Thursday, December 14, 2006

Biodiversity in the garden

Pun Pun’s aim is to show Thai farmers that they can grow lots of vegetables, for home consumption as well as to sell in the market, without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The best way to do this is not to talk about it, but to do it as a demonstration that it can be carried out with great success.

When farmers come to Pun Pun for a workshop or friendly visit, they can see for themselves how well organic gardening methods work. As a demonstration of what’s possible, Pun Pun has planted 71 varieties of tomatoes this year. Tomato makes a great demonstration species since the fruits come in many shapes, sizes, colors, flavors and textures. Also, tomatoes tend not to grow very well in Thailand, so to show success in cultivating so many diverse kinds is a strong testament to the efficacy of the methods. Also, it’s likely that some varieties will do very well, and others not so much – so we are experimenting to see which types do the best here. We can save seeds from these plants and give them to farmers with expectations for a good crop.

We (the interns) have been preparing some beds for planting and have started some seeds. So far, we have planted seeds for

three varieties of tomatillos
three varieties of melon
seven types of bean
jalapeno peppers
five varieties of tomato
two types of okra
and some kale

We’ll see what starts come up, and I will track the progress of the plants for you over the next few months.

No comments: