Rambutan – Making Ends Meet

Farmers know that anytime they can sell something, it is a good day. So here on the farm in rural Thailand, bushes and trees are not planted in the yard for their beauty, vegetation is planted to provide food, either for just the family, or if there is enough, to sell to friends or at the local markets. The amount of fruit and herbs varies from year, last year it was mango’s, the mango trees produced a bumper crop, but this year it was rambutan.

Rambutan harvest in Nakhon Nayok, Thailand.
Rambutan harvest in Nakhon Nayok, Thailand.

Rambutan is a medium-sized tropical tree that produces a sweet juicy fruit. It has soft spines on the skin that is removed to reveal the fruit. It is quite tasty.

Siri, a Thai woman farmer, harvests rambutan in rural Thailand. (Lee Craker/Lee Craker, Photographer)
Siri, a Thai woman farmer, harvests rambutan in rural Thailand.

One of the nicer things about growing and hand harvesting fruit is that the product is fresh, and harvested when ripe and full flavor, unlike some imported fruit (like apples) that are picked green and transported by ship, and then sold to the large grocery stores.

Bagging and weighing rambutan in Nakhon Nayok, Thailand
Bagging and weighing rambutan in Nakhon Nayok, Thailand.
Rambutan: 30 baht a kilo, 5 kilo to a bag. The Rambutan harvest in Nakhon Nayok, Thailand
Rambutan: 30 baht a kilo, 5 kilo to a bag. The Rambutan harvest in Nakhon Nayok, Thailand.

The end product is sold locally. Like many of these smaller production harvests, villagers keep an eye open for farmers picking fruit and place orders and tell family and friends so word of mouth is good enough that the farmers have no problem selling all they can produce.

A young helper during the rambutan harvest in Nakhon Nayok, Thailand.
A young helper during the rambutan harvest in Nakhon Nayok, Thailand.


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