Self Sufficiency Off Land in Thailand? – Here’s the Idea

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  1. Create a large worm compost for cheap and renewable fertilizer. I’m not sure what is available in Thailand. I used European red worms in my worm farm in the states.

  2. WOW THIS IS MINE BLOWING How old are you ? How long is it going to take to get this off the ground ?To be in paradise and want to farm. Go back to America and farm You’ve had it to easy for to long ….

  3. did something like this 2 plus years in issan and after the heat. cow shit up to my eyeballs. more insects and creatures . flooding (lost half our rice) ect ect im leaving and soon moving to small city with small expat community and a great efficency apartment (2800thb with air) like i had before!! farming is for the younger crowd lol im 61 no thanks just my hands on opinion ! love your videos guys

  4. If this is what you or anyone else wants to do great 👍many idealistic folks will be interested…
    But it’s a lot of work so don’t run out of energy… or enthusiasm !!
    Someone has done a lot of work to prepare the land for potatoes or other crops, there’s a reason for this as well….
    Good luck 👍💓

  5. Great idea. I started kicking similar ideas around several years ago when I stumbled upon some work by Joel Salatin and Allan Savory. Well worth watching their videos and/or reading their books and articles for inspiration. I’d also want to incorporate animals into the ecosystem. Where is that property? I’ll be following with interest.

  6. Not sure JC, I,live in Isaan , built a house on my Thai wife land with a nice view of her 10 rai family Land , with electricity, fiber optic, air cond, village water. For me it is a good compromise. But anyway good luck my friend.

  7. JC , it’s a very noble and good idea, I think this project is much much bigger than you may realize, it’s a younger mans job I think ( no offense meant) I’ve been following you for years and I don’t know anyone with more tenacity or focus but I think this project would take a huge physical toll on you, either way, very best of luck.

  8. I think the king (not this one) his dad.
    Have make up a plan how people should do on their land so they can live of it all year around..
    How much % of different plants,animal,water on the land.
    20 % of the land are water.(fish,drog,waterplants)
    40 % plants,fruit,sallad,chili etc.
    10% land to animal.
    10% different trees.
    20% rice

    Whould be fun to have nit only iwn water,but allso own power.

  9. This is really my big Dream👌
    And a great idéa.
    But a big projekt.
    Don’t buy to big land.
    You have to dig a pound ,get some help with plan the whole land,where to have what.

  10. The land is cheap because the return on the investment is low. Why would you want to replicate the penurious ;lifestyle of the Isan farmer? You have no background in agriculture. Stick to what you know.

  11. …..American farmers are the best in the world…A guy from Nebraska went down bought a bunch of desert type land in Argentina or Brazil, turned it in to soy beans and corn….

  12. Sorry JC, you lost me, why at the latter stages of your life would you try this, lots of money to establish, and big chance of no return, I think you have been out in the sun too long, sorry

  13. Good idea but asking people for fund is going to leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. These kind of operations need to be self sustaining and self sufficient.

  14. Good intention but i think the project is to big, a house with a garden will do for me a few vegs and a small pond maybe, when i retire i want to relax i worked hard enough for 44 years 😉

  15. Just do it! I started something similar, a small food forest up north in Thailand 1 year ago. A LOT of work but you will never get bored :).

  16. i have been really wanting a property to do a forest garden on.. do it right and takes little care. everything supports everything else.

  17. Good idea. We will be doing similar just up the road from you near Khu Mueang, Buriram. Also my wife has a friend who has been doing similar not far from Buriram – they have an impressive stand of hard wood trees and ponds

  18. Looks like they were growing cassava on that land. Everything has to be just right to grow it. You need just the right amount of water, not too much not too little. My mother-in-law(Thai) grows cassava & rice, they struggle to make money doing it. Looks like you have a good idea.

  19. Just watched your video from a week ago. Beautiful ocean back drop with greenery all around you and now you want to move to a dirt farm and regenerate the 2 plus acres. I will say this brother I have a 1/4 acre in Eugene Oregon and I grow enough food for the wife and I during the 6 month grow season to eat fresh, jarred and pickled foods for the entire year (when I retire I will have a green house up and running so we can continue the grow season all year long). The plot you looked at in this video will take lots of money, lots of time and lots of back breaking labor to ever get to the point of feeding you and Nat. I hope you can find something a bit more turn key and way more manageable. Electricity is a must at least in my mind, not sure if solar is going to give you all the power you will need to have a conformable existence. Good luck in your endeavors!!

  20. Hi just looked in now JC NOW THERE IS A MAN CALLED BRYAN HE HAS HIS VIDEOS THINK HE WOULD BE A GOOD PERSON TO CONTACT HE HAS HELPED OUT OTHER PEOPLE ,sorry i dont know his address wish u good look

  21. People rave about Thai fruit. The reality is that European fruit is better and cheaper, because the efficiency is so much higher in Europe. I can buy 16lbs of potatoes for 88 baht (£1.99). It’s busting your ass for very little.

  22. Go for it! This will be very rewarding for you, a great example to others to be self-sufficient, and you will be enriching beautiful Thailand!

  23. Thanks for sharing! I am very happy for you and Nat doing this now. In Permaculture, the most part of the work is up to the point the food forrest with trees and trenches is established. After that, it is as a nice hobby to wake up to every day. Some pruning and fruit picking max an hour a day at the peak season. And with 6 Rai, 1-2(3) Rai goes away to the house, pond and a vegetable garden, road and so on. And the 3-4 Rai that’s left for the food forrest is easy manageable for a retiree. Use the “soil” you get from digging the pond to adjust the land with a tiny “slope” so the water is easier to distribute over the land without using too much electric power.

  24. Hi Jc, Love the idea and I’d Leo to help. hopefully I’ll be in Thailand by the end of the year. What part of Issan is the property located?

  25. Well some not understand you jc I do and I think if this turns out the land is to big then maybe it will be possible to sell some land to other farlangs, I understand why you want to desaper and be yourself but you must have people to work for and with you I think, I admire you for your dream I wish it was me who have such a dream.
    Stay safe
    Rak Thais RAk Thailand samer

  26. JC is back and better than ever! Thank you for getting us to the place where we can get to the place to get to the place to homestead in Thailand 🙏

  27. Best of luck. Thailand has some pretty severe weather as you know. Very hot and when it rains, boy does it rain, it can destroy everything, all your hard work. I think that getting in control of your irrigation will help, probably need to dig a pond and/or drill a well.. Solar pump…. Pipework etc can be laid.. It seems very popular the last few years to put a load of pipework in and grow the watermelons and Cantelope… I’m sure it can be done but it will be costly.

  28. JC I would recommend that you review a few of Joseph Seeley’s farming videos in the Philippines. He started from scratch too and seemed to be doing well last I checked.

  29. The land would have to be bought in your Thai wife’s name. You would need a well, pumps and an irrigation system probably. Solar panels, batteries , inverters to convert DC to AC, etc.

  30. Hi JC great to hear your plan I hope it will work out okay , I am thinking of coming to live in Thailand, My wife is from Khonkean Area and has 12 rai there . I am retired and have a background of growing fruit and vegetables for the markets on a 31 acre farm in New Zealand. JC your a great guy with a lot of common sense and with Nat on your side you can tackle anyting.

  31. JC, Good to see you again. I myself have finally retired and am in Hua Hin now for the last month. I am following my dream. I say follow yours. Whether helping others realize their dream life in SE Asia as you have been doing ( I include myself on that list) or farming you should never look back regretting what you haven’t done. No doubt a massive project in every way. Work, expense, etc. I used to watch Gordon Tickle who is up in Chang Rai I believe. Like you he started a farm not being a farmer. Check out his channel. Interesting. Good luck no matter what you decide. All the best and be safe!

  32. You need to rebuild your soil. There’s a pair of PhDs by the name of Johnson & Su that are getting spectacular results with a technique of rebuilding the biology of the soil. They’ve been doubling the productivity of a large test plot every year. They started with plants that stopped growing at 3 feet tall in the first year. Now, 3-4 years later the same varieties of plants grow to 12 feet tall. It’s an amazing story. There’s nothing hidden and nothing proprietary.
    Watch a webinar on YouTube entitled:
    Regenerating the Diversity of Life in Soils – Webinar with Dr. David Johnson

  33. WoW! that would be lot of hard work for a 20-30 year old and moreso… . It could be a dream that turns into reality if you can “afford” the man power, equipment, supplies. I figure getting a Well would be the 1st get, if there’s no well to be had… .

  34. Great idea JC. We started a similar thing a couple of years ago, I admit that it was hard work to start with but now as the trees are growing and the ground has recovered it becomes easier. We’ve got a pond for fish and a Sala (gazebo) to sit, relax and shelter.
    Our family have been caring for it while we’re away.
    When we get back you and Nat must come past and have a look and I can fill you in with more details,
    Cheers, Ian and Pam.

  35. Hi JC, you and are are of similar age I think you’re a year or two younger. We are also on the same page as this scam-demic and other world affairs including self reliance, and prepping etc. That said, I would strongly urge you NOT to go this route. Allow me to explain,.. For anyone our age and physical fitness attempting a huge (and yes it will be huge) undertaking on a piece of land that is as barren as the one you show (and similar ones too) it will be a huge feat and asking and will take out of us a huge amount of energy – energy that will need to come from somewhere – your health, relationship, finances etc to the point it could deplete one very quickly – and then what? One could be left with a bank balance, physically drained beyond replenishment capability, marriage in tatters etc.

    My intention for when I come there (as soon as the floodgates open and they stop wanting to poke crap up my brain etc) will be to ‘survey the country’ so to speak and look for an ideal (or closest to it) place to set my home, BUT (and this is the difference between you and I) I intend to find a place that’s already reasonably forested etc, and not bare, this way if you and I were in a race – I’d have a few years over you including more energy left at the end of the day. JC we can leave the barren plots to the younger and stronger guys, as long as they have something to see as a guide, that should be enough encouragement for them, at the same time we won’t break our backs ‘getting there’. Another BIG reason for me is that I fear there may not be that much time left before sh*t hits that fan, and what if I’m right? you’ve worked your butts off for some time with nothing to show for it in the sense that you’re still not at that stage of growing fruits and veggies to be able to harvest to live off, so then what – all that for nothing AND you don’t have food to live off! What I did here in AU is over a period of several years I purchased tens of thousands of $ worth of canned, packaged and long lasting food and instruments including water filtration systems, solar panels, Deep cycle batteries etc etc FIRST!.. Then when the time was ripe and money allowed, I went off to live in the country away from the cities. So when the lockdowns came here in AU I was fine, I was on a 40 acre property singing whilst swinging in my hammock. I got the food first, then I went abouts looking for land etc. Had I went looking for land first and ESPECIALLY barren land – I would have been cactus! as it takes years for that to happen.. Yet if sh*t hit the fan bad (and the fat lady ain’t sung yet) to the point of no food around, I would have enough for years to come!.. So, my strong suggestion go for land that already has some foliage, some trees, some semblance of a garden that would not take long to produce something. Also, don’t worry about electricity, with the amount of sun you get there and heat, you could have HOT water that’ll give you second or third degree burns all running off the sun with minimum costs, and the solar panels and deep cycle batteries will do the other jobs. I found it interesting just how little one needs electricity in reality. Oh and I wouldn’t be working on the land much at all, I’d be hiring local people to do the work and upkeep. I want to come to live in Thailand to enjoy it, if I’m going to work my ass of at this age, then I might as well stay here.

  36. The issue is that when you get old you will not be able to do the work to maintain it and hiring Labour will defeat the object. I’ve just laid some grass for an hour and I’m dripping in sweat and today isn’t sunny.

  37. I like the worm farm idea; so much so I’ve suggested to my father-in-law who is a pomelo orchard farmer. From what I’ve seen on YouTube, you can start a worm farm for about $30.

    I’m pretty amazed by how little composting Thais do. Trying to get my in-laws to just separate the vegetable waste and egg shells is like pulling teeth. I REALLY don’t understand this mentality, especially since they’re farmers!

    I understand the desire for getting off the grid. I don’t know about anyone else, but I find the current world situation very concerning;South China Sea and Ukraine. If either those situations goes south, it won’t matter how far off the grid we are, we are all going suffer.

  38. Where is this land located at?
    How much does it cost to buy it?
    How are you going to buy this as a Farange, you can not own land in Thailand.

  39. Good idea! And for sure that little green forest in a future could be the best life insurance you could leave to your family. For food supply and shelter Go for it!

  40. As has been said JC, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I would help if you would consider one thing. Build 2 houses so that members could come to visit for a few days….Sal : )

  41. Like many others here I wonder if this is too big of project. I like the idea of being more self-sufficient and the restoring of the land’s fertility. Yes, monoculture (no crop rotation) is a fertility killer. How about attempting gardening on a good sized scale for your own needs while attempting what you have in mind on a much smaller scale as a test/model for others Interested in doing it later on a larger scale? In other words buy smaller parcel. Enough for house, garden, and test plot for your idea. Or if you buy all that then plant a lot of it in a restorative crop of some sort that you don’t have to attend to. Google “fallowing” or “leaving land fallow” to see what I mean. I’m no expert or farmer. I just grew up on a Midwest farm and remember the concepts of rotation and fallowing.

  42. Hi JC, good plan to be self sufficient, what you are talking about is a long term project with a lot of hard work, question is do you have enough quality life years left to fulfil your dream. I find now in my late sixties my work days are shorter and run out of steam a lot quicker. I could see 5 years or more slip away very quickly and maybe up to 10 years to achieve your dream, plus about 4-5 mil to fund the project, considering, you are going to purchase the land, build a house, plus infrastructure, solar or grid power, water bore and pumps , dam, irrigation, tractor, attachment discs, compost and not to mention laborer’s to assist. You maybe better off to find something that is sort of half way there and you can achieve your dream earlier. Easier to tidy up an existing house and land that has some of what you are looking for. The initial coast would be higher, however, you will have more time on your side to fulfil the dream. Keep in mind if your not a Mr DIY and have little experience in farming your costs will be 2 fold, so to speak. These days plenty of web sites to follow about self sufficient farming. Good luck with your endeavor.

  43. I think the problem is going to be time – it will take too long to grow the trees you want to get the results you need to make it a good example – the average Thai would starve trying to do this project.
    I wish you all the best but I honestly think it is a long term money sink.

  44. Geez JC, you are TOO OLD to be “sustainable” for a long time to get this venture going! WHY turn NAT into a “farmers wife”? She’s seen the non-stop hard work of Issan life already!

    You KNOW how to make plenty of money ON-LINE, stick with what you know best!

    Don’t you dare “become” a gentleman farmer” believe me Green Acres is NOT for YOU!!!

    btw, do you really “want” your children with NAT to become farmers also? You know, they’ll SELL the place the moment they are able too!

    hint: a very BAD idea…good luck in what ever you decide, you are certainly persistent, maybe on the verge of being stubborn!

    Dear friend, your simply being credulous. Asking to be reborn with hard work is a common theme of those reaching the point where their common sense is receding..You have done many things in your short life, being a farmer=decades of back breaking work or learning to manage MANY “co-workers”…Reminds me of when I used to read Mother Earth News…why take years of Kriya-like devotion when you can simply make that happen with a plan to PAY others to accomplish these extreme tasks? “40 acres and a mule”,etc,etc,etc…

    Kindly consider your delima this way: the money needed to perfect your ideas are possible, the extreme waste of your physical labor in such a premise is nonsense. In the end, you have maybe 10-20 acres of paradise, after spending decades to achieve. The means don’t justify the ends!

    After residing in 3rd world for a while, I know those around you will simply clear-cut ANY available lands and of course the always possible “eminent domaine” which the future WILL plow your park-like paradise into another strip mall!

  45. I like the idea! Would make a good video series or even another channel on the subject. You are going to need lots of labor and expertise help for sure! Definitely inquire about the power. Doing it on solar/generators alone would be tough.

  46. Love this JC. Look into regenerative agriculture as well, there is so much info on you tube in this area and great ideas. A great man I listen to about the importance of soil is, Zach Bush MD. I know there’s not much left on that piece of land, but I would still start composting, utilise what you have, see if the neighbours have green waste, instead of burning it put it back into the land. Nourish the soil and you won’t need massive water supplies and artificial fertilisers. Also, you can look into permaculture, ‘the weedy gardener’, on you tube has some good ideas as well. Looking forward to your journey and will be happy to support.

  47. Hello JC, my wife Bussara and I started something like your project over three years ago. We have 8 Rai of land located in Buri Ram with the local rice / cane farmers thinking my wife was crazy for dumping many tonnes of soil to fill in a perfectly good rice field to start growing fruit trees, vegetables, ducks, chickens and fish. Bussara’s plan is to open our farm up to the local community to show a more self sustaining organic farm lifestyle to the locals. The local government office in the local area also assists thai people doing this type of farming with information, assistance and gives a small amount of free start up supplies of fruit trees and fish for their farms.
    I agree this is a great concept and a fantastic way of life, all the best with your plans and if we can be of help just let us know.

  48. If you wanna do it then do it but stop begging for money. Subscribers build you a house and forest? How many years of donating money to you is0 gonna take?

  49. Every minute a few football fields of trees are cut down somewhere on earth. Your idea is not a new one JC, and I wish you the best with it, personally I think it’s too little too late. There’s just too many people wanting the world’s resources and not enough caring about it.

  50. That place could easily be green inside of a single year ….locals would gladly grow and maintain a rai of rice field and even pay you a small rent fee….note that with increased canopy and foliage this will drastically increase the wildlife, snakes, field vermin etc, and neighboring farm owners may see crop disruptions and not approve….so there is a lot to consider….

  51. Sounds like a fantastic idea, but maybe there’s a better location. Also, trees take decades to grow right? Massive project, good luck, JC.

  52. I am not so impressed by the last photo you showed. Has nothing to do with a jungle. But, if you want to do it, how to make the soil fertile again? Buying a lot of new soil, or maybe letting animals help you? And water? Where from? The rain stains mainly in the plain when you go to Spain, and the same is the case for Thailand in november-april. Drilling for water? Exepensive but then you hopefully have water for the whole year. Energy? Solar power? Another investment but…

  53. Jon Jandai’s style of farming, totally possible, and not that hard to do. Visit him and listen, maybe also get the help you need to get the steam up from that community, If he doesn’t know, nobody else does.

  54. Hi, JC. This looks like an interesting project, but it’s not for the faint-hearted, I think if you are fit and have enough money then I would definitely say go for it. But for older people, something like this would be very stressful. and if they didn’t have the money to hire people to work the land for them it wouldn’t really be viable. Also, if you grow up in a city where you have been told all your life that you need to get an education, get a job, and work hard for 40-50 years and retire on a pension, then this type of mindset doesn’t really prepare you for emergencies like we are suffering from right now. This is where different types of creative thinking would be necessary in order to survive. in these situations, different people sharing their ideas would be helpful. It’s something to think about.


  55. Great idea JC, in the midst of doing something very similar to your idea. The late King of Thailand educated the Thai a principle of Sustainability Farming – Khok Nong Na Model (โคกหนองนาโมเดล). Wish you good luck in this very noble adventure. Chok Dee Krup

  56. Sounds a nice idea, long term, but at least in Thailand trees are fast growing. You would have to set aside a few years to achieve it. Good luck.

  57. Also known as permaculture. People have been thinking about this (back to the land) food forest for a long time but was especially renewed from the Republican recession of 2008.. Mother Earth News is a great publication to start your off grid journey

  58. Yup, need a lot of mulch. Grow a crop like sugar cane, corn then don’t harvest and plow it down into the soil. Gather as much rice straw as you can before farmers burn thier field. A nice ATV with long wagon to haul any recyclable straw, paper, cardboard, leaves, sticks. Chickens of course eat bugs and fertilize the land. Maybe concur a smaller piece of the land and spread out from there. Good luck, I think its a good project. Also know that solar won’t save you any money but still nice to have.

  59. smart way to make youtube money begging many do the same PH most pore US ones
    never going work you going after the old kings thinking it never going work
    you want tree plant bamboo on the hole plot buy your food in makro you have one Brit
    and thai lady living simpel life whit help from youtube money last thing goat farming and the mix you want look there hove it works

  60. A good project, but if I should make it, I would make it more like a tiny jungle where everything can grow wild. Not like a plantation.

  61. GREAT Idea and an amazing project to set up.
    Feed the soil and the soil with feed the plants, a simple suggestion and knowledge that has been lost worldwide with the farmers.
    Look into the property’s and benifits of no dig gardening, it’s all about composting onto of soil.
    It’s great that your thinking about a pond aswell. Just as an idea, what’s your thoughts around having like a moat/canal sort of water way around, going through the plot, so it sort of made islands with your plots your thinking about growing trees/fruits and veg etc, could grow fish to eat, plus have the water to spray the islands when not raining, and use the well to just top up the moat/canal.
    Let me find the video and it will give you a better idea at what I’m getting at. 👍

  62. Check COCONUT PLANTATION IN THAILAND. Just as a better insight to what I was trying to explain and then work with the idea around the canal idea.
    Also, if you grew water hacienda in the lake/canal grows easy, will take the nutrients outta the water from fish poo and your always have a stable supply of great organic material to just throw on the islands floor for excellent feed for the soil. Will take a few years to really take off, but the soil will definitely benifit which in turn will make you trees and plants flourish.
    I’m not the greatest in trying to explain what’s in my head, but hope you can get the logistics of what I mean. Hope it helps.
    Remember, read about no dig

  63. Is this what is called permaculture? My dream is a walled family compound in the ancinet style of wooden houses on stilts and a work shop too. Maybe stucco perimeter wall. Adding gardening and trees is a natural too. I’m looking for a partner first and just trying to keep my money in tact for now. Live 100 years. Thanks, Paul in Loksong PS And realitically I think JC and myself both have enough assets and income to let the gardening and food forest thing be a hobby that develops naturally instead of being a fight for your life and total self sufficiency. Why grow rice which is backbreaking labor when it is so cheap and even natural black rice is cheap. Grow what turns you on, not what breaks your back. This is modern times and modern tech is there to help all around.

  64. NOT to sound negative but have you ever work or farm JC???? I have….and I am. We have 1/2 acres in Big Island, Hawaii….and working it is HARD!! Because things are so expensive here, EVERYTHING IS DO IT YOURSELF!! From building a tiny house to grow your own vegetables and food! My wife and I are in our mid 50’s…..and it is getting harder each year. We plan to call it quit in 3-5 years. You are talking about starting over on a 2.5 acres and turn it into a sustainable oasis!! You either need a lot of money or health!! This is a young man’s game!!

  65. This would be a great project. Recommend you contact Jon Jandai at PunPun Center for Self Reliance for some agricultural ideas. He has his own Youtube channel.

  66. See if cannot do a site contour map, you then sort out the wet and drier parts. search for ‘global gardener’ and see the gardens they design for the tropics. once you have the Forrest it does not dry out much. They even grow things in the deccan where they had no soil.

  67. Go for it 🙂 I´m doing the same in Lahan Sai in Buriram… But right now I´m looked away in Sweden… I planted trees and have allot of help from people down there that keep it all in shape and watering the plants… But Durian was hard, I planted 8 of them and they all did die… Mango grows very well 🙂 I think one must live there and water every day in the beginning before the trees can take care of them self… One thing I did learn is to buy BIG plants, thy are mush more hardy and will have a better chance of surviving 🙂 Good Luck !!!

  68. Interesting concept and a popular retirement activity… similar to what My PI Dream did in the Philippines, except his was a big house and small garden

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