Instead of going to the Mindfulness Project (link), the main reason why we’ve been coming back to Thailand, we’re on our way to Rak Tamachat (link) a permaculture farm near Sikhio. Because of a misunderstanding with the Mindfulness Project we had to search for an alternative and came up with Rak Tamachat. On the map it seems to be quite close to Petchabun but we have to take two busses and a taxi. Our journey starts at 9:00 AM and it’s already around 8:00 PM when we reach the farm.

The first person we meet is Beau the founder of the whole project. His wife Lin joins him to welcome us. A little irritating for us is, that the first thing we have to do is to pay the money for our stay. Beau later explains me, that other people didn’t pay at all and just left in the past, so it is understandable but still a bit awkward at a permaculture place.

A lot of people are staying here at the moment, because they’re attending a Permaculture Design Course (PDC). Beau is the teacher. They’re all sitting on the veranda of the community area and so it is a hello with many faces and names. After a delicious vegetarian burger Lin shows us our bungalow. Happy to get into a horizontal position we sleep early.

Next morning we have our first shift as volunteers. Beau introduces us to Dee a Thai woman working on the farm. She should show us what to do. Her son Keng Keng is with her. He is just adorable. Together with her we plant some pumpkins and some other seeds in the nursery. They work with worm compost which is quite interesting for me. After that we plant out some seedlings in a new prepared bed. It’s fun to make our hands dirty.

Unfortunately the next days are a bit less exciting. Dee is visiting her family and Beau and Lin are busy with other things. So no one shows us what we can do and we end up in front of our notebook doing some own stuff.

Antoine, another French volunteer, has more experience with gardening and is doing some things here and there. We join him a few times and so there is a little bit we can learn.

They have some amazing things on the farm I discover during these days. There is a mushroom farm. It’s a round long building made out of thick mud wall and covered in black plastic. Inside there are bags full of substrate inoculated with mushroom mycelium. Even with more than 30 degrees Celsius outside the mushrooms are growing here. Just great!

Another interesting technique to learn about are the Permaponic systems. These are constructions where bags with stones and soil are placed into water basins.

Altogether it is very green everywhere and there is a lot of food growing you can just pick.

In the afternoons Helen and I do some Yoga at a platform on one of the ponds or on the terrace of our bungalow.

In the evenings we have great discussions with the other volunteers and course members.

The week passes by pretty quick. It’s again time to say good bye again. With new knowledge and friends we leave the farm. Next stop, Chiang Mai.