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Volunteering

Want to volunteer on an organic permaculture farm in Thailand? We might just be the right place for you – if you’re fearless and adventurous!

 

Note: We do not offer Permaculture Design Courses. Why?  Read here: About the PDC

 

Become a Volunteer 

We invite anyone who is interested to come to our farm for a volunteer/permaculture course program.

You can find us on WWOOF Thailand or, if you don’t want to pay the unreasonably high fee WWOOF Thailand requires its users to pay, contact us directly via email. We will ask you to fill out the following form as your application: https://forms.gle/Rup619KoAZc51a9i9

Volunteers stay in either a regular concrete house or a wooden bungalow (bathroom/shower/squat toilet), get two meals per day (Thai or Paleo), have two days off per week, and can use a semi-automatic motorbike (basic off-road driving skills required) provided by us for 200฿/day.

 

The volunteer house

We provide bedsheets, blankets, and pillowcase. Towels should be brought or can be bought in the village. Please note that during the cold season (November December, January) temperatures can occasionally be as low as 12°C (although 15-20°C is the norm) – make sure to bring some warm clothes. During the rainy season (May to October) it might rain nonstop for a few days, so please make sure you have a set of cozy dry clothes for the evenings.

We recommend bringing light long-sleeved/ long-leg working clothes so the mosquitoes won’t bother you too much. We provide a sun/rain hat and gloves if needed.

As of now, we don’t have electricity, so it is helpful to bring a headlamp/flashlight. This also means that we do not have WiFi (and the mobile signal is not the best – welcome to the jungle!), but we can charge your phone once a week. It may be helpful to think of your stay as a kind of “offline retreat” or a technology detox. Please inform your family and friends that you won’t be available all of the time so they don’t worry.   

Since our farm is still in the beginning stage and doesn’t create a surplus big enough to support a larger number of people or have any additional income, we require a fee (we prefer the term “mandatory donation”) of 250฿/night.

We are an organic farm, so we do not encourage the use of conventional soap/shampoo/deodorant bodyspray/conditioner/toothpaste, since the chemicals in those products are often poisonous and don’t belong into a garden (or anywhere else, actually). However, we provide organic herbal toothpaste for our volunteers.

If you want to use soap, please bring non-scented hard/curd soap without any additives – but there is really no need for soap, to be honest. Humans did fine without it for 3 million years, and nobody is going to blame you if you smell like sweat during the day. Every animal has a distinct smell, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Celebrating and cherishing our animality is important!

Please note that we hold earth-based views and won’t tolerate nonsensical conspiracy theories. To ensure we will have meaningful discussions and are on the same level of reality, it is mandatory to accept the basics of evolutionary theory and common sense. Talk of “flat earth”, reptilian world dominance, denial of the holocaust or climate change, alien interference, or human supremacy has no place on our farm.

 

NO experience in farming is required to be a volunteer (although having previously worked with machetes, saws, hammers, hoes, etc. would come in handy), BUT it is helpful to have a little experience in terms of “the simple life” without civilized amenities and comforts, and it is mandatory not to be scared of spiders, leeches, bugs, centipedes, scorpions, snails, worms, snakes, rats, lizards, etc. (see also: note at the bottom!)

Because there are leeches (especially in rainy season), scorpions and snakes, wearing boots while you work is the safest option. We will provide you with boots if you tell us your shoe size.

 

What you will do

You will do mostly regular farm work, forestry, woodwork, and manual labor – possibly including but not limited to the following:

  • preparing soil
  • watering
  • sowing
  • planting trees and vegetables
  • harvesting
  • helping to prepare food
  • simple construction work, tradition carpentry, and maintenance of our natural buildings
  • making cinnamon (in dry season)
  • producing biochar (in dry season)
  • harvesting and working with bamboo
  • weaving simple baskets
  • pumping water with our hand-cranked pump (in dry season)

Tasks vary with the seasons, in rainy season there is more planting and weeding to be done, and in dry season more watering and construction/carpentry.

 

Requirements

You need to be:

  • open for a new experience
  • open-minded (important! – you’ll hear things that a lot of “regular” people won’t like)
  • comfortable around bugs, insects and other critters
  • interested in regenerative farming methods, rewilding, and Nature in general
  • not afraid to get your hands (or the rest of your body) dirty
  • moderately fit and healthy (if there are any possible complications we should know about – diabetes, allergies, etc. – please tell us first.)

 

What you get

  • A unique experience of “life, how it used to be”, the Thai countryside, and the beginning of a modern-day hill culture
  • An introduction course in tropical permaculture individually adapted to the length of your stay
  • An introduction to tropical fruit trees, vegetables and herbs
  • An introduction to tropical ecology and sustainable (food-)forestry
  • A guided field trip to the jungle (optional – much easier in dry season)
  • A certificate for the attendance of a permaculture and sustainability course.

 

A short note on (the) wild(-)life: 

We are located far off the main road and away from the nearest village, and right next to a Nature Reserve (aka. The Jungle), so there are a few things to contemplate before visiting us.

First of all, you should be comfortable around small animals that could be dangerous (resulting in more or less painful bites and stings) and potentially fatal.

We regularly encounter snakes, among them pit vipers (especially the Malayan Pit Viper is notorious and dangerous), krait, cobras, whip snakes and keelbacks. We will supply you with a daily dose of preventive herbal snake bite medicine (seeds of Mucuna pruriens) which will not make you immune, but increase your chances of survival in case you get bitten. That being said, no volunteer ever got bitten (and we neither), because most snakes flee immediately and only attack when threatened and cornered.

The notorious Malayan Pit Viper – the only snake that doesn’t flee but curls up and prepares to bite. Would you have spotted her in time?

Scorpions are more common – Dave once got stung in the middle of the night because one of them entered our bed! – but are not dangerous, just painful. The larger black ones won’t hurt you, and the small brown ones hurt for a day or two. Same goes for scolopenders (painful but not dangerous).

In rainy seasons there are plenty of land leeches, who are not dangerous, carry no diseases and don’t have a painful bite, but make you bleed a little for a few hours.

A small land leech drinking blood on David’s forearm – their bite is completely painless and often goes unnoticed until the leech is full and drops off.

The mosquitoes are plenty in rainy season, too. Please make sure to bring long sleeve/long leg clothes for working and free time to avoid getting eaten up by them. There is very little Dengue fever and a bit more Malaria in the area, but nothing to worry about. We will supply you with preventive plant medicine for both (herbal teas, ocimum sanctum, etc.)

Every now and then we accidentally run into a wasp nest, but their sting doesn’t hurt longer than a day usually. The larger hornets are much less common (and we have a broad idea of where they are) but more painful in case they get you – three days pain and one day itching are the rule. If you happen to be allergic to bee stings, please take the necessary precautions.

In February and March there are jungle fleas who migrate downhill – their bites are slightly itchy, but they usually only bite feet and legs, they don’t transmit any diseases and don’t stay on your body.

There are tarantulas, too, but they won’t bother you.

Further, there are wild elephants in the Nature Reserve, who occasionally visit our garden. They are wild animals (nothing like the ones you can feed, wash, and ride – those ones had their free will broken under torture) and demand respect. Should an elephant visit our garden, remain inside, don’t shine a flashlight in the direction of the elephant, and, please, don’t take pictures with flash on.

 

Secondly, you should be sure that all this is not too much for you and staying here is really what you want. It would be very inconvenient for us if you decide in the middle of your first night that this is not really what you’re looking for (“all those scary noises!”) and we have to bring you to the nearest hotel – which is far away, plus the road is not easy to drive at night.

Should you stay with us during rainy season, please consider creating a buffer of one or two days for your further schedule (don’t stay here until the last day of your visa or before your flight), because sometimes the river down of our farm swells during heavy rainfall, making the road impassable. The water level usually falls again after a few hours, but heavy rain may occasionally continue for a whole day.

 

While all this might seem a bit concerning, we assure you that there is no reason to worry. There are weeks where we don’t see a single snake. We just think it fair to tell potential guests about the hazards first, so that you can brace yourself for all eventualities.

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