Farm Diversification Through Kanaa Enlargement

Rainy season is typically 5 months long in the Tropics, give or take a month.  For our farm, this means that you will have fields that are water-logged to the point of being unproductive save for water-friendly crops like rice.  If that’s all you want to grow, and you feel comfortable basing your farm’s financial…

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…

Lessons Learned: An Educated Workforce for Planting Rice

One of the primary goals of the Charis Teaching Farm is to offer natural and sustainable farming methods to farmers and workers in the Maesot region of Western Thailand. Planting rice offered us an excellent means to do just that last week. We grow rice acccording to System of Rice Intensification (SRI). This is the third…

A Farm that Provides

The rains have returned to Thailand.  For many farmers in our area, that means that it’s time to plant corn or get the fields ready to plant rice.  For us though, it’s much more. While we have already plowed our fields and will be harrowing them this week, the rains have brought the much needed…

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…

Opportunities to Share

It’s nice to be reminded from time to time of the reason that we are called The Charis Teaching Farm.  We recently had the opportunity to offer knowledge and insight to a new farm that is being built up across the border in Burma.  Our guests were the English translator/assistant to a Burmese Major in…

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…

The Importance of Staff Empowerment

The Charis Teaching Farm is under the umbrella of The Charis Project.  The primary mission of this non-profit is to strengthen families and empower individuals to change the world around them, thus combating poverty.  The way the farm approaches this is through staff empowerment, land restorative practices and food production.  The more that I continue…