As you might expect, I’m very excited to announce an upcoming visit home this August! I’m even more excited to announce this August PDC, an event that has been years in the making! Finally, with the help of so many amazing friends and family, this August, I will be facilitating an entire Permaculture Design Certificate course for the first time ever in Austin, Texas.
In a rural village at the Southwest corner of the Isaan Plateau, just over an hour drive south of Thailand’s second largest city, Korat, a band of tenacious permaculturalists have just arrived at the site of their new home. Over the course of the next year, infrastructure will be erected, community and teaching spaces will be established and a traditional corn and rice farm will undergo a dramatic metamorphosis. The work here has already begun… and I’d like to take you along for the ride!
We arrived on site on a warm mid-January afternoon full of excitement and anticipation. What wonders awaited us on this amazing new permaculture adventure?
These last few weeks of traveling and adventure have been something of a dream. In three weeks time, I’ve transitioned from living in a tent, waking each morning at dawn and milking cows to, jogging in the city, meditating on the beach while the sun set across the pristine Indian Ocean, Sleeping in three airport terminals in two separate countries, to finally find myself in this fascinatingly beautiful city of Mueang Phuket, Thailand. I have one week to absorb and immerse myself in the culture here before making the trek north to meet up with team Panya CQ. After a very brief sojourn in Bangkok the crew and I will make our way north again to Korat and the 50 acres I will call home for the next year. Continue reading →
In January of 2012 I will embark on a journey to transform a conventional Thai farm into an example of abundance and profitable permaculture. Equipped with a Master Plan developed by Terra Genesis International, a global permaculture consulting company which includes Edible Forest Gardens co-author Eric Toensmeier, Panya Project founder Christian Shearer, and Appleseed Permaculture’s Ethan Roland, I will be called upon to test the limits of permaculture design.
Through the implementation of design strategies crafted to reduce costs, maintenance and external dependancies, Terra Genesis International aims to increasing fertility, health and productivity of all aspects of the farm.
An extension of the Panya Project in Chaing Mai, Panya CQ (as it is currently known) is an opportunity to showcase the ecological and economical advantages of permaculture design. By reducing overhead and external dependencies of food and fuel while increasing diversity within the farm, Panya CQ looks to provide a model for struggling farmers throughout Southeast Asia and the world.
You can be apart of this amazing Thailand Permaculture Project by joining us for one (or all) of several upcoming workshops and courses that will lay the foundation for this inspired work!
Over the past nine weeks I’ve participated in the construction of an agricultural dam, a swale, a couple of terraces, a large urban garden, several compost piles, 1000 liters of compost tea, an aid proposal to a Nepalese orphanage, and 600 square meters of food forest. Aside from exploring a nearby rainforest, swimming in the ocean and the occasional night at the local pub… it’s been a non-stop permaculture marathon!
My mornings generally start around 5:30 am. I have no alarm clock… in fact, my means of telling time here are incredibly limited. Nature tells me when to rise, a bell rings when its time to eat or take a break and the end of the day comes when my eyelids are too heavy to stay open (usually fairly early… depending on how my day has been spent).
Imagine, you’re perusing the Sunday paper, thumbing through various articles, world news, sports, opinion pieces… yea, we’ve all been there. What feelings arise for you as the images pass by your eyes? Article after article, world news and local… everything seems so dismal.
In disgust and with a freshly drained world view, you fold the paper up and drop it back down on the table. Just before you look away and try to forget the morning sorrow, a small advertisement catches your eye.
Over the past three plus weeks myself and 15 other cohorts have been fully engaged in farm life. And, although there are several aspects of this lifestyle that you might expect out of a typical farm experience (i.e. milking goats, turning compost, planting veggies, etc…) this is far from a typical farm!