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Palm Farm near Ranong, Thailand

After staying in Bangkok for a few days, I hitched a ride with Alex, a fellow motorcycle traveler/advrider inmate from the USA who lives in Thailand.  We headed south in his car for about  7 hours to Ranong near the Burma border.  Ranong is a great place that I’m going to write a post about next time.

Alex owns many acres of Oil Palms that produce fruit that is used in the creation of palm oil.  The palm oil is used in food as well as biomass for biofuels such as ethanol or biodiesel.

Palm farm outside of Ranong, Thailand

According to wikipedia, a typical palm fruit weights 40 to 50 kg.  For every 100 kg of palm fruit the typical yield is 22 kg of palm oil and 1.6 kg of palm kernel oil.  Because of its cheaper price than that of other oils, palm oil is a common ingredient in processed foods and southeast asian cooking.

Unripe palm fruit

Ripe palm fruit

Alex and his Palm Mobile or Landrover frankenvehicle

Alex’s Landrover machine is amazing.  I couldn’t begin to describe it, so I’ll quote him:

It started life as 1968 109″ series 2, former UN ambulance. It now has the 4JG2 3.1L turbo diesel engine and 5 spd out of a second generation Isuzu trooper. It’s got axles and coil spring suspension from a Toyota Landcruiser LH78. Power steering is from a Mitsubishi Pajero. Body is still mostly original landrover except mirrors and fender extensions are Series 3 and Defender 110 origins.

Cement pipes are used to raise work and compost organic material for fertalizer

Fertilizer is one of Alex’s greatest costs so he is experimenting with raising worms and getting scrap organic materials from the area.  He’s been able to find truckloads of coffee and watermelon scraps.  Inside each cement pipe is the organic material and a colony of worms.

Checking on the health of the worms and turning the compost pile

Alex -- the happy wormkeeper

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