All Posts in Self Sustainability

March 1, 2017 - No Comments!

Hot Stuff

We are in the last stages of finishing our new vegetable green house, also known as a garden hut by the Thai staff.

This new development is important because it allows us to grow vegetables in the off season which also means we do not have to pay higher prices for these types of crops. With the garden hut, we can grow higher value crops and give our kids a wider variety of food without paying the higher prices. One vegetable that ZOE will appreciate the green house for is chili. 


ZOE loves chili. In fact, we use up to 6 pounds of chili per week! Chili is a spice, and like most spices, they tend to be more expensive per pound than regular vegetables.  While we consider chili something that is only used occasionally, and sometimes never, it is a basic ingredient for many foods here in Thailand. This led us to the decision to grow our own!

Chili plants can be very delicate because they require both sun and rain, but not too much of either. Unfortunately, Thailand has excessive amounts of rain in the rainy season and way too much sun in the hot season. This is where the green houses come in. It allows us to give sunlight, but not too much, and it protects the plants from too much rain.


Our second week of chili harvest.

The plants have been growing for several months now, and we have finally began to harvest chili. During this time, the chili plants are flowering and producing like crazy! We harvest chili once a week and send fresh chili to the kitchen. Then with the leftovers, we dry and store them for use later in the year.

During the first two weeks, we harvested 30 kilos of fresh chili each week!


April 13, 2016 - Comments Off on Our new Garden Hut

Our new Garden Hut

We are in the last stages of finishing off our new vegetable green house. We also call it our 'garden Hut' or 'Pak Baan' (which is what the Thai staff call it).
The 'Garden Hut' was developed to grow vegetables in the off season. For example, items like chilli do very well in the hot season, but not in the heavy rainy season.This vegetable green house allows us to grow chilli in the rainy season because it is protected from the rains. Why is this important? Because growing vegetables in their off season means we do not have to pay higher prices for these types of crops at the market!

With the 'Garden Hut' we can grow higher value crops and give our kids a wider variety of food without paying the higher prices!
This entire project was designed, built and installed by our teen boys and Thai staff. We have been able to undertake this project because of some grant-money we received some from ZOE Foundation Australia.
Doing everything from scratch instead of buying prefabricated huts, means that we have been able to get TWICE as much area under the coverings, giving us the ability to produce twice as much crops!


October 1, 2015 - Comments Off on The difference you are making…

The difference you are making…

It was one of those beautiful Thailand mornings. The sun was just beginning to break through the clouds as I drove up into the hills on my way to the ZOE Children’s Home.

Entering ZOE, I greeted the guards and headed toward the car park. As I drove along the gravel roadway, my car received a light coating of orange dust that was coming from the garden area on my left. I looked across to where this dust was coming from and there I saw Wonchai (one of the ZOE dad’s) carefully making his way along one of the garden beds with the new Rototiller.

Slowing down to almost a stop, I paused for a moment and smiled. I realised that it was just months before that I had sent a request to get that very piece of machinery funded by ZOE Foundation Australia. Stopping for that moment to see it actually being used, preparing the ground for the next season of crops, filled my heart with gratitude for all those $5, $10 and $50 donations that were combined for the purchase. This is a fantastic ‘tool’ that will help to provide food for all the children at ZOE.


July 12, 2015 - Comments Off on Meals at ZOE just got ‘mush’ better!

Meals at ZOE just got ‘mush’ better!

In 2014, we created our very own mushroom hut. Thanks to the funding from ZOE Foundation Australia, we’ve been able to build this new hut designed for trapping moisture and darkness - which is essential for the proper cultivation of mushrooms. We’re expecting over 1000kg of mushrooms each year! This will be a valuable source of fiber, protein, and iron, and also provide the needed nutrition to all the kids.

Lastly, the new hut is so nice that the men have considered moving our offices out there. It would become the fun-guy hangout… although, on second thought, there wouldn’t be mush-room for all of us.

Written by Jonathan Degler - Vocational Program Coordinator

April 6, 2015 - No Comments!

Not "Mush-room:" Our Newest Self-Sustainability Project

ZOE Foundation Australia Funds Mushroom Hut

Led by missionary Les Ginoza, ZOE is always trying to think of new ways to become self-sufficient. This is derived from the value of stewardship, and we believe that by working hard to become as efficient and self-sustainable as possible, we are better stewards of the blessings God has given us.

Our past projects include the pig farm, consisting of more than 50 pigs, which saves the kitchen hundreds of dollars a year. We’ve also systematized the farming at ZOE, and now that we have experienced and educated agriculture staff, most of our vegetables come straight from our own organic and pesticide-free garden.

Most recently, however, is the creation of our very own mushroom hut. Funded by ZOE Foundation Australia, we’ve been able to build a hut designed for trapping moisture and darkness, which is essential for the proper cultivation of mushrooms. Through the know-how of our agriculture staff, the project is about to launch with the expectation of producing anywhere between 500 to 2,000 pounds of mushrooms each year!

Mushrooms are a valuable source of fiber, protein, and iron; not to mention, many other nutrients. So in addition to producing food efficiently, the production of mushrooms will also provide needed nutrition to all the children rescued from human trafficking.

Lastly, the new hut is so nice that the missionary men have considered moving our offices out there. It would become the fun guy hangout. Although, on second thought, there wouldn’t be mush-room for all of us.

February 18, 2015 - Comments Off on Pig farm

Pig farm

The opening of our amazing pig farm at ZOE has been allowing for in-house production of a sufficient and self-sustaining source of meat protein as we feed hundreds of children and staff daily. You can see more about this project and other projects at this link.

And... have you heard about our mushroom hut?





May 5, 2014 - No Comments!

Pig Farm Update

ZOE’s self-sustainability continues to grow.  In just one short year ZOE’s pigpen has expanded from 40 pigs to 70!  In fact, we not only had to build on to the current pig shelter, but we also had to slow down breeding so that the growth wouldn’t explode beyond what we could handle.

As of right now, the pig farm is the perfect size for ZOE, and the kids are getting the protein they need to be healthy.  We are very thankful for the success we have had handling the pigs, and we are also thankful for the experience staff members who have grown this simple idea into a reality.


October 4, 2013 - 1 comment.

New Land for ZOE!

There has been land for rent adjacent to the ZOE Children’s Home in Thailand for more than five years, and ever since then ZOE has wanted to buy it for agricultural training and a vocational training center.  However, because it was not yet for sale, we had to settle with renting the property.  ZOE has waited patiently for the past five years until the two acres became available.

Within the past few months, the land had become available, but ZOE did not have the cash to purchase the land outright.  Prayer was our only option because if the land were purchased out from under us, not only would we lose this option for student training, but there would also be a serious risk to the security of ZOE.


Yim, Zoe's Children's Home Manager and Les, ZOE's Chief Operations Officer holding the deed to our new land!

With the unfailing faithfulness of God, the Regency Lighting family, who had already purchased the new Boys’ Home at ZOE, committed all the money needed to finally buy the land.  Last month, ZOE’s children’s home manager and Chief Operations Officer went to the Land Department to make the final purchase.

Now that the land is in ZOE’s possession, we can expand our efforts to become self-sufficient through our garden, to begin carpentry, auto-maintenance, and other vocational trainings, and to train our kids how to grow an assortment of fruits and vegetables.

Thank you again to Regency Lighting for answering the call to further the efforts of child care and rescue in Thailand!




March 30, 2011 - No Comments!

Smell the Garlic!

Self-Sufficient Living: Garlic

At ZOE International, we really like garlic. Seriously. We love the stuff! Returning from a recent shopping excursion, our staff unloaded 1,500 kilos of the pungent bulbs. (That’s 3,300 pounds or 1.65 tons!) Either they ran into one heck of a garlic salesman or our staff has big plans for garlic!

One of our goals at ZOE Children’s Homes is to become as self-sufficient as possible, especially in the areas of food and water. We are well along with our work to provide a secure and stable source of clean, fresh water for child trafficking victims, and we are now also embarking on growing our own food.

Our big garlic buy will serve to move us a step closer toward food self-sufficiency. At the same time, it will save us lots of money!

The recent purchase included 1,000 kilos of white garlic and 500 kilos of red. We took 20% of the fresh bulbs and planted them.

In the meantime, the remaining 80% of the garlic was hung up to dry where it will lose half its weight in the process. Bought fresh from harvest, a kilo of white garlic goes for 20 Thai baht (฿) while the red sells for ฿15, making our total purchase price ฿27,500 (US$915).

In a few months, when garlic is out of season and dried garlic starts to get scarce, the price of white garlic will reach ฿135 per kilo and red will fetch about ฿100. If we were to buy 500 kilos of dry white garlic and 250 kilos of dry red garlic, we would pay ฿92,500 (US$3,080).

Taking into consideration the 20% we planted, our total savings on garlic for eating is ฿52,000 ($1,730).

Not only did we save money, but this may also well be the last time we have to buy garlic.