Monday, June 30, 2008

Farm Life

I surprised my mom on the phone call Sunday night. We were talking about my future after graduation (if I manage to graduate) and I told her that I really really want to have kids and be a farmer. It's the farmer part that surprised her. She made me realized that this farming thought has been accrued only after I moved to the US, which is 8-9 years ago.
As a young child, I wanted to be many things but never once a farmer. Why now?

I don't know! When I lived in Pathumtanee I had many farmer's friends. Mostly rice farmers. My ancestors, as far as I know, dig clay to make pots and roof to trade for food (my dad's part the Mon people who took refugee in Thailand after Monland broke). That's also how my dad's family made a living, my grandpa's second job was a medicine man, making medicine using traditional Mon herbal. I still have to find out what my Thai's ancestors did, I only know my grandpa employed as a soldier, got killed when my mom was young. My grandmother later married a fellow soldier, who became my second grandpa.

One thing came to mind, Things grow like weed in Thailand back when I was young (except rice). I would ate an orange and spit the seed out, then find an orange tree grew from it. 10 mangoes trees around the house that require no special attention. Lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, basil, lime, ginger...pick it or dig just before cooking. Then throw the seed or root back to the ground, it will come back after the rain fall. Rice farm need strong people, lots of people and water buffalo. I was really sick a lot as a child. So maybe that's explain it. Or could it be global warming and the use of chemical that made me want to grow my own? I want to grow
veggies, fruits, and herbs that is safe for my family to eat. In South Dakota my husband and I grew 1/8 acre of organic veggies & melons. It was one of my most favorite memory & the greatest joy.

"what kind of farmer do you want to be?" my mom asked
"Goats farmer or salt farmer" I said
"Goats sound like fun, but salt farming is too boring" mom said

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sunday, June 1, 2008

World Heritage Set back

3 years ago UNESCO put Khao Yai National Park on the World Heritage list.
My mom lives and opened a small camping/bed and breakfast there. I love everything about Khao Yai, the beauty, the people, animals, the air (range 7 best ozone in the world due to 600,000 hectare of mountain/forest). Anyway the Thai newspaper (Thairath) just announced that the world heritage list made Khao Yai so popular. The result? Now every inch around Khao Yai (the mountain are protected by Thai National Park, they mean the area around the park) are all purchased by rich people, mostly businessmen, politicians, and celebrities. People who sold the land are mostly poor farmers. This is very sad. The land's price has been upgraded by the park's new status. What the new landowner want?
1. more golf and spa resort
2. luxury hotels and restaurant
3. high tech animal watching tour

Meanwhile, the tigers are hard to see these day. “Tigers are an indicator species. Their presence in the forest demonstrates a healthy ecosystem and is important in maintaining biological balance. The decline in tiger numbers is a serious environmental concern.” according to Khao Yai's National Park staff.

A paradox of land conservation.