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  • LIFE

    Petal compositions

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 18/12/2016

    » The recent "Dok Mai Haeng Rachan" exhibition at Siam Paragon was a most fitting tribute to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. And no floral arrangement could have lived up to the theme of the exhibition, literally meaning "the King's flowers", better than a photo of the late King in full regalia surrounded by a sea of dried flowers.

  • LIFE

    King of the hills

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 13/09/2015

    » For the past few years, Thai consumers have been enjoying temperate fruit crops, vegetables and herbs like never before. Depending on the season, avocados, strawberries, peaches, pears, persimmons, plums and passion fruit, as well as aubergine, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrot, leek, peas, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini and Japanese pumpkin, to name just a few, are available fresh from the highlands of northern Thailand.

  • LIFE

    High and dry

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 26/07/2015

    » Where have all the flowers gone? Last time I was on our farm six months ago, the flowering plants and shrubs were blooming in all their glory. But during a visit two weeks ago, there were very few flowers, and even the bougainvilleas, which bloom nearly all year round, were missing.

  • LIFE

    Sweet benefits of soursop

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 13/07/2014

    » Seeing the potential of soursop as a cash crop, a couple I have known for years have planted 100 saplings on their farm in Ratchaburi. In three years, we may be able to find the fruit on the market, and visitors such as Ibrahim al Rumhi — who emailed me last week to say he was leaving the following day and could I please help him find soursop to take home — might not have to leave empty-handed.

  • LIFE

    Cloning a cash crop

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 04/05/2014

    » After reading about mulberry and its many health benefits in Green Fingers recently, Kanneegar Pindavanija came upon the idea of promoting it as a supplementary cash crop for rubber plantation or orchard growers. “While waiting for their rubber or fruit trees to grow, agriculturists can plant mulberry between the trees and earn money from either harvesting their fruit or leaves,” she wrote. Ms Kanneegar wants to know where saplings for such a purpose can be bought cheaply.

  • LIFE

    Casting a dry spell: Moist not a must for plants

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 03/03/2013

    » Call me ignorant, but I was already an adult when I realised the value of dried flowers for interior decorating. Until then, the only flowers I had seen, in my native Philippines as well as in my adoptive home of Thailand, were fresh, plastic or made of cloth or paper.

  • LIFE

    Bad news lavender lovers _ These sweet smellers can't take the heat

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 24/03/2013

    » Pavan Khimesra has been unsuccessfully trying to grow lavender in his Bangkok home. ''The seeds just do not seem to germinate,'' he wrote. ''I understand that the plant grows in the Mediterranean climate so it might be possible to grow it in Bangkok. I am trying to grow the munstead dwarf, hidcote dwarf and true lavender varieties, which I think are all types of Lavandula angustifolia. Lavender grows in hardiness zones 4-10 as classified by the US Department of Agriculture [Bangkok is 10], and in the American Horticultural Society's plant heat zones 2-11 [Bangkok is 12].

  • LIFE

    Dragonfruit roaring across southeast asia

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 25/11/2012

    » The first dragonfruit I ever tasted came from Vietnam, brought by a Thai friend who had an import-export business there. I thought it was strange that I was eating the fruit of a cactus; until then the only cactus I knew of with an edible fruit was the prickly pear in the genus Opuntia, which I've never tasted. The dragonfruit _ Hylocereus undatus, and christened kaew mangkorn in Thai _ was much bigger, and I marvelled at its bright pinkish-red skin with green-tipped scales, and white flesh dotted by tiny edible sesame-like seeds. Eating it chilled, I couldn't quite pinpoint what it tasted like; it had a flavour all its own, which was refreshing. It was in the mid-1990s, and I remember saving some of the seeds, which readily germinated.

  • LIFE

    Get your fair share

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 03/06/2012

    » Better late than never. This seems to be the slogan of the Kaset Fair, which used to be held for nine days every year from the last Friday of January to the first Saturday of February. Delayed by last year's floods, which put Kasetsart University under one metre of water for nearly a month, the annual agricultural fair is now being held in the university grounds and you have until Wednesday to check out what it has to offer.

  • LIFE

    The wood that could

    B Magazine, Normita Thongtham, Published on 22/01/2012

    » During a trip to the Philippines in November, I tried to find an old schoolmate I hadn't contacted since high school. I was told his family had moved, and that he now owned a furniture shop. As I had promised a mutual friend that I would find him, I looked for him where I was told he had moved, along a country road lined by gmelina trees. I did not find him, but I did learn something.

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