Integrating and biomimicing to follow our trust and belief in permaculture and natural systems are our prime purpose at Rak Tamachat Permaculture Farm, Central Thailand. We see the permaculture ethics and principles as our pillars to move toward a sustainable farm and world. The role of our internship (the next one beginning in June 2012), and our activities here contribute to our functioning system. Here are the details.. see if you can pick out all 12 principals!
CARE OF THE EARTH
About our site:
Rak Tamachat is a new and upcoming permaculture education and demonstration site in central Thailand (a few hours north of Bangkok) with ambitious and exciting aspirations.
A team of 4 Managers and 9 Interns have arrived for the first time in January 2012, keen to learn how to implement large-scale farm Permaculture design. We are excited to follow the outline of our Permaculture Master Plan, designed by Christian Shearer, founder of the Panya Project (our sister farm in Chaing Mai). With this 50 acre marginal land, currently used for commercial corn and rice production, on the edge between rural farming villages and the larger city of Korat, we value the importance of its strategic location. The vision of our design is to provide a replicable, abundant, thriving model of profitable permaculture in action, on a large farm scale. This will have effects, not only on our local community and Thailand, but internationally, through our education centre. With this Master Plan, we have designed from patterns – providing long-term vision in line with the current world situation, to details, where each member on site has had an opportunity to input into the design. We will be a closed loop system, producing no waste, in line with mother nature’s techniques.
During the internship we plan to be conducting many integrated permaculture projects, to provide a sustainable system while in the observational stage. Projects pioneered will include; implementing organic garden beds, constructing earthen or natural buildings, conducting courses, building soil fertility and intensively planting and caring for a food forest, while daily rotating the tasks to keep the farm running efficiently.Our first step is observation and interaction. This year we intend to focus on organizing the human structures and invisible systems, experimenting with that, while observing the natural patterns of the land and how we can most effectively interact with it. Planning for our future means implementing quality rather than quantity, which takes slow and small solutions to work on a human scale.
Working on our cob Pizza Oven
CARE OF PEOPLE
Interns at Rak Tamachat are given the opportunity to be a fully integrated (rather than segregated!) part of the community, which functions as a team. We have regular meetings to discuss how things are going, and to make decisions about moving forward. Interns are invited to contribute ideas, to add value and bring more diversity and interconnection to our systems.
We base our community on building personal holistic goals to create a shared vision of the farm and Master Plan
direction. Each member’s needs are important and we ask our interns to use this farm and internship to work toward achieving their own goals. Each intern is asked to be the main caretaker for a certain area of the land/system which include long-term visionary roles such as; water systems, waste and recycling, herbal healthcare, seed saving, digital documentation etc. You are given the freedom to make a genuine contribution to the future of our farm systems. These roles are being created and pursued by the current interns, who have done the ground work in establishing some of the systems. New interns will be able to use this guide, applying self-regulation and accepting feedback,
to develop their own functioning systems. This can then continually improve to become efficient and effective for the community as a whole. The ability to accept feedback
is highly important in a community environment, and understanding that if the community has requests, respect and compromise is required.
Intertwine long-term role tree
Web of Life
We intend to integrate with the local Thai community as much possible and interns have an opportunity to learn about specific Issan Thai culture with the Thai family and local workers we house on-site.
We utilize and value the renewable energy and resources brought onsite through our workshops and courses run throughout the year. All interns are welcome to take part in the education centre aspects of the farm and we encourage them to explore their role in helping to facilitate these courses. Our 6-12 month internship, though, is based around real hands-on “doing”, rather than classroom or workshop learning.
As we are focusing on the implementation of permaculture design here at Rak Tamachat, we like our interns to have a Permaculture Design Certificate before being accepted. We are looking for people who already have some permaculture experience and are currently working on their permaculture diploma or are looking to get some solid permaculture practice.
Because we are a new facility, accommodations are simple, but we have made it comfortable and homey, with the tents and bamboo bungalows available. We are observing the land and human patterns and applying slow and small solutions to build appropriately. A dorm site is currently being constructed for use during the rainy season. The sala (central community space), although unfinished, currently houses our community kitchen, library and teaching spaces as well as spaces to use the internet and just relax after a day’s hard work. Over the wet season months, interns will have an opportunity to be part of the interior creative design of our Sala. We will be sculpting, designing and integrating our own creative designs to form a stimulating, beautiful and comfortable community space using natural materials.
We equally share farm implementation work, long-term roles, duties and chores. Work requirements are a minimum of 5 days a week, 6 hours a day with some occasional weekend duties. Interns are also encouraged to take 3 weeks off for every 6 months on the farm. This allows time to explore Thailand or nearby countries.
Co-created requests for our community
The internship is for a minimum of 6 months, US$200 per month, with the first US$1200 to be paid up-front on arrival. The non-refundable deposit of US$200 secures a place as an intern. This amount is payable upon being accepted and cannot be refunded even if the internship is terminated during the first 30 days evaluation period.
This overall cost helps to pay for your food and other resources associated with having interns on site. We are not making financial gain by hosting interns. We genuinely want to make an even trade of their work time for the amount of learning available, each obtaining a yield from our symbiotic relationship, as in nature.
To participate as an intern we are asking for a commitment of at least 6 months. This is our way to catch and store their energy! Interns are welcome to agree to longer periods, however we suggest starting with an initial 6 month commitment and that they reassess their commitment at the end of that period.
We hope that the learning environment here will keep Interns engaged and excited enough to stay and learn more, as we encourage the formation of a long-term community at our farm. There is also the opportunity that an internship could develop into one of our paid (stipend) management positions.
Our design and community are ambitious, exciting and holistic. We are at the beginning and creation stage, so are learning tocreatively use and respond to change as energy, resources, climate and environment fluctuate. It’s all new and exciting and we look forward to truly intertwining ourselves to become a functioning part of our environment, using mother nature as our guide!
So join us in beautiful Thailand, practice permaculture in action, follow this link
to fill out our Internship application form, the next one begins in June 2012