Sunday, April 17, 2016

No weekend market for me today.....

Decided not to go out to Chatuchak this morning after visiting Khlong Thom yesterday.  About 2/3 of the stores were closed yesterday, and the street portion was empty.  I don't expect things to be normal in the Mango until tomorrow except at the big shopping malls.  Even there, many of the regular employees are gone and newbies are manning the counters.  But today is the last day of Songkran and hoards of people are streaming back into town.  Might swing by Mega Bangna to check out the mall but it all depends on how much energy I have left after the gym.

I have just 11 days before going to Kalifornia for a month, and will be a bit busy with appointments and shopping, so careful planning is essential to not miss anything.  

Spectacular Bamboo Forrest in Japan

On the resort and market front, we've decided that we would be using a lot of bamboo in our landscaping.  Thailand is a great place to grow bamboo and a former rice farm isn't a bad place to consider a bamboo plantation.  To that end, I've begun researching different kinds of bamboo and their availability.  Its seems like a perfect crop for replacing rice because its sustainable, gets better returns, and is flood resistant.  It doesn't take a lot of care and some of the species we are planning to use in the jungle market are quite spectacular in appearance, especially the giant timber bamboos.

So in the interim, we will be collecting lots of differ species in different sizes for our 'nursery' and plant yard.  Having different species will help us learn about how to take care of their special needs and if they can even grow in our situation.

Dendrocalamus Gigantus (largest bamboo in the world)

Its going to take a few years to get them established, but a good grove of bamboo can offer a good food source (bamboo shoots), timber, and lots of shade.  With some of the larger species, I think of them more as 'trees' than the tall grasses which they really are. They can be harvested after 5 years and continue producing with proper care for years to come.  Bamboo is used a lot these days in flooring, furniture, and even bows used in archery!

Bamboo plantation 
bamboo shoots are popular in Asian dishes worldwide
I found a source in Chiang Mai that has both seeds and cuttings for many of the common and exotic species that grow in Thailand.  The challenge is to find the right kind of bamboo that will grow in our area and can meet the goals we have.  Will want to talk to them about how to start a plantation and how to grow and take care of the plants.

That will likely be our project when I get back from California.  Might even look for some exotic bamboo seeds there as well.

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