Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Watching the grass grow....

The two shoots on the right are new...only planted about 6 weeks ago

Its not quite that boring up here in the country, but for some, watching bamboo grow is kind of dull, but I personally find  it fascinating.  The fact that bamboo is really a sort of giant grass is why they classify the plant as renewable.  Unlike trees, its a plant that will come back after being cut over and over again just like a weedy grass.  You manage and water it like a grass weed and it has very high resistance to pests.  Its an ideal cash crop if you want something to grow without a lot of maintenance.  

Doesn't look like much at this point, but you can see the bamboo in long rows just poking up above the weeds

Our decision to invest in a bamboo  plantation was driven on economics and circumstance.  The previous rice farmer went broke trying to grow rice on this piece of land.  So we decided on something else to replace rice. After doing some research, I decided on a Bamboo plantation. Anytime you can supposedly get an 18% or more annual return on your investment, it has to be looked at seriously in light of today's yields from banks.  And once the plantation gets established in around five years, the grove will yield shoots, timber, and cuttings for the next fifty years with minimal maintenance.  Naturally, the more you put into maintenance, the higher the quality of output and the annual returns get even higher.  Will we be getting competition?  Likely so, but we will have a five year head start and also not too many are willing to wait 5 years for any kind reasonable income if they are making interest payments on bank loans.

The Weather Station Project
Weather Station local console...sits in office and connected to Wunderground
The weather station is finally up and everything is working as planned.  The map problem required the assignment of a new weather station ID number.  Afterwards the corrected data was re-entered. Our weather station ID is ILAHAN4 instead of ILAHAN2.  Here is the link to our station and conditions via Wunderground.  Its updated real-time on our fiber network so its extremely accurate and already certified a "GoldStar Station" by Weather Underground. 

This is the outside sensor unit = will eventually be moved a lot higher after testing

We only have the outside sensors elevated about 8 feet off the ground for now, but eventually it will be relocated to the top of our front sign.  Keeping it low helps to work our any bugs and make any adjustments rather than to climb 40 feet in the air in order to do so.

The Jungle Market Project
These hedge plants cost us 1 baht apiece.  Planted 3 weeks ago they are doing very well.

Lastly, the Jungle Market is slowly getting populated with plants and trees.  We think its going to take a year before it can provide enough shade and shape for us to do anything with it.  In the meantime, we use it for picnics and a place to hang out while overlooking the bamboo plantation.

After all, it just so much fun watching the grass grow.......

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