Sustainable farming is an essential aspect of our healing and mindfulness program. It helps us to fulfil our goal of being an environmentally-friendly, self-sustaining community. On our 63 acres of land in Chiang Rai, we grow our own rice, corn, vegetables and fruit. We are always looking for new ways to use our land while being extremely conscientious of our environment and learning as much about organic and sustainable agriculture as we can.

Annually, we harvest two crops of delicious, nutritious brown rice, as well as bananas, avocados, dragon fruit, pineapples, and mangoes from our orchards. Our vegetable fields provide us with a feast of eggplant, pumpkin, beans, lettuce, okra, beetroot, potatoes, cucumbers, chilies, tomatoes, and much more. This produce is all prepared into healthy Thai and international cuisine for our visitors, residents, and volunteers. We also have a small family of dairy cows which provide fresh milk that we turn into yoghurt and cheese, as well as ducks that provide us with organic, free-range eggs.

We produce the compost we use on our farm ourselves, with a mixture of manure from our ducks cows, as well as food scraps from the kitchen, where we separate our waste into recyclables and compostables. Our rice paddies are naturally irrigated with water from our fish-filled lake.

In addition to providing us with food and a clean and relaxing environment, our work on the farm allows us to mindfully get back into our bodies and reminds us to enjoy the simple pleasures that reconnecting with nature can provide. Furthermore, it provides structure and purpose to the day, offers opportunities for social contact and making friends, and provides us with a way to contribute the community.

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At New Life, we remain in harmony with our environment through natural building. Instead of manufactured building products, we use traditional techniques to make our own. We make adobe bricks from our own soil, water and rice husks and dry them in the sun.

With natural building, we drastically decrease our carbon footprint and eliminate industrial products that consume a disproportionate share of the earth’s energy. As adobe houses respond naturally to the climate, require less energy for heating and cooling. Additionally, they are architecturally very beautiful, blending in with their surroundings.

We have already finished a spectacular meditation hall in the forest, a recreation hall, and numerous adobe houses. In future, we plan to build more houses, dorm rooms, and much more.

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In addition to farming and natural building, residents and volunteers can contribute to the community by joining one of the work teams. Please let us know what your talents and interests are so we can put them to good use.

The maintenance team takes care of our facilities, the green team focuses on recycling, the cleaning team keeps the halls, foundation grounds, pool, and kitchen spotless, and the cow and duck teams care for our beloved animal friends. If you have writing or marketing skills you can also help us collect stories from community members and find ways to spread the word about the New Life project.

During the day, we are invited to work slowly, putting our whole heart into our task, no matter how small. In addition to being a valuable opportunity to help care for our community, working meditation is a chance to slow down, practice being present, and cultivate a sense of joy and awareness.

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