the Story

oct/nov 2012

Yes, we have don about 80 rai (80x1600m2) of rice planting
about 6 rai of soy beans and 10 rai of corn
a lot of work I can tell you
even with a rice plant machine
we see that there is to much weed between the rice plants
so next season we have to adjust some things
like not to deep plowing
and better water management
we changed a lot of the small paddies into bigger ,better workable pieces
And next season I want Ducks as "weeders" in the paddy fields.
we go full for the "Peking" ducks , all the other ducks go out

also with the pork the decision is made
we focus on the "Duroc" pig
The best for our free range system and climate.

The first 50% lowline Angus is born, and guess what : "It is white" !!!
I called the alarm bells when I saw it , how possible ??
but now I see , it has a different head and the composition is also different , smaller

It's dry now so a lot of building activities can be realized
we started with a new chicken coop
well actually it is a multi function coop
with some small alterations we can house pork, calf, goat, sheep or foal in these structures
the first one is ready, we wait a little to see if there is some "fine tuning" needed

Also we started with fencing the area
a hell of a job but unfortunately necessary
the first hundreds of meters are done
many more to go

Our farm is teeming with birdlife
amazing how much more birds there are compared to when we started
and it is not even really safe I burned two bird-nets this year
even with a NOT ALLOWED sign some people still have to practice this cruelty
slowly my staff is getting aware of the beauty of what we are doing and I am happy about this
not all appreciate it but they leave most of the time quickly

So far our biggest success in the organic farming is the deep litter systems
they deliver loads of great fertilizer, the animals like it , soft on there hooves
good to sleep , no flies ,no smell, and happy chickens, who find some critters crawling around in the litter/compost.

the raised wicking beds
it works great , beautiful moist compost ,and no pain in your back working around there
the staff have to get used to this strange style of growing vegetables , but they get the point
control , if the compost is to acid we add some wood ashes to compensate, so we have the good PH
after a crop/bed the chicken coop goes on and in 2 or 3 days it is clean, turned around and fertilized by these workers
sensitive vegies get a 30, 50 or 70 sunscreen/roofing
in short, it has a lot of pro's and little cons .

All of a sudden the pre work, of the horses I like to have to have, start to work
and as I see it now we have our first horses arriving this month
so some "in between work" has to be done
stable ,pasture fencing, and round penn have to be made on short notice
we first have them near our house ( like all the new animals)
later they move to the farm ,when the manege start to get in workable shape

begin rainy season 2012

one of our main man moved to the back of the land
and with him , in time, the animals , first the ducks and they love their “Duck Walhalla” photo-98
at night save in their night enclosure waiting for the rising sun , their morning bath and breakfast
the cattle in their new deep litter stable, mmmmm.... they had to get used to their new environment but now they appreciate their new home with soft “mattress”
The chicken
“Leghorn” bought from the Kon Khean university ,one of the best egglayers have their home in the cattle stable ,the moment the cattle is on the pasture the leghorns go out their enclosure to scratch and search for grubs , critters and other chicken delicacies
We were lucky enough to lay our hand on “Poulle de Bresse” although we can not call them like that because this is a with a AOC protected name an other name is “gouloise”but that is so cigarette like so I opt for the third name “RWB” or red white and blue

Poulle de Bresse or RWB’s
red comb ,white feathers and blue legs , it produces the highest quality chicken meat available on this planet, well their new home is being build right now
their home is coming in the center of an almost 2 acre piece of land which is divided in 3 parts they can feed on one part for 4 weeks before being moved to the next.
and we have “Rhode island reds” a dual purpose bird, good egglayers and the roosters make good table birds, they are still small so they are in the teenager area ,near the food shed .
and the last ,more an experiment , “Betong” a Chinese big but tasty chicken , a new bird which is getting more and more popular ,we have 3 roosters and 12 hens to try out,
it's a funny bird because after 6,7 weeks they show their first feathers!! before close to naked ,it really looks like a cartoon
so as you can read our chicken problem ,or better not having chicken problem is solved

problematic now is our incubator
the first batch was spoiled by a power failure while we where working in town
the second batch was spoiled by a 44℃ heat wave
our third batch ? we have to wait for an other week to find out
mostly RWB eggs inside and some quail eggs

we bought 3 sheep or better lambs , Naomi bottle feed two of them for one month, hybrid Dorper sheep it are, or should be ,
I find them very small ,and to little grown for the month we have them. we’ll have a look

Finally are all the pigs from home to the farm , and also at the end of the land near Ali’s new house ,that is the area where the delivery quarters for the sows are coming , but that is a building job for next year’s dry season, now they resides in the mobile shelters.

news from the wild life front
Binturongs or asian bearcat is seen twice by my staff at the same spot
at the most dry period the binturong came down the mountain to drink in one of the ponds.
an other returning visitor is the Lesser whistling duck ,at the moment they are swimming with 6 or 7 ducklings in our reservoir

whistling Duck
images 220px-Lesswhistlingduck1

and an other visitor was a Net Python of about 2.5 meter
he or she came to steal a chicken but get trapped by the temporary netting around the birds, it took us more than half a hour to get it out and set it ,unharmed, free again.

photo-107 photo-108

we had also some serious set backs
our new stable is at the end of a 40/45 meter high hill slope
we build a wall last year to have a look how it will hold with the rains
well it was still there and in good condition
this year we rendered it for extra strength and finished the stable
the first big rain this year and about 25 meter wall collapsed by the force off water and mud , happily on the animal side ,only one goat had a scratch on its nose
but the material damage is big.

an other set back is a strange eye disease with the Rhode Island red chicks
one eye ( only one) is getting infected and ,if it survives , loses the eye
they do not respond on anti biotic s ,very strange and nasty.

we have great success with the man keaw or sweet potato’s
the leaves of the sweet potato are loved by all animals and they grow like crazy
so we cut half of the leaves and feed them to the animals and within 2 weeks its all back
we do this row by row and one row brings over a 100 kg of leaves
it does not seem to harm the sweet potato. still great harvest of the root-bulbs

we start now on the rice plant
we want to do over a 100 rai this year ,our full potential of riceland .
keep you informed about this

Near Chumpon, in the south, we bought a 100% Boer buck (goat)
it was to small for transport when we bought it , half june I am going to pick it up
and after that we are going to, step by step, replace the Anglo nubian goats for Boer goats
also a new Saahnen goat buck is coming , our Mr de Bok is getting old and we need some new blood to keep them strong.
I picked it up already, oh man he is a beauty

our new Boer buck “Boertje”Pasted Graphic 8

photo-110 and again a beautiful mushroom this time full orange

a wild fragrant orchid on a young teak tree photo-100


good progress at the farm

we had a good rice harvest, the yield per rai (1600m2) was higher than the year before
so we are on the good track with our organic way of fertilizing .

photo-68 ..... photo-67
................................Rice Harvest 2011

a lot of new crops we are trying out like soy bean, barley, millet,sorghum,oats,rye,wheat but also cassava and “man kauw” an other kind of tuber
photo-79..... photo-83
....................flower of "Man kauw" ......................................................Cassave field, just planted.

we are working on raised wicking beds for vegetables and fruits
a interesting principle which saves a lot of water and gives high yields
if you want to know more about wicking beds klick this link

we regained about 10.000m2 land it turned into swamp during the years of neglect
after making a drain ,creating some ponds, with a land area in the middle which is going to be our duck Walhalla
and fill up the lower places we could regain this land from the swamp
it’s still not finished we can still win an other 3000m2

. ponds out off a swamp area........................................with little dykes for the different water levels

..................the very beginning .............................................. the 3 ponds from a distance

Grass ; we sowed and planted grass which we need for the cattle in the rainy season
Purple guinea , ruzi an bana grass the last grass can become over 5 meters tall and under the right conditions can grow more than 10 cm per day !
maybe there is coming one more grass and that is “Pangola grass” this grows well on paddy fields, it loves water , but its difficult to become so we have a look

the animals
the first to cow’s are inseminated by “Caesar” a 760 kg lowline angus bull
we had one calf born and two goat-kids, loads of moskovy ducks and some piglets
sheep; which we ordered at a governmental agriculture research farm are not responding one of the people told Aye that he would give her telephone numbers of farmers who like to sell them , but also that turned out to be a dr
a shame there they would fit very well in our setup

we made a nice progress in our roads, improved old neglect roads and made new connecting roads to our main activities and working places

end off this month I go to Khon Kaen there is a big agriculture fair
and they do also exhibit items,crops and working methods off the beaten track ,for instance rabbits and pigeons
and from the beginning on they are on my list of animals we want to work with
I’m looking forward to this trip

water: if you do not have it ,forget your farm
but we do have some to much
no!!! it is not good managed so after 2 years looking what is happening I decided that we are going to put pipes through the length of our land , with every 30/40 meters a point where you can take water and at the end of the pipeline a generator where we can generate electricity
we will make 2 or maybe 3 of those pipelines through the length of our land
this way we will have a very manageable water supply in the dry and cold season in the rainy season it does not matter so much but at the end of the line we still generate electricity !

we bought our rice plant machine
actually we should go now at this moment for the second rice harvest and of more importance,
training with the machine and planting mats
so when the rain’s are coming we are prepared trained and skilled
but to be honest I do not know if we manage to do this
we have so much work at the moment with our 5 staff , I do not know if we can do.

Long build a trailer
I thought to be a smart a... ,and want to have a kipper as well
I did not know the three point hitch on a tractor is only upwards force
so with the first try out my plan collapsed, the whole ting was standing up and would not come down on the three point hitch.
it’s a big setback for me in means of roads, and applying manure and compost to our fields
we have a look if if we can find a solution for this

photo-65 Long welding on the trailer

well I think I am going to finnish this update
untill the next
friendly greetings from FRIENDLY FARM

end of the rainy season

We learned a lot the last month’s
it is a very wet rainy season ,really very wet and long
The cattle is doing a lot if damage to the pasture land with their hooves ,it is so soaked and become so soft that the grasses are pushed in the mud and die , and the pasture land is covered with 20,30 and sometimes 40 cm deep holes, filled with rain water, from their hooves ,so next rainy season we have to change our "free range policy" a bit , when the land becomes to wet the cattle stays in the stable and we bring the grass to the cattle

We had a visit from the manager from KTP ranch , they own two low-line angus bulls
and all our cows are going to be artificialy inseminated by these bulls semen.
low-line angus is an Australian race coming from the Scottish Aberdeen Angus and famous for the quality meat ,
I choose for Low-line Angus because of this quality but also because they are very docile, good mothers who easy give birth and they are very food efficient .
250px-Lowline_bull Low-line bull 110 cm high and over 600 KG

The farm was almost unreachable because of the rains and floods
so we cleaned the stream and made the entrance road a meter higher
when I cleaned the stream I noticed how much sand was carried by the stream
so we made an area in the stream wider and deeper where the sand settles down
and created with that our own sand winning spot, great for construction.

We learned that the egg mobile is to big ,problems with wind and more difficult to handle than I expected , so we are going to remodel it in a smaller one

The pig production (quantity) is disappointing until now so I’m going to pay more attention to that the coming period the same counts for the vegetables.
One of the first things is making raised beds , so we can work standing up!
much better for my back, but also: better control of the soil, the needs of the plants and easier to clean and work , looking forward to this.

The rice is doing great, looking good and healthy
Planting by hand is very likely over

Pasted Graphic 1

we planning to buy a planter machine

al in al The rainy season was not very productive in produce but in knowledge
we rolling now into the cold season ( day 25℃ , night 10℃) with 10 hours daylight
this is the time for construction
raised beds
deep litter stables
water channels