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Coconuts, Mangroves, Seawall Stabilization and Open Ocean Gambling.

During the summer months at Koh Sriboya Beachfront Resort, we have our rainy season.  While many people choose to go to Thailand in the drier winter season, there are two plants that plan their seed drops for the summer months.  Both the coconut and the mangrove plant depend upon the rainy season and ocean currents to spread their seeds.  At the risk of anthropomorphizing a couple of plant species, the strategy behind their reproductive strategies is quite sound.  Both plants drop their seeds around the beginning of the summer rains, where the torrential rains and stormy seas combine to effectively carry many coconut and mangrove seeds out to sea, where they are carried by the ocean currents for days, weeks, or even months, with at least some of them ending up on a foreign shore.
Because they do their traveling in the rainy months, there is, in most cases, daily rain to water the seeds in on whatever beach they land on, so that the young plants get a head start on growth.
How does this all fit into to stabilizing seawalls?  Well, one goal of seawalls is to protect the land from the strength of the ocean.  A second goal is to plant bushes and trees near the seawalls with roots that will go into the soil behind the wall and the sand beneath the wall and stabilize it.  Both coconuts and mangroves do this job quite well:  mangrove in estuaries and coconut trees in more exposed locations.
Most species of mangroves require fairly regular inundation with fresh, or at least brackish, water, so they are best in estuaries and river mouths.  At Koh Sriboya Resort, we have a river that runs through the property, so whenever we are worried about one riverbank or the other getting eroded away, we plant some mangroves and their roots help retain the soil.  With our seawalls that face the ocean, from time to time we order large rocks and I always try to grab some coconuts and throw them on the sand before the heavy machinery operator drops the rocks.  Not all of the coconuts sprout and grow, but enough do to make it worthwhile.  Once they sprout, they send out roots in all directions and help to retain the sand and soil once the storms hit.

koh-sriboya

Koh Sriboya – Working on the Farm

One interesting thing about living on a farm for a few days is that you end up helping out on some jobs you never thought you’d do.  During our last trip to the Kanchanaburi farms (my wife’s family grows sweet corn, rice, ducks, fish, frogs and lotus roots).  So, we dug out lotus root from the pond in which they grow, picked some baby sweet corn, and moved a house from the rice fields.
I got out of most of the work but they needed another set of legs in moving the house poles, which had held up my wife’s father’s house, then been transported 100 miles to the farm, where they anchored another house.  Now, that house was being dismantled and moved, but first we needed to dry out the house poles, so we hauled them across the rice field and stacked them up to dry.
The lotus root  is quite tasty, but I managed to save a couple of the plants for use in the river near our resort.   I wonder if Costco would let me return the tennis shoes?

Thai Fruit Festival – Thailand is a country that loves its festivals and other cultural events.
Where else would you have a multi-day holiday celebrating the expected arrival of rain?  During our last trip over, we caught the Thai Fruit Festival.  Although the day was overcast at best, and pouring rain at worst, we managed to have a great time.

We sampled quite a few of the unusual Thai fruits, and bought a number of fruit trees to plant on the Kanchanaburi farms and Koh Sriboya Beachfront Resort “an authentic Thailand Resort”.