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    All I need is the air that I breathe

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 20/11/2016

    » 'Please introduce air plant farms in the Bangkok area," an email I received recently requested. I am sure there are hobbyists growing air plants in their gardens or balconies, but because of high land prices, I doubt it if there are plant nurseries in Bangkok. Be that as it may, I went to my favourite haunt, the Chatuchak midweek market, last Wednesday to ask around.


    Let the sunshine in

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 02/10/2016

    » A Filipino friend of mine who lives in the US was enamoured with a plant he saw on Facebook. It was rather expensive but he bought it anyway. The seller was in the Philippines so he had it delivered to his sister, with whom he stays during his visits home.


    Standing in the shadows of giants

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 30/08/2015

    » Small is beautiful, but giants are far more awe-inspiring. That I found out during a trip to northern Thailand recently.


    All the fruits of the fair

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 24/05/2015

    » Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha seems to have the lot of agriculturists at heart. Once again he turned the road behind Government House into a marketplace, this time for Thai fruit and vegetables, and presided over the opening ceremony himself on May 6. Dubbed the Thai Fruit and Vegetable Festival, the market opens at 10am every day. It closes at 7pm from Monday to Thursday and at 8pm from Friday to Sunday until the end of this month.


    Try hedging your bets

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 05/04/2015

    » Reader Poonsri Pupipat wrote to say that she lives in a very busy lane used as a shortcut by all types of vehicles from early morning to late at night. She planted rows of Polyathia longifolia var pandurata trees, known in Thai as asoke India, along both sides of her fence to alleviate noise and air pollution, but two died recently.


    A taste for fine vines

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 15/03/2015

    » For more than seven years Chris Kaye had a beautiful Rangoon creeper on a trellis in front of his house some 20km south of Pattaya. “It has done remarkably well, producing copious fragrant flowers with virtually no special care,” he wrote. “Watering relied only on rainfall. Over the last two months it has completely died for no obvious reason. I cannot see any insects or grubs that may have killed it.


    Sweet tips for sour trees

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 15/02/2015

    » The recently concluded agricultural fair at Kasetsart University might not be the much-awaited event it used to be for agriculturists and fair-goers from all over the country. However, I go every year anyway as there are always new plants to see. Lek Monchai’s lime hybrid, for example, was not even registered. Making its debut at the fair, he had not even decided what to name it.


    Cloning a cash crop

    Brunch, 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.


    Hibiscus revel in hybrid theory

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 05/01/2014

    » In last Sunday's Green Fingers you had a glimpse of some of the hibiscus hybrids that grace gardens today. They are just the tip of the iceberg; at a plant market in Quezon City, in the Philippines, I saw a poster showing pictures of more than 100 hybrids, including 23 developed by the University of the Philippines' Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB).


    For plump fruit, Starve the tree

    Brunch, Normita Thongtham, Published on 29/09/2013

    » Five years ago I planted a Moringa oleifera tree, known in Thai as marum, on one side of my house. It began flowering when it was about three years old and since then has been flowering heavily most months of the year. Although I have seen insects pollinating the flowers, they never developed into fruit.

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