64/3 Moo1 Tambon Vieng nuea, Amphoe Pai, Mae Hong Son, Thailand seedlings.pai@gmail.com +66 852641331

Land Restauration & PERMACULTURE

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OBJECTIVES

We have bought old rice paddies that have been abused by monoculture, herbicides, and lack of proper care for decades and want to turn them into a food heaven striving on diversity to create abundance and share it.

This land will be our playground for all workshops on natural lifestyle and permaculture.

 

WATER

Water is the main resource, plentiful during monsoon (June-October) and scarce during dry season (November-May). To avoid floods and drought, we started by digging ponds on the lands and a network of drains that can be used to both irrigate and drain excess water.

ORCHARD

Trees and fruit trees take time to grow, but their root system eventually has the ability to break down through even clay soil and improve its ability to absorb water and bring it to underground water tables. Plus they bring shade and organic matter that will turn into top soil or can be used as composting material.

We have planting more than 50 young trees this year: pigeon peas and Jamaican cherry, mangoes, tamarind, lime and oranges, moringa, papaya, mulberries, coconuts, bananas, roselle…

VEGETABLE GARDEN

We have opted for raised vegetable beds with bamboo frame to avoid the problem of the soil being water logged in monsoon.

As for vegetable, we will focus this summer on varieties that like water and are resistant to bugs that can be plentiful. Beans, corn, squash, watermelon…

COMPOST

We are lucky to have Romance Farm in Pai as a partner, which lets us unlimited use to the manure from their cows and horses, an invaluable source of rich organic matter to compost and enrich our own soil.

WHAT IS PERMACULTURE?

 

Permaculture is a holistic approach that can be difficult, at first, to understand all the implications and to understand the possibilities it offers. It is often described as a set of agricultural and gardening techniques, unfortunately often reduced to the famous “hill culture”. But its field of application is actually much wider and includes agricultural culture as well as the design of living spaces and relations within a community or a place: hence its term ‘holistic’ practice. ‘ecology (literally the science of the place of life).

The definition we propose is that of the co-founder of permaculture, Bill Mollison
Permaculture is an ethical design approach to building sustainable human habitats by imitating the workings of nature.

 

An ethical approach, first of all, because we need to put together a framework of values ​​to build a world, a more just sustainable society. The ethical framework is therefore of great importance. The permaculture that we set up on our site is UNIQUE because it meets the values ​​we aspire to and our own sensitivity. These values ​​are the deep respect of the human being and nature in all its forms of life, the daily discipline in the work of the earth in full consciousness, the love of oneself and the beings around us. As part of this ethical approach we have drafted an ecological charter through which we can clearly communicate these values ​​and their implementation in a concrete way on our site (see Eco Seedlings charter) A design and design approach, because these sustainable human habitats are nourishing, organizational, structural systems that will have to lead to energy efficiency, resilience and stability to build the sustainable world we aspire to. The permaculture design is a methodology that will allow us to realize our projects in an efficient, sustainable and economical way (time, resources, budget …) starting from our context (our objectives, our site, our situation …) all in inspiring models of nature. It determines the capacities of the natural resources available on the site and thus the installation needs (management of the arrival of water, water quality (water filter) …and electricity in particular.

 

Mimicking the workings of nature is also fundamental. This is done through a framework of thoughts, a series of universal principles called permaculture principles, developed by founders Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. These principles are guides to enable us to mimic nature at best in order to create autonomous and sustainable “cultivated ecosystems”. Let’s take nature as a teacher! Why take inspiration from natural models for the design of our living space and our vegetable garden? Take a forest: does it need watering? Does she need fertilizer? Does she need the man to take care of her? How the forest manage to produce biomass in large quantities? Because it is a stable and autonomous ecosystem.
The 7 principles are
Care for nature and the earth
Habitat
Tools and Technology
Education and Culture
Wellness and Health
Finance and Economics
Land and Governance
To illustrate these principles in a simple and clear way, here is the permaculture flower that describes the principles and places them in coherence with each other:
To sum up Three main ethical issues emerge from the founders’ analysis: 1. Pay attention to the human 2. Pay attention to the earth 3. Redistribute surpluses  Related to the dimension of agricultural approach, we could say that permaculture is a science of planning allowing a sustainable development of activities while respecting and reinforcing the biotope (physicochemical environment). One of the main features of permaculture is to take into account the adaptation of plants to seasonal climate changes (phenology) and plant species associations (phytosociology). The goal is to limit competition between plants while maximizing positive interactions. In the end, permaculture not only dynamically coexists different species, but also different production methods, thus considerably reducing the human energy devoted to the maintenance and upkeep of the farm. A complete permaculture system draws its ethics and strength from the integration of all kingdoms: bacterial, fungal, plant, animal and human.
The goal of permaculture is that humans live SUSTAINABLY on the planet by designing sustainable and efficient systems (nursery, social, urban …). This conception is concretized thanks to a method called “DESIGN”
This design will allow us to set up our place that will fulfill the majority of our needs by promoting life in all its forms. We will take into account: – the management of the sun, the orientation of the land, the placement of the orchard area so as not to create shadows on the grain zone (for example). – Pond near the canal to the north, irrigation can be done by gravity, and from the roof of the house (recovery zone) – The distance of the zones from the living areas The result ?
MORE AUTONOMY, MORE WELL-BEING, MORE FREEDOM
BENEFITS OF PERMACULTURE
Agricultural and Environmental Benefits
  1. Optimize (quantitative and qualitative) agricultural production through diversification and positive interactions.
  2. Strengthen production capacity over time by taking into account soil fertility.
Human benefits
  1. Minimize human tasks to the essentials by delegating a maximum to nature (by an appropriate design).
  2. Resilience: emphasis on diversified food crops rather than on industrial monoculture.