After eight years at Mae Mut Garden, we faced a decision in order to accommodate Serena’s needs for a more comprehensive social life, and this meant moving away from Mae Mut.
We still have an attachment to the area and to some of the people there, when the opportunity came to purchase a small plot further up the road, it seemed the natural thing to do. It is a fresh opportunity to put to the test what we have learned and to work with some of our friends in the village again.
Winter 19/20. Some earthworks in preparation for the laying of the water infrastructure. There are about 2000 saplings ready to go and we will begin planting as soon as we have established a level of water security.
Summer 2020. The earthworks have formed 5 larger platforms and have given us an access road, in place of the narrow and steep rice terraces. The larger pond is on the topmost platform and the first phase of the planting has been completed.
We have set up some water storage, around 1000m3 between two ponds, with two concrete tanks connected to the irrigation system in the garden. The pond at the top of the site is fed from a diversion canal that carries river water along the top of the valley.
Winter 20/21 A smaller platform, intended as a communal orchard and food growing area, has a fish pond in the middle of it, a bicycle powered pump will irrigate the vegetable patch with the nutrient-rich fish pond water and the discards from the fruit and veg production will directly go to feed the fish. A kitchen and dining room area will be built nearby.
The bulk of the planting was done in March 2020, and after the beginning of the rainy season in June we started transplanting pinto peanut and other nitrogen fixing plants. As the season went on and time allowed we added mulberry, banana, papaya.
In October 2021 we started building a little house at Mae Mut, the design was modified during construction, but all in all the result I think is quite good.