Friday, December 19, 2008
In a few weeks, there should be lots of mushrooms to harvest... and mushroom soup for dinner!
comic decoration around every turn
The final technique we learned was grafting where we are selecting choice varieties of avacado to graft to a variety with a stronger root system. We are also grafting the shoots of female mango branches to male trees so that more of the mango trees on the property will bear fruit.
Here, we make a slice in the bark, insert the new shoot at a angle that matches up to two cuts and cover with plastic. Within a year we should be able to cut off the old branch and let the new desired branch to grow in its place.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Cooking over fire and using a cob oven took a little getting used to.
We had a humble and mindful dinner at our place, with one of the loviest rounds of expressing gratitude I've ever attended.
intern garden area - after planting
my plot - 2 weeks later
my bed - one month later (super kale!)
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Welcome to Northern Thailand! Here now, I am staying put for a couple of months to learn about organic farming and earthen adobe building. So far the place has been simply wonderful and new experiences have been walking into my life in all sorts of ways.
I am living in a simple bamboo hut with three very large spiders. This took a while to be comfortable with, but I now see them as my protectors from all the other bugs. My daily schedule starts with yoga every morning at 7am. It is a very mindful practice and a great way to wake my body and set an intention for the day. Then we have breakfast around 8am. For me this consists of fresh papaya and bananas and homemade soymilk with barley and brown sugar. We have two work sessions throughout the day, 9am-12noon, lunch, and 1:30-4:30pm, these are dedicated to gardening and building. We each have our own garden beds and will be learning about seed saving once they are grown. The building project is a two story house for Peggy and Jo, the founders of Pun Pun. It’s a really beautiful design including a main circular form and rectangular extensions of from that. We will doing all aspects of the project with few resources, so there is a lot too learn, even for the experienced builders like myself. Once a week we have an Appropriate Technology Practicum, where we’ve been split into different group to build projects around the farm including rainwater catchment, UV water filtration, solar hot water production and testing the effects of Bio-char on garden beds. An amazing amount of information and practical application! We have a bit of free time before dinner where we can go swimming in the village reservoir (twenty minute walk through the village Mai Jo) or grab a pineapple coconut shake at the You Sabai Cafe on the neighboring property. You Sabai is a beautiful, peaceful place to read, contemplate, or meet with friends with a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and daily sunset. Lunch and dinner are always healthy and delicious, we usually have brown rice with a soup full of organic vegetables or sticky rice with a spicy thai sauce and raw vegetables to mix with it. This is by far the healthiest eating I’ll have ever had for a prolonged period of time. It feels great! The evenings we usually have free, but on Monday nights we watch movies, mostly documentaries of current global concerns (my favorite!) and on Tuesdays we have a discussion group on globalization or on food production. We have lots of reading to do in preparation for these discussions, but so far I have learned a lot from them. I had no idea this place was going to be so academic. Other evenings we have been blessed with festivals in the local community and parties for birthdays of the folks in our group. There is nothing better than a chocolate cake when you haven’t had any sweets for a week.