Toon & Leigh's Farmstead Blog #3
Here's our third Farmstead blog of 2020. These monthly articles are to keep you bang up to date with events on our beloved farm here in Thailand. Hang on . . . I'm late, badly, let's say that this blog is an update on the progress on our farm. I could blame the pandemic, our internet provider, or even Toon, BUT, it's me being pants. Anyways, here we go . . .
March was super-duper busy so let's have a look at what's been going on.
Wow, it's done, the fishing lake is complete, 100% finished. The whole project went almost without a single hitch. Incredible when you consider the scale of the undertaking.
Without our much-loved MacroMan, we wouldn't be blessed with such a fantastic end result. His dedication to perfection & hard work was outstanding & like a breath of fresh air.
If only all our projects undertaken on the farm had been so successful, but let's not go there!
We are now waiting for the rainy season so the lake can begin to fill up.
We have added about ten wheelbarrow loads of water hyacinth from our Walking catfish pond. Hopefully, these will start to populate in the lake & help improve the ecology of the water.
Once we are happy with the water quality & level, then we'll finally be able to stock the lake with the big stuff that we've been growing.
The completion of the fishing lake means that Goat Island is also now finished.
Consisting of an outer lower shelf & the main higher area in the middle, it looks a picture.
Although still barren, it's easy to visualise that it's going to look mint once it's all greened up from the rains.
The island will soon become our goat herd's primary residence on the farm.
A secure 'goat-proof' gated access onto the island is on the to-do list. This is to stop them from getting out & keep undesirables from acquiring free goats.
The Goat Ship
Not a ship I know, but 'The Goat House' wouldn't do this on-going creation justice. The phrase 'Mega-structure' springs to mind.
We have been very fortunate to get hold of a great builder called Na Lur. Lucky because he usually works away in Bangkok but had to return to the village during the on-going pandemic.
Na Lur is a skilled builder who is hardworking & hasn't given us any hassle at all. He turns up early, leaves late & hardly stops for a break . . . A top bloke.
Toon & I helped to dig the footings before a few others joined Na Lur on the rest of the build.
Bar the gate to the house still to fabricate & fit, it's all done. It's been a dream of a project.
Talk about a good deal too, here's the rough breakdown of the costs:
Reclaimed timber including delivery - 11,500tbh
Roofing Sheets - 7,500tbh
Concrete Posts - 4,000tbh
Screws, Nails, Sand & Cement - 4,000tbh
Labour - 400tbh per person per day
We're overjoyed & feel very fortunate to have such a large house that's strong enough to last for many years. It should be perfect offering protection to our ever-increasing herd.
No new additions to the goat herd in March but Jessie & BB (AKA Bunny Boiler) were so so close to giving birth.
Our little doeling, named Coffee, began bottle-feeding to relieve some of the strain from her underweight mum Donna.
Wow, it's special times feeding baby goats.
Mr Tumnus was given a final warning to sort himself out & start sowing his Billy Goat oats, or he'd be replaced.
It really was last chance saloon for him.
With only two pregnant does remaining, the herd's numbers would soon be coming to a standstill.
We heard on the grapevine that a large Kalahari Red Buck was about to become available if we were interested.
He was from a well-respected goat farm & a proven goalscorer if you know what I mean.
The clock was ticking for Mr Tumnus.
Toon knocked out a solo video about what it was like for her living in the UK for eight cold years. Of course, a few swear words slipped out. Nothing new there then. #SwearBox
I did a solo video in a dreadful-looking vest about how Covid was finally beginning to affect us on the farm & our local area here in rural Thailand.
We recorded our first ever Mr & Mrs style Question & Answers video. Always a great giggle to do that sort of thing.
Even after being married to Toon for fifteen years, she still makes me laugh out loud & spit my drink out sometimes.
We're gutted. Toon & I met some lovely people who visited us recently, with more scheduled. Alas though, Covid soon put a stop to all that. Three farm visits ended up having to be cancelled, along with some accommodation bookings.
It's frustrating for all involved, but we hope when things eventually improve, we can get back on track.
Thailand's prolonged drought
Five months now, with next to no rain to speak of. This situation has become desperate for the majority of our neighbouring farmers.
The water levels are very low on our farm, but we have to count our blessings. Nearly everywhere else is bone dry.
I can't stop burning & mulching
I have become a self-confessed biochar-making mulch-a-holic!
Everywhere has been smothered in biochar (inoculated with goat manure) & top-dressed with wood chippings.
One thing is for sure . . . We won't lose our palm trees & bamboo plants in this drought without a bloody fight!
What's coming up at Porpeang Farm?
Goat Ship - Completion is imminent.
Bullseye - The arrival of a BIG Kalahari Red Buck.
Greening Goat Island - If it rains we'll be throwing seed everywhere.
MORE Crayfish - There's been some crayfish sexy time going on.
Goat birth/s - Jessie & BB are ready to pop!
Videos - More solo recordings from Mrs Crabtree.
Fishing/Camping platforms around the lake.
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Give us a hand mate
Some of you know that trying to grow online is often a painstaking & lengthy process.
Sooooooo, Toon & I would like to ask a small favour of you in this regard.
Sharing the content from this website or our YouTube channel will help to get our farm noticed out there on the net.
You can imagine what sort of Thailand videos get the most views on YouTube.
Likewise, many forums are hardly complimentary about living in Thailand either.
For many of us, we simply love living in Thailand. Nor do we suffer from the same warped opinions that often make the headlines.
Share with your friends on Facebook or online communities such as Quora & forums . . . It all helps.
A BIG thanks in advanced.
Toon & Leigh - Porpeang farm Thailand.