We are a Thai-Italian family with a young daughter, Nok comes from a small farming village close to the Laos border, Marco moved permanently to Thailand in 2009 after meeting Nok and together we developed the site at Mae Mut Garden for eight years. Serena came along in 2012.
We discovered we enjoyed life in a more natural environment, it was a rewarding experience to watch the garden grow into a functioning food forest, we learned a lot from our many mistakes and some of the connections we made during those years have grown into life-long friendships.
In order to facilitate a more regular social life for Serena who does not go to school, we recently moved to Chiang Rai and have started developing a new project, similar to Mae Mut Garden, on the outskirts of the village where Nok was born, where we plan to move once Serena is old enough to direct her own activities there.
We have extensive hands-on experience of fruit and vegetable growing, agroforestry, permaculture, adobe construction and organic rice farming.
Christian Shearer, Founder of the Panya Project Chiang Mai
It’s been 3 years since Marco completed a Permaculture Design Course with me and the transformation from run down rice paddies to what you see today is truly remarkable. The landscaping of edible plants is a cornucopia of what can be grown in northern Thailand with a rich diversity of species providing fruit all year round. Animal systems, agroforestry and rice production also combine to make this an excellent example of an emerging Food Forest and permaculture in action. It’s not only the physical landscape that is impressive, but also the social aspect of permaculture at play here. Marco and Nok settled into a small remote Thai village and employed local villagers in their development. So rather than ‘preaching’ permaculture to a culture well evolved in the art of self reliance, it was a soft approach in them learning new skills and ideas as they earned a livelihood. The result is their acceptance into the community and the potential for future conversations if times and circumstances change.
John Champagne – Permaculture teacher at Brogo Permaculture NSW Australia
In all my travels I have never encountered another place that so perfectly captures the essence of what it means to live a harmonious life on this earth. A concrete example of human potential, Mae Mut Garden has become a place of unique inspiration for me, a clear reminder that life can be simple, peaceful and restorative. Whether you seek an authentic experience of the Thai countryside, a vision of how simple life can be, or a look at how permaculture design can seamlessly be integrated with traditional practices, Mae Mut Garden is the place for you.
Theron Beaudreau – Permaculture teacher at Eco-Pioneers Austin Texas
This is a guy that has obviously given much thought on the design and did the research. He is candid to admit that he has made many mistakes but it is impressive given that it is his first time doing it. Food forests at different stages, impressive buildings built naturally, water storage, farm economics, and more. If ever I were to have my own farm, I would design it quite similar to Maemut Garden.