The New Life Foundation was recently honored by a visit from agriculture guru Jon Jandai. Jon held a two and a half hour workshop for residents, volunteers, and staff during which he talked about his life journey and his current projects. Jon is one of Thailand’s leading proponents of the Seed Saving movement, the Natural Building movement, and the Organic Gardening movement. His seed saving efforts have helped to place the ownership and control of vegetable/crop/fruit seeds back into the hands of individual farmers and away from the hands of corporate monopolies. His natural building efforts have helped provide hundreds of people with the skills and techniques needed to build their own natural, low-cost, sustainable homes made of adobe (sundried mud bricks), straw, clay, bamboo, stone and/or other secondhand/salvaged materials. Some of the fruits of his efforts can be seen on display at the small organic farm he now runs 50km outside of Chiang Mai called Pun Pun.
Jon gave us some excellent advice on how to improve our farm, including some ways we might keep our chickens warm, grow new and robust crops, improve sustainability, and make use of the abandoned seaweed factory on our back property.
Jon also inspired us with his life story, in which he successfully battled to overcome paralyzing fear, and realized that happiness could be found through the simplicity and freedom of the countryside rather than through working eight hours a day in the city just for a pair of brand name jeans and a television screen.
To visit the Pun Pun website and learn more about Jon’s work, follow this link: http://www.punpunthailand.org