Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tacome Pai Organic Farm/Backpackers

Just found this interesting little ditty in the outskirts of Hippy dippy Pai, Thailand. A friend of mine had told me about this farm where some of the backpackers gather for various reasons, but the idea is that it is a small self-sustaining community. For 125 B per day (equivalent of about $4USD) you can come and live here and have 3 meals a day. The basic principal of the camp is that everyone pitches in on the daily work such as cooking and cleaning. There is also a job board where daily work is laid out- building houses, tending the gardens, helping with the crops when in season.
The owners name is Sandot and I was greeted really warmly on arrival. He has a glass eye, it's pretty cool. Just mentioning. He also gives a talk every once in a while of how things came to be at Tacome. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to participate this time around but apparently it is a very inspiring seminar.
The reason for me coming here is that I have seen what Pai had to offer and decided that I wanted to try something entirely different. Get off the grid whilst still being on the grid! Meaning that I still want to hang out with backpackers and be social, but meeting different kinds of people that don't want to get pissed and spend tons of money everyday. This place is all about sustainability and being close to nature. As soon as I got here I was offered to help build a house. And this isn't just any ordinary house! The bottom floor is all made out of mud with cool yellow bottles for stained-glass windows, there is bamboo poles making the second story. Today I went down to the river and collected flat stones for the floor. We poured the mud into the floor and laid it with all the stones we collected. As i  understand it a lovely couple from England are here making that house their wedding present not only for them, but for Sandot and the other backpackers as well. It's such a sweet gesture and a good solid foundation for a marriage. If you can build a house together, and travel together than it's gotta be right!

If you are feeling up for it you can cook and help out in the kitchen. I find it to be too much pressure to cook a meal for 30 people, so I stay out of the kitchen. But I may try to learn a few things too in the process!
It's a very interesting life here. I've never used ashes as soap before, or a rice husker. Everyone is so creative always making things to benefit the camp. I've now wanted to learn more about Permaculture. As I understand it, it is a more efficient way of farming that preserves the natural integrity of the forest. Side note: this is a country that burns everything as a form of regrowth for the next generation, everything in Pai is foggy with smoke from these controlled burnings right now during dry season. Anyways, the reason I am mentioning it is because I studied biology and environmental science in a university based on agriculture, and that was the first time I have ever heard about it!!


I definitely got into the whole vibe of the camp after a day or so. There's a lot to learn so it's best to take things slow and ask if you are uncertain of where things go and what needs to be done. The thing that I have learnt from being there (despite how short it was) was seeing how much work needs to go into sustaining yourself on a farm. It is easy once you get the hang of it, and it is definitely an interesting way of living life. I know if the end of days happens during my time on Earth, I would love to come to Tacome Pai and be safe!