ALASDAIR & PEN'S

About

Local beaches - not much to write home about.

This blog is a personal whimsy (well, most of them are, aren’t they) but readers may benefit for a brief explanation. My wife and I live in Phuket. We’re on the east side, nowhere near the tourist areas, and though we’re not far from the sea, the local beaches tend to be muddy, often with mangroves growing around the edges.

Some are sandy, but not with that “powdery white” sand the brochures all extol. That kind of sand is on the west coast, courtesy of five months of pounding surf that takes bleached coral and grinds it up. On our side, things are much calmer, and there are few coral reefs close to the shore. So nothing to write home about.

But until recently we lived in rural splendour, surrounded by rubber plantations, or garden the only one for miles. Rubber, like other monocultures, is pretty sterile. Though they looks green and lush (or yellow an orange when the leaves drop every year), rubber plantations don’t support much else in the way of life. A horticulturist friend once described them as “big green deserts”.

As a result, our garden collects a lot of the local wildlife – butterflies, birds, snakes, lizards, frogs and toads. We have about 4.5 acres which was once a working fruit farm.

The fruit trees are still there but we rather let them go their own way. They still produce fruit, which the insects and birds love, and we do have a ready supply of bananas and jackfruit. But if we were to do things properly we’d have to spray insecticide and fertiliser all over the trees – which would destroy not only the pests but also most of the wildlife. I would also worry about tainting our well, which is our sole source of water – and very good water, too.

And, if I’m being honest, running a small fruit farm (especially if we were to go organic) offers unspectacular returns for all the work. I can earn more from my writing.

No idea what it's called, but it's pretty.

For the record, apart from bananas and jackfruit, we have rose apples (a sort of fig), santol (gratawn in Thai), guava, stink bean (sator), cashew nut, rambutan, pomelo, passionfruit, limes, etc etc.

We also have a large number of frangipani trees, areca palms, asian tulipwood trees and a dozen or so stands of bamboo of different types.

And a lot of grass and weeds. The rainy season’s coming on, which means I’ll be out with the weed-whacker pretty much every day soon, for months on end.

That’s a brief inventory – I won’t try to enumerate all the flowers Pen grows in the garden. I don’t know half the names anyway. Maybe in a later post. I’ll need to consult her. She’s the expert.

That’s the background. This blog will consist of random tales, thought and rants as they occur to me. Hope you enjoy it. If not, there are a gazillion other blogs. If you do, the occasional comment will be much appreciated.

  1. Alasdair, Congratulations on the start of your interesting blog!

    I have been to Phuket, which was very beautiful, and a wonderful place to spend nt vacation. What more, to live here. Your farm reminds me of my childhood where mom and dad used to grow fruit trees, plant veges and flowers, rear chickens, kept pets and it was fun living in harmony with nature. Do keep up the good work and I look forward to reading your new posts in the future.

    Cheers!

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