Come and live the life of a Thai farmer on our working farm, and enjoy a Thai farm holiday unlike any other. Our family ancestors have been farming this land for generations, often growing rice as a subsistence crop and living off the land through the country's distinct seasons. Here, nature offered a meal of frogs in the rainy season, lizards in the hot season, ant eggs for a soup, succulent bamboo shoots, and land on which to raise chicken and ducks. Today, our family continues this Thai farming tradition and aims to go beyond simply growing sufficient rice, to generating additional income through growing separate crops and produce.
On the land around the villa, we farm main crops that consist of both plain and sticky rice, cassava (or tapioca), and since the end of 2015, fresh limes. We also have an area dedicated to mango trees, as well as the herbs that form essential ingredients in Thai cooking such as Thai basil, mint, chili, dill, spring onions, galangal, pandanus leaves and more. Fresh sweet tamarind is provided by the pods on the tamarind tree in front of the villa. Essentially, our farm focus is on crops rather than any livestock, although we do occasionally keep chickens and ducks.
The soil in the northeast of Thailand is renowned for being sandy and acidic, making it far from perfect for productive farming. In addition, the hot and dry weather in the region and drought cycles make the life of a local Thai farmer a challenging one.
In the eighties and nineties, studies showed that applying compost to this soil was an effective method of increasing yields. As such, we believe that following any rice harvest, it is not only more productive but also more environmentally friendly to plough back the rice stalks into the soil, rather than simply burning the stubble in the traditional way. In addition, the rice husks that remain after milling the grains can make an excellent compost when carefully layered with pig manure. It is much harder work, but taking these extra steps can reduce or eliminate the need to rely on expensive chemical fertilizers.
We leave to you the decision as to how involved you would like to become in any work on the farm. Some will be happy to wander the grounds and simply observe. Others will want a more immersive farming experience, participating in a rice harvest from dawn to dusk and enjoying the banter that generally accompanies such days of hard manual labour in the fields. Children may simply enjoy a tractor ride.
Much of our produce is used in the preparation of meals at the villa. The rice we serve can be eaten whilst looking at the very paddies where it grew. The kitchen is just steps away from our herb and vegetable gardens, so freshness is guaranteed. We have also started to produce our own lime marmalade, using freshly picked limes from the plantation in front of the swimming pool. In this way, not only can guests enjoy the zing of Thai limes at breakfast, but they can rest assured of what is in the jar - no additives or preservatives, no E numbers or gelling agents - just limes, water, sugar...and a good dose of love!
Our own farmlands will give you a genuine experience of a rural subsistence farm in this area, but we will also be happy to show you other farms around us. Some grow sugar cane, others focus on cash crops such as rubber or eucalyptus, others breed freshwater fish or tiger prawns, and then of course there are the more unusual places such as the cobra farm towards Khon Kaen, where the majority of the villagers breed and keep cobra snakes...