Lessons Learned: Making the Most of Water-Logged Fields

The Charis Teaching Farm’s goals are to provide food for at-risk families, heal the land, provide jobs and serve as a learning resource to local farmers.  Sometimes, the topography of our farm lends itself to these goals, and sometimes it doesn’t. During wet season, the land we are situated on is the perfect spot to demonstrate…

Test Results: Improved Temperature Regulation for Seed Storage

A few months ago, we published a post describing seed storage on our farm. In particular, we described a design for a cost-effective, below-ground root cellar of our own design. After over month of temperature recordings, our data is in and we are pleased with the results. Dry season represents the extreme of temperature fluctuation…

Culturally Sensitive and Applicable Solutions

The Charis Teaching Farm aims to serve the small farmers in the local area of Maesot. Practically, this means coming up with accessible resources and ideas.  As you’ll see in our other articles, we have made strides to do this by establishing SRI rice farming during the rice season.  We also have begun planting trees…

Lessons Learned: Tire-Potato Planter with Mixed Results

I was warned when I arrived to Thailand by our former farm manager: insects in the soil here eat up all tubers.  I totally believed him, but I still wanted to try.  I have successfully grown potatoes in my frontyard back in the states  in 15-Gallon containers. I have also tasted the difference between home-grown and store-bought potatoes….

Growing Against the Grain

My basic knowledge of vegetables is that, unless they’ve already been acclimated to it, they don’t like heat.  Many tomatoes stop producing fruit at around 34C.  With the average daily temperature more near 40C on a daily basis, we’re seeing less fruit production.  Our cucumber vines have wilted and been cleared away.  The corn stalks…

Lessons Learned: Watermelon Crop Failure Due to Untimely Rains

Sometimes, all the research and development can’t compete with unpredictable forces of nature. This past month, we received two days of heavy rain, during the middle of dry season. It destroyed our watermelon crop beyond saving. Here’s how it happened. In Thailand, there are primarily two seasons: dry and wet. The dry season is further…

A Visit to Fair Earth Farm

While in Chiang Mai, I took a visit to Fair Earth Farm, just north of the city.  This is a 1-acre farm, and uses a blend of agroforestry and traditional farming practices. Their goal is to create a self-sustaining model for other local farmers to learn from and implement on their own farms.  What with our own…