All Posts in Self Sustainability

November 8, 2019 - No Comments!

Great Day!

It’s harvest time!

Today was a great day!  Why? Because the self-sustaining agricultural team spent the entire morning along with some of our child care staff picking a bunch of different produce items. Needless to say, our kitchen was excited, because you can’t get any fresher produce than the organic vegetables we grow!

We harvested just under 40 pounds of chili! (It’s a good thing our family LOVES SPICY FOOD!) Then we picked about 198 pounds of cucumbers! We cut down about 40 pounds of morning glory (a leafy green vegetable). Finally, we got over 187 pounds of corn.

40 pounds of chili
187 pounds of corn
198 pounds of cucumbers

To top it off, some generous neighbors gave ZOE 112 pounds of peanuts just harvested right out of the ground! Our kids LOVE peanuts and now we have fresh peanuts for snacking!

That was the harvest for this week. Last week, we only harvested corn. But there was so much corn, that the ZOE family actually started getting tired of eating corn almost every day! Fortunately, we have a pig farm and any corn we don’t eat, our pigs will! 

March 5, 2019 - 1 comment.

Corn, Glorious Corn!

ZOE Thailand

By Andrea Cross

With so many different departments and areas within ZOE Thailand, it could be easy to overlook this one because it predominantly happens “behind the scenes.” It is definitely not unimportant though because so much time, effort, and research is spent making sure the most effective processes are in place. This week we wanted to take the time to highlight just one example of the many situations our Agricultural Team need to work through on a regular basis.  Recently they reached a decision regarding - CORN!

Every year, ZOE needs to acquire a significant amount of corn to help offset the cost of food for the pig farm.  In the past, corn has been grown and harvested at ZOE, however, after doing some in-depth cost analysis, it was discovered that corn could be bought at a lower overall cost than producing it ourselves.  

The Agricultural Team wanted to find out the reason for this and it came down to these main factors. The first one was that the land that had been used to grow the corn wasn’t big enough to produce all the corn ZOE needed. There was a shortfall in corn produced, which meant buying extra pig food commercially, which added a large cost. The other factor was that by buying it in bulk, a lot of man-hours were saved, meaning the Agricultural Team could accomplish more in other areas, using the same amount of time.

So, how much corn are we talking about here? This year, ZOE ordered 15,000 kilograms of corn directly from corn farmers (or 33,000 pounds). The cost was about 4,700 USD. And this corn is used purely to supplement the pig’s meals and ensure they have a well balanced diet. They also get significant amounts of bananas and papayas (grown at ZOE) in addition to commercial pig food, rice, and of course scraps from the kitchen!  

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. 


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June 1, 2016 - No Comments!

How Much Drinking Water?

Have you ever wondered how much water we drink at ZOE? Probably not, but just for your information, here it is!

As of 2016, we order 50 bottles (20 liters each) EVERY WEEK! These water bottles are ONLY USED FOR DRINKING. We have multiple water coolers set up all around ZOE, so this is the most efficient way to make sure everyone has clean water to drink. How much does all this cost per week? About $30 per week delivered! The annual cost is about $1,560 per year!

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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.

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.