Rooftop Gardening in Bangkok


An excellent example of a rooftop garden in Bangkok which is cared for by the District Office in Laksi, Bangkok, Thailand. The main purpose for growing rooftop gardens is to increase the productivity of the area, increase the green area, decrease global warming and increase the amount of healthy vegetables grown for household consumption. By using household organic waste in composting, it is also a way to decrease the amount of waste that needs to be managed by the municipality. As you can see in the video, rooftop gardening is done in raised beds which are placed on the concrete roof. The beds raise a variety of vegetables, including climbing vines and salad greens. The district office at Laksi is open to all Bangkokians who is interested in gardening, getting advice and they will even give you some seeds to get your garden started.
Language: Thai only

Bangkok Vegetable Garden Preparations

The last few weekends I have been working on the
preparations for my vegetable garden. During the last few months,
my father put some of the leftover pulp from composted pineapples
in the ground. Now, we added more layers of organic compost, this
time mostly from leaves and grass clippings, as well as cow manure.
We also put a fence with netting around the area. This is to make
sure the dogs don’t get into the garden, since they love to dig and
chew. Three weeks ago, we started some seeds in small folded-paper
pots filled with a mixture of soil, coconut coir and manure. Most
of the vegetables have sprouted and the seedlings are ready to go
into the ground. I’ve also started more seedlings last week. This
time I have some sage, Thai pumpkins, Baby Boo pumpkins, dipper
gourds, and butternut squash. The last three were from seed packets
that I bought at the Jim Thompson farm for 20 baht. Each packet
only had 4-6 seeds so I take extra special care of those ones. This
Bangkokian can wait to see it when everything is in the
garden!

How to Start Growing an Urban Garden in Thailand

Based on this video, one of the most difficult issues with growing an urban garden is actually starting. For the sunny, hot climate in Thailand, providing enough water for the plants will be one of the trickier aspects of caring for the plants. The plants which are recommended are pak boong and basil as being hardy plants for beginners. If you have a concrete slab and no place to grow your vegetables, coconut husks can be used to provide a layer of insulation before putting some soil over. The coconut husks help to maintain the moisture in the soil and helps keeps the plants cooler throughout the day. Manure is added to fertilize the soil instead of using chemical fertilizers.

Urban Garden in Thailand

Seeing as buying organic vegetables can be expensive, this urban dweller in Thailand decided to grow his own fruits and vegetables. Buy using the small area around his house, including the car park, the formerly unused area has been turned into an area for producing food. Amazingly, he even grows mushrooms and composts in this small area. This is a very practical approach for urban Bangkokians and a good model for anyone looking to trying growing more than landscape or ornamental plants. It’s very encouraging to see that some people are producing their own food, even in an urban jungle like Bangkok. For me, I think it definitely proves that small, urban food gardens are possible in Thailand.

New Year’s Resolution – Grow a Vegetable Garden

Starting this year, I’m trying to eat healthier by increasing my intake of vegetables. In Thailand, fresh local-grown fruits and vegetables are easily bought from the store year. However, with my recent working habits, I’ve been eating food more for the convenience than for taste, quality or nutrition. While food in Thailand is generally served in small, appropriate portions compared to Western countries, many of the restaurants near my work place serve larger portions. Additionally, Thai food can be carb-heavy because it is served with rice or noodles and many of the quick dishes are fried and oily.
One solution to my lunch time dilemma would be to pack my own lunch such as salads and lean meats. Most supermarkets offer a range of salad greens and fresh vegetables to choose from. However, purchasing vegetables regularly can be troublesome as making time for multiple trips to the supermarket during the week can be time-consuming. It can be difficult to gauge how much vegetables will be required for one week so I’m often either buying too many or too few vegetables. So, in order to make obtaining vegetables regularly a little bit less cumbersome and a bit more fun, I’ve decided to try and grow some vegetables in my yard.
Being fortunate enough to have a large enough property to have a vegetable garden in Bangkok, I’ve decided to start some seeds out in folded paper pots. The paper I used was already used on both sides and will be the temporary home for my seedlings before they will be put into the ground. Initially, I’ve started some cucumbers, tomatoes, bok choy, long green beans, pak boong, and Chinese broccoli (pak kana). Afterward, I plan to plant everything into the plot of land which has been prepared by mulching some manure and organic matter a few months before. Once this first lot of seedlings goes into the ground, I’ll be starting the next lot of seedlings which will include some pumpkin, watermelon and lettuce. If everything goes as planned, I’ll have various fresh vegetables that I can pick from my own garden and eat, without the hassle of going to the supermarket. At the very least, it can supplement whatever is store bought and reduce my expenses on vegetables that I can grown myself.

Vespas are Useful Delivery Vehicles

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Old Vespas are commonly used in the Yaowarat (China Town) and Pahurat (Little India) areas of Bangkok. They are useful as delivery vehicles because they can carry large, bulky and heavy loads while zig-zagging through traffic. Unlike modern motorbikes that are more commonly used for transportation these days, Vespas have a low center of gravity which makes them ideal for hauling these heavy loads without losing balance. The space in front of the ride provides additional space for placing items between the rider’s legs. If you are in Yaowarat or Pahurat, keep your eyes out for Vespas as they are zooming around. You’ll be surprised the size of the loads that they carry around!

UNESCO video on Ethics and Bioethics Workshop

Filmed at a workshop at the Science Center in Bangkok, Thailand, this video is a presentation on “Our Common Future: Our Planet, Our Oasis” for science teachers in Thailand. The displays at the workshop are shown, along with the workshop participants and some scenes from around Bangkok. For the interviews of the Thai science teachers, English subtitles are provided, and overall it seems that they acquired new ideas and learnings that they will share with their students in the classroom.

Description:

Societies and communities will progress in a more just, equitable and sustainable direction if the cultural, ethical, and spiritual values of those societies are central determinants in shaping science and technology. Bioethics and environmental ethics have been core areas of action in the Social and Human Science Sector of UNESCO for the past decade. The video shows people participating and learning, through games, about how to attain the goals of bioethics and values education

DdTV Ep. 6 on Open Dream

This video follows John Berns, one of the co-founders of Barcamp Bangkok, on bike tour of the city.  John discusses the rise of local tech communities and the founding of Barcamp in Thailand. The event starts with no agenda and is based on the premise that everyone is both a learner and teacher.

Then they travel to Open Dream to meet Thai developers building digital tools for civil society and business. Open Dream is a social enterprise working with PM Abhisit to create Government 2.0, which provides a platform for Thai citizens to ask the Prime Minister questions. They also work to provide mobile solutions that help in health and agricultural sectors.

Global Social Venture Competition – Southeast Asia Round

Monument of Pridi Phanomyong at Thammasat Univ...
Image via Wikipedia

Every year Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand hosts the Global Social Venture Competition for the Southeast Asian region (GSVC-SEA).  This business plan competition is focused on promoting new social ventures and social entrepreneurs by providing a forum for these venures to get exposure and funding.

The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) was launched in 1999 by the Hass School of Business of the University of California at Berkeley, USA. It was the oldest and largest competition of its kind, to promote entrepreneurial start-up companies which offer measurable social or environmental benefits in addition to profits. These social impacts can be in the areas of health, education, environment, etc. By 2010, GSVC has grown to include over 500 teams worldwide, partnering with many of the world’s top business schools, including the Columbia Business School, the London Business School, and the Indian School of Business.

To enter the GSVC-SEA competition, a team which includes just one graduate business student or a person who graduated from within 2 years from any school submits a five-page executive summary of a proposed venture, which is scalable and offers quantifiable social and/or environmental benefits incorporated into

GSVC SEA

its mission and practices. Executive summaries must be submitted before 11 pm (Bangkok time), 15 January 2011 to qualify. Please see more detailed rules, regulations and past winners on the website www.gsvc-sea.org.

After the submission process, all entries will undergo the first judging round. Groups of professionals, academics and students gather in Bangkok to review and debate in small groups about the various social ventures submitting. Finally, 12 teams are selected to be the regional finalists who will then come to present their business plans in a two day event in Bangkok, Thailand in March 2011. Each team will be allowed 15 minutes to pitch their plan. Following their presentation, a panel of judges will engage the team in a series of questions regarding the technical, business and social impact aspects of their proposed venture. The top two winners of the business plan competition will be sent to the Global Social Venture Competiton Global Round (GSVC Global) to compete at the University of California, Berkely, USA. In addition, the social venture with the best social impact assessment will be showcased in the Global round.

Here’s a former GSVC-SEA winner who spoke at the 2010 GSVC-SEA Symposium: Lex Reyes talks about RuralLight at GSVC 2010 from Marielle Nadal on Vimeo.

Beagle Gang in Bangkok

For any beagle lovers residing in Bangkok and the surrounding areas, there is a website dedicated to you. It’s called the Beagle Gang and it’s slogan is “We all love a little monster.” Mainly there are a few blogs and web board for beagle owners to share pictures, thought and stories about their beagle babies. I saw this group’s gathering featured in one of the Thai pet magazines.  This website is primarily in Thai though so that might be limiting for some folks. I look at it as another way for me to practice my Thai reading skills. I registered on this website and want to try to go to one of the next events. A gathering of beagle lovers and their beagle babies sounds like a chaotic and crazy time!