We grow a lot of what we eat and have carrots, spring onions, cucumbers and tomatoes to add to the above to make some colorful and delicious salads.
During the past few weeks, we’ve had cauliflower and zucchini for our daily meal trays of steamed veggie and delicious small green eggplants for curries. The bushels of super long green beans not only look funny but taste great and go in just about any dish.
Growing enough food for our hard-working residents, volunteers and staff takes a fair bit of work and New Life employs four full-time Thai gardeners to orchestrate the process. Each day, well apart from the weekend, they get help from curious and willing volunteers and residents. Sounds like organized chaos but the teams are well supported by long-term volunteer Mark Hoogers.
Mark, from the Netherlands, is in his second stay at New Life. He has training in carpentry and has worked on the mud-building team as well as organizing the gardening team and learning more about sustainable agriculture and natural pesticides from the Thai gardeners.
It has taken some work to get the land in shape to produce delicious, healthy food. Before New Life purchased the farm, the soil had been depleted by years of growing cassava (the source of tapioca). It has taken years of diligent composting to revitalize the land so we can now enjoy hearty vegetables.
Sustainable farming is a fascinating subject and growing your own such a rewarding task. If you are interested in joining in the fun and learning more about sustainable agriculture, come and join us as a volunteer.