Green Activity

Live a Healthy Life to the Fullest

Chiang Mai

Live a Healthy Life to the Fullest
Ban Mae Cho, Amphoe Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai
Working in the garden while living with the Panya community will undoubtedly be an empowering experience that will change the way you look at the world.
Nestled in the peaceful surroundings of Ban Mae Cho, thePanya Project is an education centre that implements and teaches permaculture. The members of thePanya Project arefrom all walks of life but have the same goal, which is to enjoy living a healthy and sustainable way of life. ThePanya Project demonstrates through the works around the project that permaculture is ancient techniques that have been practiced for centuries but were forgotten or overlooked.
One of the key permaculture design strategies is the creation of healthy soil. Soil is the foundation of life because healthy soil produces healthy plants, which leads to healthy people. Using permaculture to transform a mono-crop plantation into afood forest, thePanya Project has inspireda lot of people who have visited and volunteered at the project, not only about gardening and natural building, but also about life. Permaculture emphasises that in order to obtain a sustainable lifestyle, it is important to respect and live according to the laws of nature.
Operating based on the permaculture principles that everything has more than one use and there is no such thing as waste, thePanya Project is a living example that asimple and sustainable lifestyleis possible. ThePanya Project offers a hands-on experience that allows course participants, visitors, and volunteers to gain a deep understanding of permaculture that will enable them to apply the principles and concepts to their own gardens and their daily life.
ABOUT Permaculture
Derived from the words “permanent agriculture” and “permanent culture”, permaculture is a unique approach to establishing asustainable and self-reliant way of living. The fundamental principle of permaculture is that people should be working harmoniously together with nature, rather than against it. The key of permaculture is “design”, in which Bill Morrison, the founder of permaculture, has defined permaculture as “the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems, which have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems”.The permaculture design develops a harmonious integration of thelandscape, people, plants, animals, and food production that provides the community with food, shelter, energy, and other needs sustainably. Permaculture thus is not only about agriculture, but it is a holistic design where all the elements, including human and community, fit together in the interconnected system.
Organic Gardening
ThePanya Project organically grows annual vegetables along the contour line of the landscape near the kitchen. The contour garden beds create more space for the plants to evenly grow and minimise water waste by using agrey water irrigation system with water from the kitchen sink. Work in the kitchen garden includes making new garden beds, planting seeds, mulching, weeding, making weed barriers, and harvesting food for the kitchen.
Maintaining a Food Forest
The foodforest comprises a diversity of perennial plants, in which they were carefully designed and planted,so that the plants support each other and productively yield a large variety of food. To maintain the food forest, volunteers can help by planting, watering, mulching, and weeding.
Making Compost
New piles of compost are regularly made by building several layers of brown matter;such as, straw, and layers of green matter; such as, weeds, on top of each other, and covered with plastic sheets to retain moisture. Volunteers help with making the new piles, as well as pouring water on the pile and flipping the compost to speed up the decomposition process.

Building Natural Buildings
Anotherway of getting your hands and feet dirty while having fun at thePanya Project is to build natural buildings. If stayinglong enough, volunteers willget to learn the whole process, ranging from making adobe bricks, to putting up and plastering the walls, adding windows and doors, roofing, and decorating.
Permaculture Courses
ThePanya Project hosts several permaculture-related courses and internships throughout the year; such as, Introduction to Permaculture Course, Permaculture Design Course, and Permaculture in Practice Course.
Remark: Please check with thePanya Project for the cost, duration, and dates of each course.

Example of aDaily Schedule
8.00 a.m.: Breakfast.
9.00 a.m.: Work onthe kitchen garden.
12.30 a.m.: Lunch.
1.30 p.m.: Maintain the food forest.
4.00 p.m.: Make compost.
6.00 p.m.: Cook dinner.
7.00 p.m.: Dinner.
Remark: The activities at the Panya Project are rotated on a daily basis. The above schedule is only an exampleof what is to be expected and is subject to change, depending on the circumstances. 

GPS:N 19° 12.685' E 99° 00.683'
Accommodation:Room in the adobe dorm building.
Recommended length of stay:Day visit is always welcomed, but a minimum of one week is required for those who would like to stay and volunteer.
Prices:300 Baht for 1 night’saccommodation and 3 meals.
Remark:Please arrange with thePanya Project prior to your visit, as short-term volunteers are not accepted while the courses or internships are taking place.
Contact Information:
Panya Project
PO Box 28, Ban Mae Cho, Amphoe Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai 50150
Tel. +669 3037 6219, +669 3037 6220