 2022
Vansutha Farm is located about 1 km from our home in northeast of Thailand and is owned by my wife Gaun and her younger sister Yuan and husband Lud. The daily farming operations are done by Yuan and Lud, while Gaun creates and maintains her gardens which surround the farmhouse. The farm grows sugarcane, and rice as a once a year operation and Yuan and Lud have a very successful market garden business, growing for long-term customers locally. We visit the farm for a coffee most mornings, and these visits form the basis of my regular updates, of which this is one.
These are the two fields that will now be planted up for Songkran (Thai New Year in April, when everybody heads home to party). The one in the front is still a bit damp, so Yuan and Lud are focussing on the back field first.
This has all happened since my visit yesterday.
Twelve raised beds. They are down to the final finishing work, which is done by hand. Yuan is moving soil onto the beds, while out of picture, Lud is using a hoe to break up any larger clumps of soil and level the surface.
No exercise classes at the gym required.
The bamboo they cut recently, which I showed you in an earlier post, has been neatly stored on the left. The sticks in the centre are used as uprights to support shade cloth, which is why they have a fork shape at the top.
Lud doing the final preparation. Dee Doh is usually on the job supervising in a relaxed way, when they are working.
Look at how neat this is. Real perfectionists.
The rough forming of the beds was done by the buffalo using this attachment.
Also new today was the addition of the shade cloth over the lettuce and newly planted coriander. Both done since my visit yesterday. Although the nights are still under 20 degrees, the days are heating up, so protection is necessary.
Tomatoes in the front.
The long beans are at a stage when the trellis is becoming necessary.
Once the new beds are formed, Yuan will add dolomite, fertiliser, scatter the seeds and then the rice husk mulch will be applied. That's what's in the green bags. Gaun has recently trimmed my TONY hedge.
And the master gardener was working on her part of the farm's presentation. The way the farm looks, isn't just for visitors. It is always like that.
And the end result. Mango trees are hugely messy.
Sweeping leaves out of the way, Gaun then decided that this tamarind tree needed some trimming. Up she went with a machete.
I know I am biased because she's my wife, but Gaun's extraordinary mix of hard work and still having the ability to contact to the fun side of life at any moment, like in this pose, is quite unusual.
Bear and Tam's son arrived to climb the tree much higher because he had spotted a small bee hive. Foraging for food is always on the mind of an Isaan person.
I was tempted to move out to this spot for the day. The boat, Isaan Grace, is not a bad place to spend time.
I still get a buzz from scenes like this.
In Australia, you couldn't dry meat in the sun because you wouldn't see it for the flies. Here is no problem.
As we left Yuan was adding the water hose guides, which are placed at the start of every second row, She has misplaced the mallet, so was using a piece of wood to knock the stakes in. Russell Crow(e) is happy to have some activity happening on his part of the farm, as am I.
Thank you for reading.