Phusang Garden

Phusang Garden is intended for a small community of four or five like-minded families in addition to a full-time caretaker/manager responsible for the day-to-day maintenance and additional space for short term guests and educational activities like workshops and kids’ camping adventures.

We are aiming to create a ready-made situation to enable people to start living their dream of an independent and sustainable life, without having to make a large initial investment of money and time.

We value freedom, honesty, generosity and kindness. We value friendships more than money or material comforts.

One of the lessons learned during the eight years we spent at our previous place is that community living is a much more resilient and more rewarding arrangement. It enables us to achieve a higher level of material freedom, as it reduces the energy, effort and expense required to provide to our needs. It is also more interesting than living as a single family unit.

The time we spent at Mae Mut Garden has given us a good understanding of the steps involved in designing and executing a productive and low maintenance agroforestry system.

We know what grows well in the tropical climate of Northern Thailand and we have learned how to structure a system that makes us happy and leaves us plenty of free time. A lifestyle inspired by self sufficiency has many benefits, not only in an environmental sense, but also on a personal level, we choose slow over fast, simple over complex, production over consumption.

As the effort to obtain the basics of life becomes more frantic and time consuming, the option of living more simply in the countryside begins to look more attractive, a slower pace, less waste and more freedom to discover the difference between what is necessary, what is desirable and what is of little value.

The site has a high level of water security, it is less than a km downstream of a large reservoir and there are a number of ponds suitable for fish, ducks and chickens and for edible water-loving plants, like taro, lotus and water spinach.

The location is on the outskirts of Baan Sa, a small village in the Phusang subdistrict of Phayao province, about 15 km from the Laos border, coordinates 19.6036978, 100.4024622.

While the area is very quiet and relatively remote, the nearest international standard private hospital is only 90 km away. There is a Buddhist forest temple in the tradition of Achan Chah within a fifteen minute walk.

Part of the plot used to be Nok’s family rice field for many years, since we started the conversion to agroforestry we have been able to buy a little more around the original borders and now the total area is up to about 4 acres.

Having relatives in the village has allowed us to set in motion the project’s first steps, because the regular maintenance of the initial plantings can be organized and supervised even if we cannot yet be here as often as we would like.

We have built a little house near the entrance, re-purposing wood that had been lying around for some years, where we can hang out when we work there and occasionally cook and sleep. The house was completed in the summer of 2021.

During the winter of 2022 we plan a new round of planting of around 2000 seedlings and the some infrastructure works, like paths, water systems, a nursery and storage building and a common kitchen and living area with extra accommodation.

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